Picatinny - Home of American Firepower

Material science, manufacturing processes, virtual reality and simulation, image processing, and non-destructive testing are just a few of the capabilities available to the private sector at Picatinny Arsenal.

Technology Highlights

On This Page:

ARDEC's Products and Services

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ARDEC's Technology Focus Areasdiagram showing ARDECs Technology Focus Areas

Advanced Weapon Systems
  • Direct Fire
  • Indirect Fire
  • Scalable Effects
  • Non-Lethal Systems
  • Small/Medium/Large caliber ammunition
  • Directed Energy
  • Remote Armaments
  • Insensitive Munitions
  • Fuzes
  • Telemetry
  • Precision Armaments
  • Grenades
  • Maneuver Support Munitions
  • Demolitions
Emerging Technologies
  • Networked Lethality
  • Defense Against Unmanned Systems
  • Counter Terrorism Technologies
  • Homeland Defense Technologies
  • Advanced Materials / Nanotechnologies
  • Novel Power & Energy Systems
  • Manufacturing Science Technologies
Advanced Energetics and Warheads
  • Propellants
  • Explosives
  • Pyrotechnics
  • Warheads
    • Kinetic Energy
    • Chemical Energy
    • Shaped Charges
    • EFPs
    • Fragmentation
  • Ammunition Logistics RDTE
  • Battlefield Tools and Equipment
Fire Control
  • Battlefield Digitization / SW Applications
  • Embedded Systems SW
  • Firing Tables
  • Ballistics
  • Automated Test Systems

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Emerging Investment Areas

ARDEC expertise applies to emerging capability gaps and is leveraging Science and Technology (S&T) for current and future threats. We are actively seeking investment partners in: remote armament systems; counter-terrorism technologies; advanced materials and nanotechnology; homeland defense technologies

photo of robots
Remote Armament Systems Initiatives
  • Safety and Networking
  • Soldier -In-The-Loop Philosophy
  • Specialized Weaponization of Unmanned Vehicles
  • World Class Robotics Lab
  • Increase Partnerships with Local Universities and Businesses
  • Further Develop Applications To Unmanned Ground Vehicles
  • Expand Into Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Other Platforms
Network-Centric Warfare - Coordinated Network Lethality

Coordinated Network Lethality provides the Fire Control functionality (geo-location, deconfliction, automated target hand-off, collaborative engagement) in a distributed, common network architecture. Currently, for the Small Combat Unit (SCU) squad leader, no network lethality functionality exists at that echelon. In addition, Coordinated Network Lethality provides a Net centric fire control effects decision support capability with a modular, configurable software suite in a manned-unmanned environment. The “Tactical Edge” includes Coordinated Network Lethality to the Soldier

image of networked systems non-specific

Defense Against Unmanned Systems
Defense Against Unmanned Vehicles
  • Strategically predict/solve future
Modified Modular Non-lethal Crowd Control Munition/ VMS
  • ARDEC IP utilized on UGV
  • ARDEC to modify its non-lethal design for UGV use
Multi-Use Energetics
  • Showcase ARDEC novel energetics
PLRWS Integration with TAGS
  • ARDEC RAS IP on robotic platforms
UAS Dropped Guided
  • Utilization of current mortar technology for UAS
  • ARDEC partnership/IP sharing with several UAS Companies
Anti-Tampering Pyrotechnics for Robots
  • Us of ARDEC pyrotechnics to solve UV anti-tampering/self-protection
Remote Robotic Mortar for TAC-C
  • Develop unique 81mm robotic mortar capability
PLRWS 2 Assets for Platforms
  • In-house integration expertise of RAS on robotic platforms
Counter Terrorism Technologies
  • Rapid Prototyping for the Current and Future Force
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Produce models, prototype parts, complex shapes, as well as manufacture production quality parts in relatively small numbers.

Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology
  • Novel Power and Energy Systems
  • Manufacturing Science Technologies
Novel Power and Energy Systems

Provides technology solutions to currently fielded sources of stored power (i.e., batteries) that are mature in both the product technology and manufacturing arenas through the insertion of continued technological improvements and development of new chemistries that will enable batteries to continue as a prime power source for DoD applications throughout the foreseeable future, reducing weight while improving energy density, power levels, safety, reliability, and other key characteristics. Likewise, emerging alternate power sources such as fuel cells, ultra-capacitors and hybrids are in varying stages of development to meet needs currently not met by battery technologies alone.

In addition to the power and energy demands for Munitions, there is focus on weapons grade power requirements for Armaments such as Electro-Magnetic (EM) Gun and Directed Energy (DE) to include High Power Microwave and Lasers armament systems which require power and energy needs currently not available for practical weaponization. The higher demands of the modern battlefield have placed power sources and energy systems near the forefront of military needs for increased mission durations, duty cycles, fast and flexible deployment, stealth, intelligence, protection/detection, communications, and combat " and to support increasing use of advanced and complex technologies.

While no single power source solution is possible, all share some common requirements:

  • Increased operational life, mission duration support
  • Environmental suitability (immersion, dust, temperature, pressure, altitude, etc)
  • Reduced weight and cost to produce, operate, maintain, and replenish
  • Improved safety in transport and operation
  • Improved power management and duty cycle support " average/peak loads and load cycling
Current Initiatives

DOD power requirements span a wide range of needs for diverse applications and platforms, and increasing technological complexity is driving the need for more capable, cost effective and logistically benign power source solutions.

diagram showing pictures of items mentioned below

  1. Schematic of Typical Thermal Battery Showing Multiple Cells And Igniter to Right
  2. Model of Miniature Thermal Battery of Excaliber
  3. XM25 OICW Liquid Reserve Battery
  4. Typical Liquid Reserve Battery
Manufacturing Science Technologies

What is Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology (AM&N) doing at ARDEC? Generating the capability to rapidly prototype armaments components with advanced nanotech

  • Identify technology of value
  • Assess life cycle issues and costs
  • Develop manufacturing science
  • Transition technology to the industrial base

This one-of-a-kind pilot scale prototype facility (opened in December 2005) has the capability to fabricate up to one kilogram an hour of nanoscale powder of virtually any metal, oxide or non-oxide ceramics; a unique set up to produce nanostructured alloys or reactive nanocomposite powders; a state-of-the-art nanomaterial characterization laboratory; and a set up to net shape and rapidly prototype bulk nanostructured components.

The Nanomaterials Technology Center Facility includes two induction plasma systems to produce nanoscale powders, a top down powder processing capability for nanocomposite powders; a dedicated x-ray diffraction, x-ray fluorescence, small angle and ultra small angle x-ray scattering equipment; and variety of other apparatus needed to characterize physical, thermal, chemical, and metallurgical properties of nanomaterials. Imaging equipment such as a field emission scanning electron microscope and an AFM is also available at this center.

Thrust Military Applications Commercial Applications
  • Nanoparticles
  • Metals
  • Ceramics
  • Organics
  • High performance Materials
  • Energetics
  • Warhead & Gun components
  • Armor/survivability
  • High performance Materials
  • Paints & Coatings
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Catalysts
  • Carbon Nanotubes
  • CVD
  • Composite Materials
  • Energetics
  • Metal matrix
  • Polymer matrix
  • Composite Materials
  • Hydrogen Storage (fuel cell)
  • Lightweight structures
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Mixing Compounding of Highly Filled Composites
  • Twin Screw Extrusion
  • Mechanical Alloying
  • Coating and passivation
  • Material Process Development
  • Energetics
  • Non-reactive Composites
  • Material Process Development
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Foods
  • Batteries
  • Etc.
  • Device Development
  • Fluidics
  • Microelectronic Chip Process Development
  • Micro Electromechanical Machines (MEMs)
  • Electronics for Smart Munitions
  • Optics and Sensors
  • Process transducers
  • Micro-reactors
  • Consumer electronics
  • Telecommunications
  • Blood and Human effects Analysis
  • Micro-reactors
Future Capabilities

Capabilities for nano-mechanical characterization, non-equilibrium powder consolidation & net shaping shall be installed in the near future. It is anticipated that future collaboration/funding will enable this center to acquire and staff additional processing and characterization equipment to complement current infrastructure. This will help us accelerating the translation of our capabilities to useful applications.

advanced materials

Areas of Interest
  • New materials with enhanced properties such as: strength to weight; toughness; corrosion resistance; electrical and thermal; energy output.
  • Nanotechnologies & MEMS
  • Rapid Process Prototyping
  • Materials Processing & Characterization
  • Modeling & Simulation
Homeland Defense Technologies

The Homeland Defense Center is a multi-acre urban type facility for armament R&D and emergency response training. Its mission is readiness development for Homeland Defense and Homeland Security, which includes local police, fire departments, EMS, SWAT teams and others, in addition to the National Guard. The Center incorporates extensive training facilities, including a simulation center, plus technology development and test bed facilities for Emergency Operations Centers. The Center also houses a backup microwave link for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The Governor has designated Picatinny as a NJ Center for Homeland Defense Technologies and Security Readiness.

map of facilities

Current initiatives
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    Picatinny Testbed Emergency Operations Center (EOC)

    Integration of systems and systems engineering for perimeter defense applications (sense and respond)
  • Rapid response with lethal and non-lethal force with robots
  • Non-Lethal Munitions and Human Behavioral Response " working with the Joint Non-lethal Working Group, US Veterans Affairs, and University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ (UMDNJ) with Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval from Fort Detrick.
  • University of Maryland's Center for Integrated Security Logistics (CISL) " partnership to develop and demonstrate sense and respond logistics supply chain technology for the military with applicability to first responders.
  • Development of Picatinny's partnership with the Yale New Haven Center for Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Response, and other Army agencies including STRI, and ECBC, utilizing America's Army gaming platform for CBRNE training of Army Physicians, Physician Assistants, Nurses and Medics and their civilian counterparts. • National Guard: Trained approximately 1200 NJ National Guard personnel in various areas
  • Defeat of Lethal Mechanisms
  • Sensors and Sensor Integration
  • Explosive Detection
  • Logistics
  • Non-Lethal / Target Behavioral Response Laboratory (TBRL)
  • Biometrics
  • Emergency Operations Center (Knowledge Management )
  • Americas Army Trainer • Technology Test bed area
  • Two 85 foot NJ Transit Train on 300’ of Track
  • Underground Tunnels (460ft of 6’&4’ diameter tunnel)
  • NJ Transit Buses
  • Adjacent Heliport
  • Rubble Pile
  • Classrooms
  • Under construction: G2 Range, Simulation Training Center,
  • Biometrics Lab and training classroom
Asymmetric Technology Mission Statement
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Provide State of the Art, Interoperable Counter Terrorism and All Hazards Response Solutions to Civilian and Military agencies, prepare for wider asymmetric challenges and help win the Global War on Terror.

To rapidly develop and field appropriate technology to provide the warfighter the necessary technical advantage to defend and defeat asymmetric threats. Using a good System Engineering process, develop an investment strategy and customer relationships that lead to component and system developments that transition to Project Managers. To every extent possible, develop dual use technologies that can be integrated into both civilian and military command and control infrastructures and provide a force multiplier.

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Mission Areas of Interest
  • Sniper & Enemy observer detection (fixed Site, mobile, man portable)
  • IED Emplacer Detection
  • VBIED Detection & Neutralization (at portals, along roadways, while moving…)
  • Deep Buried IED Detection
  • High Speed route clearing (30 mph or greater)
  • Tagging, Tracking & Locating enemy personnel and weapons (chemical or RF tagging & tracking)
  • Training Tools- Virtual (software), devices, surrogates, simulators.
  • Persistent Surveillance
  • Perimeter Protection- Defense Response (FOB, detainee camps)
  • Border Security
  • Sniper, IED Warhead and RPG defeat for medium and light vehicles.
  • Long standoff explosive and chemical detection.
  • First Responder (EOD) protection (ex. Secondary IED detection) and Tools.
  • Emphasize Development of Dual Use technologies (ex. First responder protection, sniper detection, training tools, explosive detection)
  • Emphasize Transition to OGA, customers and users.

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Technology Investment Strategy

diagram demonstrating investment strategy

ARDEC plans to look at ammunition across product lines for future ammunition development, and has identified many components which can exhibit commonality across product lines (e.g. multi purpose warheads and submunitions, Common Guidance and Control (G&C), MEMS for both G&C and safe and Arm of fuzing, propellant, explosives, smart fuzes).

There are different degrees of commonality from using the exact same component in multiple munitions to leveraging the same technology to develop different subcomponents to fit specific applications. PEO Ammunition:

  • helps make this a reality as all conventional ammunition is organized under one management chain
  • established “home-on-home” meetings with PEO Tactical Missiles to promote commonality across the two munitions PEOs
  • has worked with the USN project office for their Extended Range Guided Munition (ERGM) to look at commonality with Excalibur

ARDEC intends to work with USN and USAF to look for commonality in other areas such common smart submunition and low cost competent munitions.

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Advanced Technology Objectives (ATOs) Transitioned to the Program Executive Offices (PEOs) and Program Managers (PMs)

Mid-Range Munition
  • Transitioned in FY07 to PM MAS
  • 1st BLOS smart munition
  • Autonomous and SAL designated
  • Raytheon (Technology Base Provider) selected for SDD
120 mm Mortar/Mount
  • Transitioned in FY06 to PM FCS /LSI
  • 1st breech loaded mortar firing existing ammo without modification
  • CRADA with FCS to provide engineering and mortar tubes in SDD
  • Transitioned in FY07 to PM CAS
  • Co-developed with AMRDEC
  • Common munitions / missile IMU
  • Used in Excalibur
Lightweight Dismounted Mortar (Transitioned in FY06 to PM Mortars)
  • 30% weight saving and 50% reduction in manufacturing cost
  • Qualified for Army and Marine Corps use
  • Applied to 60mm and 120mm
LW 120 Gun with Advance Muzzle Brake
  • Transitioned in FY05 to PM FCS/LSI
  • Reduced armament weight by 2 tons
  • CRADA with FCS to provide engineering and components in SDD
Joint Modular Intermodal Distribution System (JMIDS)
  • JMIC+JMIP transition in FY09 to PM-FSS
  • Critical supplies delivered faster - 45% fewer C17 missions
  • Reduces exposure to IEDs - 40% fewer vehicle trips

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Current Technologies

ATO-M: Pax-41 and Pax-3
  • Scale up of IM explosives
  • Transitioned to PM CCS for Spider and Bunker Defeat Munitions
  • Behind wall effects
  • Single step operations
  • Less weight
Common Smart Submunition
  • Discriminating, fuzed sensor submunition
  • Defeat both Hard and Soft Targets
  • S&T and MANTECH
  • Proven at TRL 6 and MRL 7 for 20mm and 155mm
  • Saves space for more lethality
Very affordable Precision Projectile
  • Precision at $10,000 / RD
  • Government design
  • Forthcoming CDD for 105mm
Small Arms Deployable Sensors Network (SmADSNet)
  • Gun fired fused sensors for building ID
  • Meets objective requirements
  • Utilize cots with ARDEC G-harden capability
Hardened Combined Effects
  • Bash through structures
  • Transitioned already to NLOS-LS PGMM and MRM
Fuze and Power
  • High Voltage Fireset
  • MEMS Impact Sensor
  • Thermal/Reserve Batteries
  • Shaped Charge Array for MP ESAD

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Future Technologies

Scalable Technology for Adaptive Response (STAR)
  • Scalable, selectable & adaptive lethal effects
  • Demonstrators: 250mm (GMLRS), 155mm (Excalibur), 30mm (M789/Mk238
EM Gun
  • Eliminate use of energetics with increased lethality
  • Enhanced Survivability with reduced launch signature
  • 20MJ Railgun Launcher, Integrated Launch Package, & 20MJ Pulsed Power supply
High Power Microwave/LIPC
  • Weapon and a payload technologies
  • Multi-effects across multiple targets
Lightweight Small Arms Technologies
  • Advanced lethality with increased munition effectiveness to target
  • Advanced firing control systems for more accurate precision engagements
  • 50% weight reduction in gun and bullet due to novel materials
  • For FCS to meet objective threat
  • ARDEC providing the warhead
  • FY10 demo planned
Insensitive Munitions (IM)
  • HPC institute, ARL and ARDEC teamed to develop the next generation of M&S for Insensitive Munitions application
  • New M&S capability: Faster design and implementation
  • Improved tactical and combat survivability
  • IM efforts for HE Munition and new IM Fills
Prognostics and Diagnostics for Operational Readiness
  • Holistic open architecture
  • Core sensor/processor tag & prognostic engine
  • Provide ability to communicate the health and predict readiness of multiple systems
Near Autonomous Unmanned Systems
  • Unmanned armaments with autoloading Capability (7.62mm)
Acoustic/Seismic Sensors
  • Enhanced acoustic, UV, IR, narrow-band, and/or optical augmentation sensors to detect/locate/ID shooters
  • Provide combat forces with actionable understanding of hostile shooters & gunfire in real-time & enhance TTPs to defeat threats
Soldier and Small Unit Lethality Integration
  • Innovative message processing & Decision Aid for collaborative target engagement
  • Soldier Integrated gun fire detection sensors (acoustic)
Joint Service Small Arms Project (JSSAP)
  • Improved munition effectiveness to targets
  • Correct range to moving targets and further power sharing within weapon
Tunable Pyro-technics
  • Specific IR Counter Measure Output
  • Insensitive igniters
  • Enhanced primers, tracers & illumination
  • Increased War fighter and aircraft survivability

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Insights to the Path Forward

Issues and Concerns
  • Industry/Government Tech Base investment must be focused on warfighter requirements " both from Combat Developer (TRADOC) and Materiel Developer (PEO/PM)
  • “Best of Breed” low-cost, multipurpose munition components are needed " IP concerns must be not impede this and must be negotiated up front
  • Industry proposals must be timed to support Army budget process - Out-of-cycle proposals by exception only
Bottom-line Summary
  • We are a nation at war " ARDEC seeks to partner with PEOs and industry to accelerate fielding of advanced technologies in support of current operations
  • ARDEC is maintaining investments in Future Force technologies
  • ARDEC has a strong desire to develop joint technology programs with Army, other service, coalition, and industry partners
  • ARDEC will continue to seek partnerships with Industry, Academia and Other Government Agencies to share knowledge, expertise, facilities, equipment and other resources for application to both military and non-military systems making the best use of scientific and technical capabilities for the Nation.

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