The Military and NASA Working Together
In 1990 the military and NASA joined forces. In previous history, the military and NASA joined together with the EPA, and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management to investigate the site conditions of a 38,300 acre site situated in Madison County, Alabama. This extensive piece of land was placed on the National Priorities list by the EPA, due to the ground water, soil, sediment, and surface water all being contaminated by arsenal and waste disposal. These organizations have come together in efforts to try and clean up the contaminated site in order to protect the environment, as well as the people residing in the area.
Throughout the last several years, the United States Army and NASA together created their own team dedicated to researching and developing a way to advance the current technology associated with additive manufacturing. With this experienced and knowledgeable team, the United States army and NASA are also looking into how an advancement in this particular type of technology will reduce their cost and optimize the performance of their missile technology.
Furthermore, this team is focused on improving the designs of the current additive manufactured structures, as well as characterize materials and different processes for certain missiles. In addition, the United States Army and NASA worked together and installed the first ever 3D printer onto a military ship, with hopes that NASA will soon be sending their first 3D printer into space. These new advances in technology will allow both the U.S Army and NASA to be able to reduce the costs for their research, make advances in technology that could not previously be achieved, as well as share crucial data with every participant’s involvement.
Even more so, back in August of 2014, The US Navy tested out their first self guided and unmanned patrol boats, also known as swarm boats, in a demonstration using 13 swarm boats. These swarm boats are designed to leave the vessel in which they are protecting in order to swarm, attack, or block the pathway of a potential threat located elsewhere on the water. These swarm boats are able to coordinate with each other and make their own decision on how to approach an opposing vessel. These unmanned swarm boats have been designed with the help of NASA, using some of the same system components and technology that was used for NASA's Spaceflight Programs. This is the first new way of protecting military vessels was created in the hopes to prevent another incident like the U.S.S Cole.
The Military and NASA plan on continuing to work together in the future to create more advances in technology, similar to the ones they are currently working on.