News: Army works with Penn State to test fuel instrumentation
Story by 1st Lt. La'Nita Collins
FORT A.P. HILL, Va. - During his observation of the 2012 Quartermaster Liquid Logistics Liquid Exercise (QLLEX), Maj. Gen. Peter Lennon, then commander of the 316th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, asked, “How do we coordinate with our national partners and international partners to get fuel into an austere environment, perhaps a less than benign environment, at the outset of a contingency?”
Since then, the US Army has taken steps to reach out to national organizations and help facilitate the efficiency of handling fuel.
In June 2013, the US Army’s Tank and Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) was awarded a contract to work with Penn State University’s Applied Research Lab to design better products that measure fuel.
“The scope of the work was to develop better fuel instrumentation products and provide better visibility when fuel is being transported,” said Scott Nielsen, a representative of Army TARDEC, located in Warren, Michigan.
Penn State’s ARL has designed a new automated wireless meter system that will allow Soldiers to use hand-held devices to test fuel. The ARL is testing this meter system during the QLLEX 2014 at Fort A.P. Hill, Va. from June 3 through 16.
QLLEX is a training exercise that allows Army Reserve units to train at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels across the United States. Approximately 90 percent of the Army’s liquid logistics assets reside in the Army Reserve.
“This experiment at QLLEX is our one big test to determine how effective this meter system is,” stated Nielsen. “With this experimentation, we are determining the validity of the data being reported by the meters.”
Nielsen said that testing the meter system during an exercise like QLLEX 2014 allows for better control when testing the accuracy of this new wireless meter system. It also allows Soldiers to train with the new equipment.
“It’s events like this that we get the good data—it’s not just about numbers, it’s about interfacing with Soldiers too and ensuring that they are able to operate the new equipment,” said Nielsen.
“Penn State’s Applied Research Lab will receive an initial issue of 20,000 gallons of fuel compared to the usual 70,000 gallons of fuel,” said Master Sgt. Christopher Jackson, Avon, Connecticut, with the 439th QM Company. “The difference in the fuel gallon
number for QLLEX 2014 is because the 439th will be using the equipment designed by Penn State’s ARL, to test the meters.”
The data collected from the meters will be analyzed and reported after the QLLEX 2014 exercise.
“We have tried many commercial products, but the [wireless] metering technology is what the Army has decided to go with,” said Nielsen. Depending on the success of the technology, the data that is collected, and the funding for this project, Nielsen believes that this wireless meter system could be implemented within a three to ten-year time span. Although this is the first phase of testing of this system, Nielsen said he is positive that this will be an ongoing process.
This is not the first time the Army has worked with Penn State. The Army Logistics Management College (ALMC) at Fort Lee, Virginia, has partnered with Penn State Executive Programs to offer a certificate in Supply Chain Management for military personnel.
If Penn State’s ARL has successful results and there is funding, they will continue to test the validity of the wireless meter system and look forward to maintaining the partnership with the Army to conduct research.
The Army is constantly seeking innovative ways to be more efficient and accurate in order to deliver products to its customer in a succinct, cohesive, yet cost-effective manner. Partnerships with national and academic organizations such as Penn State display the Army’s continued efforts to integrate and try new technology.
Date Posted:06.15.2014 11:43
Location:FORT A.P. HILL, VA, US
Hometown:AVON, CT, US
Hometown:FORT A.P. HILL, VA, US
Hometown:FORT LEE, VA, US
Hometown:UNIVERSITY PARK, PA, US
Hometown:WARREN, MI, US