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Materials & Manufacturing (MM) | systems & operations automation (soa)

Systems and Operations Automation (SOA) focuses on the research, development and prototyping of advanced automated systems, health management system technologies and decision support tools for Department of Defense (DoD), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and industry customers.  As an organization within the Applied Research Laboratory we focus on technology development, maturation and implementation of technologies between the technology readiness levels (TRL) 3 to 7. 

The functional process that we employ starts with identifying the customer needs and potential technologies that could be utilized to meet the need.  The next steps involve integrating the existing technologies as well as developing processes and potential new technologies/techniques to close the gap between the technology capability and the customer needs.  Operational concept demonstrations are developed and conducted to provide a technology functionality and capability ‘vision’ that supports the requirements specification and product development processes.  At this point in the process the customer can decide how the technologies meet their needs, which leads to technologies that can potentially be transitioned to the TRL 6 and 7 levels.  We assist in the transition of successful technologies, which involves: specification requirements development, transition source code and documentation to program managers, and publication in technical and scientific journals.  The most significant result buys down technical and programmatic risk for customers programs.



Mission Fuel Tracking and Planning

   Fuel Mission Planning Movie
    (Click on graphic to play movie)
This platform level fuel decision support tool demonstration was developed by the Applied Research Laboratory at Pennsylvania State University and sponsored by the Office of Naval Research, Marine Corps Systems Command, and Headquarters Marine Corps.  This demonstration is intended to show the utility and effectiveness of a prototype Sense and Respond Logistics (S&RL) capability. This prototype capability is an incremental step in meeting key capabilities defined in the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) initial capabilities document.  The key capabilities are the ability to rapidly assess the logistics combat potential of MAGTF units and equipment as well as  integrate logistics requirements generation and assessment into the collaborative planning process.  There are six key functions that S&RL must perform: Acquire Data, Assess Situation, Forecasting, Support Collaborative Planning, Initiate Response, and Share Information.  What you are about to see is a movie of the prototype platform level fuel decision support tool that will demonstrate these six functions.

Helicopter Fleet - Information Management Program

VMEPThe US Army relies heavily on its helicopter fleet to provide close air support, troop transport, reconnaissance and logistics support capabilities for a variety of mission profiles.  High operational readiness and availability of the helicopter fleet is critical to achieving their mission objectives.  The Army has developed and implemented helicopter health management technology known as Health and Usage Monitoring Systems (HUMS) in order to facilitate the effective and efficient maintenance and logistics support of these aircraft.  The utility of this technology is realized by the creation of a shared maintenance and logistics data environment for fleets of helicopters that operate throughout the world in a variety of environmental conditions and different mission profiles. 

A computer based simulation demonstration of a helicopter management information portal has been developed to show the broad applicability of the HUMS technology for facilitating an effective advanced maintenance capability as well as the ability to flow maintenance information into the Army supply and logistics processes.  The intent of the simulation demonstration is to show how health management technology can increase helicopter operational availability through more efficient maintenance scheduling and implementation, shorter part replacement delay times and improved mission planning capability.  The focal point of the demonstration simulation is to show how helicopter health management information enables increased helicopter operational readiness and reliability by providing advanced capabilities for maintenance, logistics and command and control decision making.