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Adelphi Laboratory Center
[Harry Diamond Laboratories]
US Army Research Laboratory (ARL)

Adelphi Laboratory Center
2800 Powder Mill Road
Adelphi, MD 20783

Harry Diamond Laboratories, Maryland includes satellite installations Woodbridge Research Facility, Virginia and Blossom Point Field Test Facility, Maryland. Established 1953, the facility was named for Harry Diamond, government scientist and aviation radio pioneer.

During World War II, efforts were directed to a new type of fuze. A proximity or variable time fuze could detonate a munition during a close encounter with an air target or at some distance above the ground. No longer would anti-aircraft gunners expend countless rounds trying to hit a moving aircraft. No longer could an enemy wait out an artillery barrage safely in a trench or foxhole. The proximity fuze for bombs, rockets, and mortars was developed by a group at the National Bureau of Standards (NBS) under the leadership of Harry Diamond. The War Department later described inventor Harry Diamond's proximity fuze as "one of the outstanding scientific developments of World War II ... second only to the atomic bomb" in military importance. The Diamond Ordnance Fuze Laboratory [DOFL] remained at the Connecticut and Van Ness site until a new laboratory site could be completed in White Oak/ Adelphi, Maryland. The move was carried out in 1973.

Between 1973 and 1976, Harry Diamond Laboratories (HDL) moved to a new location in Adelphi, MD where it is presently located and known as the Army Research Laboratory. It continued to work on fuzes although eventually turning over most of the work to various product development and engineering centers, such as Picatinny Arsenal and the Redstone Arsenal. The laboratory at Adelphi developed major research programs in high-power microwaves, electronics, nuclear simulation, radar, sensors, and signal processing - a broad, multi-program laboratory. In 1992 it became one of the major components of the new Army Research Laboratory and the Adelphi site served as the new entity's headquarters. The central building in the complex carries prominently on its facade the name "Harry Diamond Building."

The U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) is the Army's primary source of fundamental and applied research. The lab occupies two major sites, both in Maryland: the Adelphi Laboratory Center [formerly Harry Diamond Laboratories] and the Aberdeen Proving Ground. At the Adelphi Laboratory Center in Maryland, close to the District of Columbia, research focuses on electronics and power sources, the battlefield environment and sensors, signatures, signal and information processing (S3I).

On 1 October 1985, U.S. Army Materiel Command [AMC] established the U.S. Army Laboratory Command (LABCOM) to bring together its research laboratories that generated new technologies and advanced concepts to carry the Army into the future. The AMC DCS for Technology Planning and Management was dual-hatted as the commander of LABCOM and had most of his staff transferred to the new command. The headquarters of the newest MSC was formed by merger of some HQ AMC staff with personnel from the former Electronics Research and Development Command (ERADCOM), based at Adelphi, Maryland.

The U.S. Army Research Laboratory Adelphi Laboratory Center (ALC) completed implementation of a Base Realignment and Closure order (January - July 1997), three Voluntary Early Retirement/Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay authorities (March - September 1997), and a Reduction-in-Force (July - September 1997).

In July 1991, the BRAC Commission recommended closure of the Woodbridge Research Facility and relocation of its operations to White Sands, New Mexico; the Adelphi Laboratory Center in Adelphi, Maryland; and Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. The installation closed in September 1994. Pursuant to Public Law 103-307, the Army transferred the entire installation to the Department of the Interior (DOI) in June 1998. The property is now known as the Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

Site characterization activities conducted between FY92 and FY97 have identified 49 areas of concern at the installation. Verified site types include former disposal areas and spill sites. Releases of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and petroleum hydrocarbons from those sites have contaminated groundwater, surface water, sediment, and soil. In FY95, an Interim Action included removal of approximately 1,100 tons of PCB-contaminated soil from one site. In FY94, the installation formed a BRAC cleanup team (BCT), which improved communications between the Army, DOI, and regulatory agencies. The BCT accelerated cleanup efforts by adopting a concurrent document review process. A Restoration Advisory Board was established in FY95. In FY97, the installation completed the field phase of an installationwide Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/ FS) begun in FY96. Decision documents for Remedial Actions (RAs) at two operable units (OUs) were completed, along with a decision document calling for no further action (NFA) at 37 installation sites. By the end of FY97, the Army had made RA or NFA decisions for 46 of the 49 sites.

BRAC 2005

In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to realign the Adelphi Laboratory Center, MD, by relocating gun and ammunition Research and Development & Acquisition to Picatinny Arsenal, NJ. This recommendation would realign and consolidate those gun and ammunition facilities working in Weapons and Armaments (W&A) Research (R), Development & Acquisition (D&A). This realignment would result in a more robust joint center for gun and ammunition Research, Development & Acquisition at Picatinny Arsenal. This location was already the greatest concentration of military value in gun and ammunition W&A RD&A. This recommendation would include Research, Development & Acquisition activities in the Army and Navy. It would promote jointness, enable technical synergy, and position the Department of Defense to exploit center-of-mass scientific, technical, and acquisition expertise within the weapons and armament Research, Development & Acquisition community that resided at this DoD specialty location. Assuming no economic recovery, this recommendation could result in a maximum potential reduction of 83 jobs (43 direct jobs and 40 indirect jobs) over the 2006-2011 period in the Bethesda-Frederick-Gaithersburg, MD, Metropolitan Division (less than 0.1 percent).

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:42:12 ZULU