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Hexavalent chromium (chromate or Cr+6) is the key component for high‐performance corrosion‐inhibiting primers used across Department of Defense (DoD) weapons systems and platforms. This known carcinogen has been targeted by DoD for reduction since 2009, which resulted in a need to identify, test, validate and implement alternatives and applicable substrate surface preparations. Julia Russell, Brenna Skelley and their team from the Naval Air Warfare Center Patuxent River (NAVAIR) have developed a comprehensive evaluation protocol for development and application of chromate inhibited primers.

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The Department of Defense (DoD) manages millions of acres of land for the purposes of training troops and testing weapons platforms to ensure military readiness. These lands are very unique among federal land management agencies in that very large and inaccessible parcels have been set aside as impact areas for various types of munitions and explosive ordnance. These lands are highly suitable as habitat for many threatened, endangered, and at-risk (TER-S) avian species across the country. DoD has both regulatory and stewardship responsibilities to manage and monitor for many of these species, which has proven difficult due to the inability to access these restricted areas on the ground. 

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Perchlorate, hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX), and octahydro-1,3,5,7-tetranitro-1,3,5,7-tetrazocine (HMX) are common and often co-mingled contaminants in soils and groundwater at military ranges worldwide. While in situ biodegradation of RDX and HMX and perchlorate individually have been demonstrated, remediation of co-mingled plumes has not been reported. 

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The Department of Defense (DoD) is the largest single consumer of energy in the United States. It operates over 500,000 buildings and structures with diverse inventory encompassing barracks, commissaries, data centers, office buildings, laboratories, and aircraft maintenance depots. A majority of these bases are largely dependent on a commercial power grid that is vulnerable to disruption from cyber-attacks, aging infrastructure, weather-related events and direct attack.

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Circular Synthetic Aperture Sonar (CSAS) is a promising technique to classify and identify underwater objects, such as submerged or buried unexploded ordnance. It is easy to imagine CSAS being used to develop local training data to support acoustic surveys of the more than 400 Formerly Used Defense Sites that are potentially contaminated with submerged unexploded munitions. In the case of particularly high-value targets this technique may even be used for the survey.  Under this year's winning project, Dr. Jermaine Kennedy (NSWC-PCD) and Dr. Timothy Marston (APL-UW) developed very sophisticated sonar processing algorithms to produce acoustic images and thereby advance the usability of CSAS. 

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Carbon fiber polymer composites are important structural materials for weapon systems and aerospace platforms. They provide remarkable strength, reduced susceptibility to corrosion, and significant weight reductions compared to aluminum, which allow for enhanced warfighter capability, reduced fuel usage, and enhanced resistance to corrosion, thereby greatly reducing lifecycle costs.

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Recent research and development efforts have helped to greatly expand the understanding of both the behavior and biology of deep diving marine mammals. There have been several studies of the physical habitat of these deep-diving predators but our understanding of the available prey, a key component in the biological habitat of these animals, is not as well developed. The main prey of these marine mammals are squid and they have proven to be difficult to study due to their rapid speed, relatively large size, and depth range.

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The explosives 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) and hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX)  are common munitions constituents. Both compounds and their derivatives are Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) priority pollutants and are persistent in the environment. Within the contiguous 48 United States, there are approximately 41 active DoD installations located within the coastal zone. 

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2016 POTY Blue Ribbon Graphic

From the Director: It is with great pride and pleasure that SERDP and ESTCP announce the 2016 Projects of the Year. This year’s awards recognize scientific advances and technological solutions to some of DoD’s most significant environmental challenges. These projects will be featured in the slideshow on the home page of the SERDP and ESTCP web site through the middle of February.

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Through its Weapons Systems and Platform Program area, SERDP is funding a 3-year research and development project to develop sustainable pyrotechnic gasless delay formulations, free from perchlorate, lead and hexavalent chromium.

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