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As vehicle technology evolves, the number of electrical systems added to each ground vehicle platform increases. Each new system must be integrated into or onto the vehicle without taking up too much space or adding excess vehicle weight that could adversely impact mobility. Likewise, new electronics must be powered without compromising other critical systems’ operations.
To ensure that vehicle electronic systems operate reliably in extreme environments and provide Soldiers with essential mission capabilities, power, charging and cooling systems must work properly without sacrificing vehicle size, weight, power and cooling. GSPEL Power Lab engineers support fielded systems through development, evaluation and integration of these charging, heating and air conditioning systems.
The upgraded Power Lab features two new alternator and air conditioning system integration laboratories to better understand and evaluate these vital systems. System evaluation is conducted in two new, large explosion-proof environmental chambers, and contains three additional smaller chambers for thermal testing to ensure that systems can operate in diverse climate conditions worldwide.
We contacted Power Laboratory engineers Fred Krestik and Andrew Schultz about the new capabilities available in the GSPEL Power Laboratory.
What capabilities does this lab provide that were not previously available and what benefit does this provide the Army?
The Power Laboratory’s additional environmental chambers provide expanded testing capabilities. The military’s ground vehicles must be able to perform in diverse climates and at extreme temperatures, and the new capability to test systems in these environments will ensure our Soldiers can conduct their missions in environments around the world. These enhanced testing capabilities also allow more flexibility as we support our Program Management Office (PMO) customers and, ultimately, warfighters.
What dual-use benefit can this provide to industry and academic partners, and what collaborative opportunities will it provide?
The issues we are testing are of concern to both the military and commercial sectors. Our PMO customers can arrange for industry and academic partners to have components or systems tested in the laboratory or to have these products connected to, or integrated in, resident vehicle platforms. Opportunities are also available for testing or evaluating charging systems or climate-control technologies.
What’s the first project/vehicle you’re going to test in this new lab?
The first testing we will undertake in the new facility includes validation and verification of test procedures to identify possible contaminated refrigerant in a vehicle fleet.
This facility's unique capabilities are available for use by Government Agencies, Military installations, academic institutions or private business entities, upon approval and with proper security clearance. To make arrangements to use the Air Filtration Lab, contact the user liaison for this facility. You may also view our list of comprehensive laboratory capabilities to ensure that this facility best suits your needs.
TARDEC Ground Vehicle Gateway
The Power Lab is part of TARDEC's Ground Systems Power and Energy Laboratory. Other labs and test facilities within this group include:
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