Emerging Technologies in the Department of Defense

The Department of Defense collaborates with other entities to develop solutions and strategies to upgrade equipment, research, technologies, and designs. 

FREMONT, CA: Recent efforts by the Department of Defense (DoD) integrate with other spheres such as academia, industries, and governments to innovate new solutions. The DoD aims to advance research and development (R&D) and workforce education to build a more resilient economy.

The DoD's Manufacturing Innovative Institutes (MII) introduced advanced equipment, engineering solutions, and engineering to upgrade the department's capacity.

Integrated Photonics: The American Institute of Manufacturing (AIM) focuses on silicon photonics. This technology ensures faster data transfer over increasing distances, which traditional electronics cannot achieve. AIM has three goals regarding photonics; advanced technologies in silicon photonics, accessibility because AIM wants to make silicon photonics available for the DoD and external entities like small and medium companies and large organizations, and developing education and the workforce.

AIM plans to apply photonics to sensors that will detect COVID-19 viruses. COVID sensors can identify proteins characteristic of the viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, from a drop of blood.

LIFT projects: Leading Innovations for Tomorrow (LIFT), an MII, focuses on material science, manufacturing, and systems engineering.

LIFT is developing more efficient defense equipment, such as lightweight armor.

Improving production: LIFT designs materials that strategically reduce production processes and improve durability. LIFT focuses on new strategies for welding plates for the hulls of warships. It uses modeling software to predict warping when steel plates are welded. This allowed the team to use lighter-weight materials and reduce the amount of welding previously required.

Additive manufacturing: The MII America Makes uses 3D printing to manufacture additive components for military equipment. Components comprise materials such as plastic, rubber, ceramics, and polymers. It seeks to make weapons more adaptable to varying terrains and situations regarding speed in restrictive spaces.

Strategizing: Joint Defense Manufacturing Technology Panel (ManTech) uses the expertise of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Defense Logistics Agency, Missile Defense Agency, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense to identify and integrate, conduct, plan, and develop joint requirements, joint programs, and joint strategies.

The panel aims to reduce the costs of defense weapons, reduce manufacturing and repair cycle times, and implement research into production. 

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