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A History Update of the U. S. Army Engineer Topographic Laboratories Fort Belvoir, Virginia 1979-1983

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This brief history, covering the five years 1979-1983, relates the significant research and development activities at the U.S. Army Engineer Topographic Laboratories USAETL at Fort Belvoir, Va. It continues a tradition of periodic reports updating the histories of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers organizations. Previously, USAETL has published John T. Penningtons History of U.S. Army Engineer Topographic Laboratories 1920-1970 , ETLSR- 74-1 1973, and Dr. Edward Ezells ETL History Update, 1968-1978 1979. The authors of this report hope that, in addition to meeting official requirements, they have succeeded in rcounting the accomplishments of USAETL in terms intelligible to the layman . Applying the gains of the electronic and computer-based technological revolution to the ancient problems of mapping and surveying is a large part of what the men and women at USAETL do. In the last five years, USAETL has developed products which , when deployed, promise to provide major advances in the areas of topographic support to the Armys combat forces, intelligence analysis, weapon system guidance, weapon survey and map production. Where USAETL did not actively assist in a products development, the laboratories often still played a role in the transfer of technology to new areas. Whether through research or dissemination, USAETL continued to provide the Army and other defense agencies with better systems to meet their needs for topographic maps and data, terrain information, surveying, digital image analysis, robotics and artificial intelligence techniques applied to topographic problems. Much of what USAETL does is done in several technical vocabularies, none of them easily rendered in everday English. This historical update attempts to provide a window into the unclassified research and development programs at USAETL for the 1979-1983 period. The authors hope an understanding of USAETLs role will result from their effort.

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  • Humanities and History
  • Civil Engineering
  • Test Facilities, Equipment and Methods
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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