News | Nov 20, 2018

Army rocket research earns patents, available for repurposing

News Article Image of Army rocket research earns patents, available for repurposing

Col. Eric Rannow, AMRDEC military deputy, poses with patent award recipients Bruce Hughes and Christina Brantley, as well as the deputy chief of AMRDEC's technology transfer office, Cindy Wallace. (Army photo)

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. — The U.S. Army recognized two engineers from the Research, Development, and Engineering Command, Aviation & Missile Center, also known as AMRDEC, for obtaining patents on defense-related inventions.

Col. Eric Rannow, AMRDEC military deputy, presented inventors Christina Brantley and Bruce Hughes with a patent plaque and the AMRDEC coin of excellence on November 6 for their creativity and their achievements in improving technologies.

Brantley was a co-inventor on U.S. Patent 8,842,281 – “System and Method for Detecting the Amount of Stabilizer Degradation in Solid Rocket Propellant.” The technology helps determine the amount of degradation of stabilizer in solid state rocket fuel by measuring the intensity of either backscattered, reflected, or transmitted light in the solid state rocket fuel.

Hughes was the inventor of the technology protected by U.S. Patent 9,788,436 – “Method of Making a Non-planar Circuit Board with Embedded Electronic Components on a Mandrel.” The technology allows a printed circuit board to be manufactured into different shapes like cylinders or hemispheres so they can better fit into shaped objects like missiles.

“One of AMRDEC’s missions is to ensure that the technologies developed and created for aviation and missile use are turned into new and or improved products and processes that benefit the warfighter, Americans, and the economy,” said Rannow.

Through the process of technology creation, AMRDEC maximizes the benefits of the nation’s investment in defense research and technology. In the last year, AMRDEC invested $300 million in advancing and protecting aviation and missile technologies, which also have the potential to become commercial business opportunities through license agreements.

“AMRDEC has a wealth of knowledge and expertise when it comes to developing and fielding cutting-edge technology,” Rannow said. “Patents allow us to foster open competition and drive down the cost of acquisition, enabling us to better support soldiers in the field at a reduced, affordable rate.”

An illustration of U.S. Patent 8,842,281, which improves the review and safety of stored missiles. It can also be used for quality control of propellant production and storage.


Cindy Wallace, deputy chief of AMRDEC’s technology transfer office, was also given an AMRDEC coin for her efforts establishing an invention recognition program within the center. The program was established in 2008 and has recognized about 50 inventors.

“AMRDEC’s employees work diligently to improve technologies supporting the warfighter, so it is an honor for them to be recognized today,” said Wallace.

AMRDEC’s portfolio of technologies ranges from a variety of areas such as fluid handling, measuring and testing, ammunition, and explosives, explosive and thermic compositions or charges, radio frequency sensors, among others. According to Wallace, many of the patents have both defense and commercial applications.

The technology transfer office continuously seeks opportunities in which Army innovations can be licensed for commercial applications, and seeks industry partners for cooperative research and development agreement opportunities to research, develop, or modify existing or new technologies, Wallace said.

This report is courtesy of U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center via DVIDS, with editing by TechLink’s Troy Carter. TechLink is the Department of Defense’s national partnership intermediary for technology transfer and maintains the only searchable database of all available DoD technologies.

Headshot Image of Brian Metzger, PhD, CLP

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