Principal Accomplishments

The Department of Homeland Security is leveraging Laboratory-developed microgrid systems at standalone border patrol facilities along the U.S. southern border. These systems are also being used at Department of Defense domestic installations and overseas forward operating bases to enhance national energy security, resiliency, and efficiency.

  • A newly formed Energy Systems Group is focusing on the development of microgrid systems, advanced energy technology, and portable, energy-efficient capabilities for soldiers. Collaborations with the Advanced Technology Division and MIT campus concentrate on improving photovoltaic, battery, electronics, and control technologies.
  • Design and analysis tools for freeform optics (i.e., optical elements with arbitrary surfaces), used in conjunction with the Laboratory’s diamond-turning machine, are supporting the development of optical systems that can achieve higher imaging resolution than that possible with conventionally designed systems of the same size and weight.
  • A direct metal laser sintering machine is enabling the rapid fabrication of parts with complex geometries.
  • Integrated modeling software tools for coupling structural, thermal, fluids, optical, and control simulations were utilized on a number of programs to optimize system design variables while maintaining system performance.
  • A laser scanning digital microscope, flash diffusivity instrument, rheometer, X-ray photoelectron and auger electron spectrometer, tabletop universal test system, digital-image-correlation software, and other materials testing tools are enhancing the development and evaluation of advanced materials.
  • Researchers are exploring and evaluating methods of human-robot interaction in the recently completed Lincoln Laboratory Interactive Virtual Environment, a three-dimensional motion-capture theater.
  • Novel sensing, vision processing, and autonomy algorithms are guiding small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) operating at very low altitudes. Integration of photon-to-digital imaging with tightly coupled planning algorithms enabled the UAVs to perform high-speed obstacle avoidance in complex environments. Scene depth derived from stereo cameras was used to alter a multirotor’s Global Positioning System (GPS) trajectory.
  • Military and commercial interest in the Localizing Ground-Penetrating Radar (LGPR) has grown since it was chosen for an R&D 100 Award, patented, and selected as the topic of an article in the Journal of Field Robotics. The Laboratory is currently investigating the use of LGPR in GPS-denied localization and is collaborating with the U.S. Military Academy at West Point to design a vehicle mount that automatically moves LGPR out of the way of obstacles during off-road operations.
  • Sessions of the fifth annual Mechanical Engineering Technology Symposium, held in September 2015, focused on advanced materials, additive manufacturing, vibration testing, mechanical-thermal technologies, optical technology, and control systems.



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