Dr. Garry Glaspell, Geospatial Research Laboratory, Engineer Research and Development Center, was recognized as Researcher of the Year by the Chief of Engineers, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Headquarters.
Dr. Glaspell is the lead research team member for novel optical materials and spectroscopy. He designs, executes, and analyzes laboratory and field experiments to further understanding of sensing chemical, biological, and radiological materials and associated environmental phenomena. Dr. Glaspell has worked with the Army Research Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) to advance tracer technology.
He designed and synthesized the phosphor used in the Low Observable Tracer (LOT) Project. In addition to revealing the Warfighter’s location to the enemy, the current tracers produce a trajectory mismatch between the rounds. The research goal was to create a non-pyrotechnic concept that could be applied to every round and be seen in daylight with the naked eye. This new concept would ultimately replace the current pyrotechnic tracers in the battlefield.
Dr. Glaspell determined that a Light Emitting Diode (LED) would improve visibility of the current tracer to be seen in full sun. Then he identified a thermoelectric module as a strong enough power source that would fit on the back of a projectile. The key advantages for the LED prototype are that it allows the shooter to visualize every shot for faster point of aim changes, while not revealing the shooter’s position to the enemy, and eliminating trajectory mismatch.
Dr. Glaspell’s work has established a scientific basis for subsequent technical improvements in military capabilities and significantly contributed to national welfare.
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