ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Sept. 17, 2015)? — ?The Army increased its ability to test radio frequencies used by Soldier technologies when it opened one of the largest anechoic chambers on the East Coast, Aug. 21.
The Radio-frequency Electro-Magnetic Compatibility and Antenna Test, or REMCAT, laboratory provides additional testing space required for larger and mobile vehicle-mounted projects.
This space allows the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center, or CERDEC, to test vehicles in a wide variety of radio frequency spectrum tests, allowing maximum function while maintaining accurate performance measurement.
John Willison, CERDEC Space and Terrestrial Communications Directorate, or S&TCD, director, and Dr. Mahbub Hoque, S&TCD Radio Frequency Communications Division chief, welcomed distinguished guests from across the Aberdeen Proving Ground, or APG, community during S&TCD’s new facility’s opening.
“There is a critical need for such a chamber and the important capabilities it will provide for CERDEC and the APG community,” Hoque said.
The chamber gives CERDEC directorates the space and flexibility to drive in the largest Army ground vehicle with test platforms aboard, then rotate it 360 degrees, all while remaining under testable conditions.
“With the previous facilities, we’d have to remove various bits and pieces to be able to get the whole vehicle through the doors, or the ceiling was too low once the vehicle was inside,” Bohn said.
S&TCD will use the facility to support other Army and Department of Defense organizations including those located at Aberdeen Proving Ground.
“Once deployed, this will be a game changer for the WIN-T [Warfighter Information Network-Tactical] network,” said Gary Martin, program executive officer for Command, Control and Communications. “With the improved performance and highly cost-effective nature of the directional networking antenna and its potential application to WIN-T, it will not only enhance the performance of the Army network, but will also reduce the antenna cost as much as 70 percent.”
Coming up with a widely versatile facility was a challenge on a number of different fronts, according to Henry Muller, CERDEC director. “From the beginning, we had planned the space for this specific purpose, so we had to act very precisely to preserve the space for what we ultimately knew we wanted.”
“Many times in our day-to-day activities, we have to write papers to justify what we want to do with a program. In this case, we had to write papers to not do anything, because of our intent for the space and our ultimate goal of using tax dollars responsibly,” Muller said. “In the end, we were able to get the best possible test facility, with the least amount of wasted work and energy, using the least amount of money; and once we start sharing the capability with our corporate partners, the return on our investment will increase exponentially.”
Attendees witnessed the first official use of the chamber in the form of a successful demonstration of the directional networking antenna that S&TCD developed in-house.
“We are looking forward to many more successful uses of the facility for both CERDEC and the customers we support,” Willison said.
The U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to ensure decisive overmatch for unified land operations to empower the Army, the joint warfighter and our nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.