Lincoln Laboratory displays a military invention

A ground-penetrating radar system is demonstrated to armed forces and tourists in Washington, D.C.

LL display at Military Invention Day 2017Aaron Gawlik, Henry Wegiel, and Byron Stanley (from left to right) stand at the display for Lincoln Laboratory in preparation for visitors during the Smithsonian's Military Invention Day.

 

In late May, crowds gathered in front of the Smithsonian Museum of American History to see examples of today's leading-edge military inventions alongside historical technologies from the Museum's world-class collections. More than 30 inventions from the armed forces and associated technology firms were showcased in Military Invention Day—a premiere event hosted by the Smithsonian's Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.

This daylong festival celebrated the crucial role of invention for the United States and explored the changing relationship between military research and commerce. Only seven organizations were invited to be a part of Military Invention Day, including Draper Laboratory, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Anthrotronix, the Army, the Marines, the Navy, and MIT Lincoln Laboratory.

Lincoln Laboratory was onsite to demonstrate a self-driving vehicle that uses localizing ground penetrating radar (LGPR), aradar system that enhances an autonomous vehicle’s ability to know its position on a roadway even when other approaches fail. Byron Stanley, Aaron Gawlik, and Henry Wegiel of Lincoln Laboratory's Control and Autonomous Systems Engineering Group helped people understand LGPR's wide range of uses and envision how advances in military technology might impact their daily lives in the future. Stanley said, "Many people were amazed that we could use the unique underground map to keep vehicles in their lanes." Gawlik added, "It seemed like people visiting our demonstration appreciated the fact that the self-driving car of the future may be equipped with ground-penetrating radar."

LL display on Military Invention Day 2017Byron Stanley (far right) explains how localizing ground-penetrating radar demonstrates centimeter-level localization to help keep a self-driving vehicle in its own lane.

 

Of Lincoln Laboratory's participation in Military Invention Day, Stanley said, "We were honored to help represent the many novel inventions and significant contributions funded by the armed forces and Department of Defense.  We enjoyed introducing our concept to a wide range of the military as well as the general public."  Stanley indicated that there was a great deal of interest in the LGPR technology as well as their Lidar and video display demonstrations.

The Laboratory scientists thought it was a success because many people learned about Lincoln Laboratory and the technologies demonstrated. "Some visitors even asked for future contacts, so that is a pretty good indication of a successful event," said Stanley.

 

Posted June 2017

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