Leading-Edge Research and Development > Research Profiles > Profiles Archive > CNSE and U.S. Army research collaboration aids the next-generation soldier
CNSE and U.S. Army research collaboration aids the next-generation soldier
Keeping soldiers safe by tracking their vital signs through sensors embedded in army fatigues is just one project being explored as part of a groundbreaking partnership between the UAlbany NanoCollege and U.S. Army.
|The NNICC research partnership |
agreement between ARL and CNSE
Amid a growing global mission to safeguard U.S. interests at home and abroad, the Army's transition into a 21st-century fighting force is being accelerated through new and unique opportunities to integrate innovative nanotechnology applications. Leading the charge is a new collaboration between CNSE and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL), who are working together to develop game-changing technologies for the military through the National Nanotechnology Innovation & Commercialization Center (NNICC), headquartered at CNSE.
Through NNICC, scientists from CNSE and ARL are conducting joint research targeting development of a variety of next-generation multi-functional devices that include sensors, actuators, power, positioning, telemetry, logic and memory - combining ARL's unmatched expertise in the development of soldier-in-the-field technologies with CNSE's state-of-the-art nanofabrication capabilities. Together, the team will pursue a progression of applications from centralized to mobile to field-deployable systems, across industrial, commercial and consumer sectors representing the largest economic opportunity to emerge in the 21st century.
|Insect inspired wings using PZT |
actuators for locomotion
PZT actuators are just one example of how CNSE and ARL are collaborating to harness their combined strengths in MEMS and silicon interconnects (IC). The PZT actuators, which are used for bio-inspired ground mobile systems and insect-inspired micro-flight systems, require dedicated processors, which can be improved through knowledge in silicon IC technology, a field in which CNSE has significant experience.
The partnership between CNSE and ARL is not only addressing the increasing complexity and cost associated with nanotechnology R&D, equipment, facilities and manufacturing, but also coordinating collaboration among companies targeting needs in defense, as well as transportation, energy and personalized healthcare. Each of these markets represents opportunities for growth while also addressing significant socioeconomic challenges, including global warming, transportation congestion and a rapidly aging population.
"Other nanotechnology-driven industries, such as transportation, energy and healthcare, have needs similar to those of the defense industry," says Michael Fancher, CNSE Vice President for Business Development and Economic Outreach and Associate Professor of Nanoeconomics. "The NNICC is working toward creation of a fab-centric ‘dial-in-solution' capability that uses industry-compliant platforms, which is both the critical 'missing link' in commercializing integrated multi-functional devices and vital for our nation's defense and global economic competitiveness."
With a strong demand for particular device platforms within the commercial and defense sectors of the economy, NNICC is narrowing in on the overlap between these two sectors, including partnerships, commercialization and funding. The center is planning to build a volume of these devices to engage the supply chain.
In short, by aiming to bridge the nanofabrication divide between information processing, people and the environment, NNICC is tackling a national priority. There is enormous opportunity for NNICC to enable creation of products and devices for the next-generation soldier, while also working to provide new technologies that will benefit the transportation, energy, security and related industries.