Unmanned aircraft technology, autonomous vehicles and water security sound like topics straight out of a science fiction film, and on Wednesday, the Fort Leonard Wood community will have a chance to get a firsthand look at those technologies during Fort Leonard Wood's first Tech Talk.
Beginning at 1 p.m. in Lincoln Hall Auditorium, Fort Leonard Wood's Tech Talk will feature three, 20-minute presentations from industry and government experts.
Those experts will highlight "high-tech subjects that are of interest to the Army," said Bryan Parker, Fort Leonard Wood Plans, Analysis and Integration Office director.
"People do unique things in the Army, and I want to bring those people to Fort Leonard Wood to tell us what they're doing," Parker said.
Among those people doing unique work is Sam Vance, a Dixon, Missouri, native and a research civil engineer at the U.S. Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratory. Vance, who described his presentation as "sort of like a Ted Talk" will bring a high-end unmanned aircraft system and discuss its use in applications for installations.
"There are a few different technologies I'm going to talk about that are small enough and light enough to fit on an unmanned aircraft system that can provide some cool opportunities," Vance said.
Specifically, Vance said, he is going to discuss sensor packages that are now small enough for unmanned aircraft systems and outcomes for using those sensors.
One technology he will discuss is the Light Detection and Ranging, also known as LIDAR.
"LIDAR is able to gather hundreds of thousands of points per second in 3-D space and can be used to do 3-D modeling," Vance said.
Throughout his talk, Vance said he encourages audience members to think of the many different ways to use this "cost effective" and "rapidly deployable" system.
"Whatever you do, if you're in security or in the engineering field, try to think about ways you can use this low-cost tool," he said. "It's really powerful."
Also included in this Tech Talk is Dr. Marc Kodack, with the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army Energy and Sustainability, and Edward Mottern, director of programs for Robotic Research LLC.
Kodack is expected to speak about water and energy-related issues the Department of Defense faces today, a topic, Parker said, that is very important to the Army.
"As the Army looks around and looks worldwide, water may be the next big thing people are concerned about and they want to make sure the Army has enough water to conduct their missions," he said.
Mottern is expected to discuss the autonomous vehicle program. According to Parker, plans are in place for a pilot program of these vehicles to support Fort Leonard Wood in the coming years.