The Army Research Laboratory (ARL) is the Army’s primary source of fundamental and applied research. With more than 1,250 scientists and engineers, ARL is a key in-house repository of expertise in support of Army unique requirements. The laboratory’s mission is to provide key technologies and analytical support to ensure the Army has decisive victory in future land warfare. Elements of two ARL organizations are located on White Sands Missile Range: the Cybersecurity & Electromagnetic Protection Division (CEPD) of the Survivability/Lethality Analysis Directorate (SLAD) and the Computational and Information Sciences Directorate (CISD) Battlefield Environment (BE) Division.

CEPD’s mission is to determine the Survivability, Lethality and Vulnerability (SLV) of all U.S. Army missile defense systems, aviation systems and munitions demonstrations to the full spectrum of battlefield threats and atmospheric interactions throughout the system’s life cycle. CEPD is the Army’s lead organization for determining electronic warfare (EW) vulnerability and cyber operations vulnerability and survivability of U.S. Army systems and provides technical support to other DOD activities. CEPD provides SLV and evaluation support to developers, decision-makers and the Army evaluator and provides technical judgments on complex SLV issues. CEPD researches, investigates and recommends counter-countermeasures for U.S. Army systems to reduce their susceptibilities and vulnerabilities and to ensure optimum survivability and lethality in threat environments.

Since 1952, CEPD and its predecessor organizations have carried out missions on WSMR. Recent technological advances in cyber operations, electro-optics and directed energy provide new arenas for study, complementing work in the more traditional radio frequency and microwave areas. CEPD has employees on WSMR, New Mexico; Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland; and Ft. Hood, Texas

Directorate (CISD): Battlefield Environment Division (BED): The CISD-BED’s mission is to enhance Warfighter effectiveness through environmental knowledge and technology, performing basic and applied research to advance the understanding of the atmosphere and its relationship to and impact on the performance of battlefield systems, personnel and operations. BED’s predecessor organization through the early 1990s was the U.S. Army Atmospheric Sciences Laboratory headquartered at WSMR. At that time BED was integrated into the corporate U.S. Army Research Laboratory, headquartered in Adelphi, Maryland, with personnel and R&D functions on both sites.

The current missions of BED’s Atmospheric Modeling Branch and the Atmospheric Dynamics Branch on WSMR are to perform research required to help the Soldier, commander and weapons system designer better understand and model atmospheric effects on performance and to maximize their success during battlefield operations, especially in the lower atmosphere and over complex terrain. To accomplish this, the branches characterize meteorology in the boundary layer at high spatial and time resolutions through theoretical, basic research and the development of “Nowcast” weather prediction models providing highly detailed, short-term forecasts of atmospheric conditions over complex and urban terrain in three dimensions and in near-real-time. A diagnostic 3D wind field model characterizes the effects of streets and buildings on wind flow as well as the effects of mountain ridges and forest or jungle canopies. Weather decision aids provide planners and operators with intuitive warnings of many types of weather hazards on weapons systems, personnel and operations and can automatically find the best route for manned and unmanned aircraft around adverse weather. Methods are developed to provide meteorological correction data for artillery firing solution systems.

To support these activities, BED is establishing an extremely high-resolution network of environmental sensors within and adjacent to WSMR called the Meteorological Sensor Array. Products are transitioned to a variety of Army entities and to the US Air Force 557th Weather Wing (formerly the Air Force Weather Agency) for support of forward-deployed troops. Weather impacts and Nowcasting models are exploited in command and control systems such as the Distributed Common Ground Station-Army (DCGS-A) and the Tactical Airspace Integration System (TAIS). Learn more about the Army Research Laboratory at U.S. ARMY RESEARCH, DEVE