Why RELLIS? Why Texas A&M?
Improving the Speed of Relevance
The Texas A&M University System and the Army Futures Command (AFC) will improve the speed of relevance for developing technology, closing the gap between concept and combat at the Bush Combat Development Complex, which is scheduled to be completed in June 2021.
This partnership will get soldiers involved in the development of combat technology at the very beginning and keep them involved to solve real problems for real soldiers in a very real time.
The Impact of Commitment to Protect Tomorrow
o $80 million by Texas A&M University
o $50 million by the State of Texas
o $65 million by Army Futures Command
The Research Integration Center (RIC) will be the intellectual hub for innovation, where researchers and other experts from industry, government, academia and the military gather in the three-story building to collaborate on emerging technologies.
The Innovation Proving Ground (IPG) will be an outdoor test site for a wide range of experiments. The emphasis initially is expected to be on autonomous aerial, ground and subterranean vehicles and the variety of systems, equipment and instruments needed to operate them in battlefield-like conditions.
Disaster City, the nation’s largest search-and-rescue training site, can also be used for testing technology in urban warfare conditions.
The Bush Combat Development Complex will be a U.S. hub for testing potential innovations, bringing together scientists and engineers from universities, military research labs, the defense industry and the high-tech sector. They will come together because the Bush Complex will have an infrastructure like no other, a cutting-edge complement of facilities, equipment and instrumentation.
Ballistic, Aero-Optics and Materials, or BAM, will be a 1-kilometer long, 2-meter diameter hypersonic tunnel and one or more detonation tubes. It will bridge a critical gap in U.S. research between lab-scale experiments and open-range testing. The kilometer length allows for realistic simulations at hypervelocity and the speed of light.
Lasers are already deployed as short-range defensive weapons, ready to respond to incoming drones, rockets and artillery shells within three kilometers or less. A laser capable of destroying anything farther away is problematic. Texas A&M researchers are using “adaptive optics” to correct for atmospheric distortions in real time and help a laser reach its target — regardless of wind, rain, heat, cold or battlefield hazards.
In recent years Texas A&M researchers have been working with Army researchers, the Federal High Administration and the private sector on systems to make drones and unmanned ground vehicles smarter and more reliable.
Now researchers are working to design, develop and test the technical architecture for a portable wireless network, something that can be brought to the battle and move encrypted information securely back and forth among a platoon of air and ground vehicles.
Other researchers are attempting to create an intelligent, intuitive software system that can direct vehicle movement automatically. The system will direct actions by interpreting situational awareness data that air and ground vehicles themselves collect and share. The data is derived from the vehicles’ own surveillance of their surroundings.