C5ISR Center History

C5ISR Center strives daily to make a positive difference in the lives of Soldiers by conducting applied research, advanced technology development, and systems and sustainment engineering. To date, C5ISR Center has received more than 1,200 patents, more than 100 R&D awards and numerous Army’s Greatest Invention Awards.

The Army established the Army Materiel Command Aug. 1, 1962 during which time a subordinate element of AMC, the U.S. Army Electronics Command (USA ECOM), was established at Fort Monmouth, N.J.

Dr. Robert S. Wiseman, who served as Director of Research, Development and Engineering and Director of Laboratories, led ECOM. ECOM focused on combat surveillance and target acquisition, night vision, atmospheric sciences, avionics, communications/automatic data processing, electronic warfare, and electronics technology and devices.

On Jan. 3, 1978 ECOM was disestablished and three new Research and Development Commands were established under the Communications-Electronics Readiness Command (CERCOM). The Army established the new commands to improve the Army’s R&D Materiel Acquisition Life Cycle. These commands focused on electronics, communications automatic data processing and aviation. The Combat Surveillance and Target Acquisition Laboratory, Night Vision Laboratory, Atmospheric Sciences Laboratory, Electronic Warfare Laboratory, and Electronic Technology & Devices Laboratory came under the operational control of the Electronics R&D Command (ERADCOM), with provisional Headquarters at Adelphi, Md.

Late-70s technology developments fundamental to how the Army communicates and fights today included:

  • First frequency-hopping radio techniques (1975)
  • PNVS-5 Night Vision Goggle (1977)
  • Received patent for Transponder Based Landing Systems (1977)

The Center for Communications Systems (CENCOMS), the Center for Tactical Computer Systems (CENTACS) and the Center for Systems Engineering and Integration (CENSEI) were aligned to form the Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM) in May 1981 under Technical Director Theodore Pfeiffer.

On Oct. 1, 1985, the CECOM Research, Development and Engineering Center (RDEC) was created. This change was the result of AMC’s determination to improve the effectiveness of its laboratories and research and development centers. The Army re-designated the CECOM R&D Center as the CECOM Research, Development and Engineering Center (RDEC) under which CENCOMS and CENTACS combined to form the new Communications/Automated Data Processing Center (COMM/ADP). CENCOMS, CENTACS, and ERADCOM’s Electronic Warfare Laboratory and Combat Surveillance and Target Acquisition Laboratory merged to form the new Electronic Warfare/Reconnaissance Surveillance and Target Acquisition (EW/RSTA) Center. ERADCOM’s Signals Warfare Laboratory became the Signals Warfare Center, and ERADCOM’s Night Vision and Electro-Optics (NVE&O) Laboratory became the NV&EO Center.

Significant developments that emerged during the 1980s included:

  • Received patent for fabricating Integrated Circuits, which could operate under extreme temperatures (1980)
  • GVS-5 Laser Rangefinder
  • Patent awarded for discovery of the first practical and low-temperature electrolytes for Lithium-ion batteries
  • Development of the FHMUXs and AUTOSPEC, a system that was used in developing and evaluating second-generation image processing systems and the Forward Looking Infrared Systems that employed them

The 1990s were rich in history with the leading effort of work undertaken by Robert Giordano and the engineering staff in support of Force XXI and Army Digitization in 1994 under the Battlefield Digitization and First Digital NTC rotation 94-07 "Desert Hammer VI."

Other significant efforts included:

  • Development of the Budd Lite Marking system and Fast Response Intelligence Analyst Resource (1991)
  • Received patent for detection and characterization of LPI signals, the Fiber Distributed Data Interface with a 100MB encryption rate and the 2nd Generation FLIR Horizontal Technology Initiative (1993)
  • Soldier’s Personal Adaptive Monitor
  • Received patent for dual EHF, VHF vehicular whip antenna (1996)
  • Two Color per Pixel Staring Focal Plane Array
  • Received Research and Development Lab of the Year (1998)
  • Multiband, Single Feed Satellite Communications Antenna Feed (1999)

The U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC), formerly CECOM RDEC, was stood up on Oct. 1, 2002 when AMC Commander General Paul J. Kern directed the establishment of a Research, Development, and Engineering Command (RDECOM).

The RDECOM mission was to field technologies that sustain America’s Army as the premier land force in the world; thus, operational control of R&D activities transferred from CECOM to RDECOM, effective May 1, 2003. The command became official March 1, 2004 when the Department of the Army approved the RDECOM concept plan.

2000s technologies and accomplishments included:

  • The Student-Centered Learning System, an approach to education focusing on the needs of the students, rather than those of others involved in the educational process, such as teachers and administrators, influenced the design of curriculum, course content, and interactivity of courses (2000)
  • Quick reaction fielding of the Phraselator (2001)
  • Establishment of C4ISR On-The-Move to prove out emerging concepts of moving from a kinetic force to a force empowered by information (2001)
  • Development of the 1 GHz Quartz Crystal Oscillator (2002)
  • Agile Commander ATD (2002, Army’s Greatest Invention)
  • Well Cam and Zinc Air Battery products (2003)
  • Light-Weight Counter Mortar Radar (2004)
  • Countermeasures Protection System (2005, Army’s Greatest Invention)
  • Dual Band Antenna (2005, Army’s Greatest Invention)
  • Remote Urban Monitoring (2006, Army’s Greatest Invention)
  • IED Interrogation Arm (2007, Army’s Greatest Invention)
  • Whisper (2008, Army’s Greatest Invention)
  • Robust Improvised Explosive Device and Landmine Detection products (2008, Army’s Greatest Invention)
  • LRAS3 Mobile Training Facility was established (2009, Army’s Greatest Invention)
  • Hostile Fire Indicator technology (Small Business Innovative Research Award)