At the 2019 SERDP and ESTCP Symposium, each program area will hold technical sessions and short courses discussing hot-topic environmental issues that the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) faces today. Weapons Systems and Platforms (WP) technical sessions and short courses will explore regulatory developments within the U.S. and abroad as well as the latest research and technologies making groundbreaking improvements to life-cycle sustainability and sustainment, methods of manufacturing, and overall military operations. 

At the technical session titled “Latest Innovations in Materials and Removal Processes for Sustainable Military Finishing Systems,” experts from several Navy, Air Force and Army materiel and systems commands will discuss technologies developed to advance the performance, implementation, and removal of finishing systems and to comply with environmental regulations. Featured projects include non-chromated paint primers, copper-free antifouling coatings, and environmentally friendly technologies designed to protect against corrosion. Armed Forces ships and watercraft are also the focus of research showcased at the WP technical sessions. The “Making and Breaking Boundaries in Emulsions” session will cover the environmental and operational issues associated with oil-water emulsions formed in shipboard wastewater streams. This impactful research informs and propels the development of new separation technologies, bilge management practices, and recommendations for alternative chemicals used aboard watercraft.

Revolutionary manufacturing methods and technology will be examined at the Symposium as well. At the “Expeditionary Additive Manufacturing for Operational Readiness” session, speakers will share research on additive manufacturing used within the military realm as a means of creating components and repairing weapons systems from recycled or spare parts at the point-of-need. These capabilities would not only benefit military operations, but also the communities in which the Armed Forces serve. The technical session “The Future of Energetic Formulation, Characterization, and Manufacturing” will explore synthesis methodologies of novel “green” energetics that are also pushing the boundaries to reduce environmental impacts and costs. Researchers specializing in different parts of the Energetics Materials Life-cycle will expand upon alternative and additive manufacturing, environmentally benign formulations, aluminized propellants and processing methods, and novel characterization methods.

The last technical session, “Sustainment and Sustainability,” will provide an important overarching discussion for acquisition and logistics professionals. While sustainment encompasses the operational and maintenance needs of a system over its entire life-cycle, sustainable sustainment refers to the mitigation of costs, excessive resources, and environmental and human health impacts over a system’s life-cycle. Speakers will offer guidance on compliance with federal and international chemical regulations, tools and techniques used to minimize negative system impacts, and collaborating across sectors to promote sustainable sustainment projects.

Short courses supported by the WP program area will be held during the afternoon of Thursday December-5. They are:

  • “Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and the European Union’s (EU) Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) Regulatory Developments”; and
  • “New Tools for Sustainability Analysis: Capturing Life Cycle Costs and Impacts in Defense Acquisition.” 

The TSCA and REACH Regulatory Developments short course, led by Dr. Tricia Underwood, the Deputy for Risk Assessment at the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Sustainment (OASD(S)), will provide an update on the continuing regulatory impacts of TSCA and REACH to DoD Cleanup, Supply Chain, Material Availability, Sustainment, and Operations. Updates from DoD, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the European Defence Agency (EDA), and industry perspectives will be provided. A Q&A Panel session will close out the short course.

The New Tools for Sustainability Analysis: Capturing Life Cycle Costs and Impacts in Defense Acquisition, led by Dr. Andrew Henderson at Noblis, will use case studies, demonstrations, and hands-on activities to introduce attendees to SparkLC, a user-friendly, web-based tool for Sustainability Analysis (SA) developed by Noblis in partnership with OASD(S). SparkLC is now available to all SERDP/ESTCP researchers and will assist the defense community in developing data and tools to make more robust decisions. Attendees will leave the course with the capability to conduct a SA of a basic system and knowledge and resources to conduct SAs of more complex systems.