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We operate 30 laboratories for workstation computing, computing services, digital and analog electronics, VLSI design and testing, photonics, telecommunications and data networking, network attack and defense, controls and mechatronics, and advanced studies. Our electronics and mechanical fabrication shops build devices and systems to serve cadet project and faculty research needs. A staff of career professional technicians continuously updates our infrastructure and provides one-on-one personalized service to the people of the Department--cadets, faculty, and staff. Our logistical operation manages inventory, delivery, and decommissioning of hundreds of large items and thousands of small ones per year.
Computer Labs
Our labs provide world class available and reliable resources for cadets to complete their work with no waiting or interruptions in service. The software environment is extremely rich, with full-featured Unix and Windows environments and a large range of software freely available. We have over four terabytes of storage on line and provide a wide range of network computing and file storage services. A recent upgrade of our laboratory network to 100 percent Gigabit Ethernet technology allows over 200 workstations to serve as a massively parallel supercomputer during late night hours when the labs are not in use. Following is a short description of each class of lab facilities.
General Purpose Computing Labs. These eight labs have state-of-the-art workstations running the most modern Microsoft workstation operating systems. Installed software includes several application and web development environments, the full Microsoft Office suite, several math applications, and Electrical Engineering design and simulation suites. These labs are used for classroom instruction as well as projects and research in computer science and electrical engineering topics. Most recently, all 160 of these workstations have been configured to "dual boot" with Linux as the alternate operating system.
Due to the extremely high speed of the network in these labs, our automatic imaging process can reinstall all software on all workstations in 20 minutes, providing an extremely flexible teaching environment, where minor changes for particular lessons can be deployed in an afternoon for use the following morning.
Network Lab. In this lab, cadets design, test, manage, and implement computer networks using a variety of equipment. Among the wired and wireless technologies studied are: Ethernet and Token Ring topologies, routing, bridging, switching, and network monitoring and analysis. A virtual machine environment enables the lab to simulate hundreds of networked computers using just a few powerful servers.
Unix Lab. This lab provides access to Solaris (a variant of the Unix operating system) workstations. These machines are used for classroom design projects, classroom instruction, and research in various computer science topics. Access to the same environment is available to department cadets from the barracks using X Windows server software on their PCs.
Advanced Studies Lab. This lab is designed and funded to provide "one-of" resources for cadets doing work not within the capabilities of any of our standing laboratories. In recent years, this has included software, workstations, input and output devices, software development kits for specialized hardware, network equipment, and similar items. The laboratory morphs to suit the need of cadets from semester to semester. Recent installation of conference and projection facilities makes it a favorite spot for design sessions and project briefings.
Information Warfare Analysis and Research (IWAR) Laboratory. This lab provides a realistic environment for research, analysis, and instruction on military information operations and security topics. It provides an isolated “live fire” environment to work with real-world network and computer penetration tools and learn how to defend against them. The lab's software includes commercially available information security products as well as DoD solutions. Malicious software that exploits system vulnerabilities is installed on select systems within the lab, allowing cadets and faculty to learn about and experiment with the capabilities of our potential adversaries. Through experimentation with malicious software, IWAR lab users gain an appreciation for vulnerabilities that exist in currently deployed information systems. With this knowledge IWAR lab users will be better equipped to protect and defend the information and information systems.
Server Center (also called the "Main Engine Room"). The department provides a number of servers for faculty and cadet use. They include two Sun Microsystems Enterprise 3500 multiprocessor servers, several Dell servers including two clusters, and more. Operating systems include Solaris, Red Hat Linux, and several versions of Microsoft Windows Server. Services include remote access from the barracks, web development, and several database servers.
TRADOC Classroom XXI. This laboratory is an enhanced version of high technology Army classrooms deployed throughout the nation and the world by Training and Doctrine Command for distance education and training of active and reserve soldiers in order to increase training effectiveness and reduce transportation costs. Among other purposes, the lab is the home of the Army Cyber Defense Exercise team, which competes annually with the other service academies for the Commander-In-Chief's Trophy honoring the academy best able to defend a computer network against attack by skilled adversaries from the National Security Agency and other "Red Team" organizations.
Electrical Engineering Labs
The electrical engineering laboratories at West Point are among the best undergraduate electrical engineering laboratories in the country. They contain state-of-the-art equipment with a total value in excess of $10 million.
Electronics Laboratory I & II. These laboratories provide opportunities in basic circuit design and analysis and advanced study in feedback, oscillators, filters, and amplifier topologies. They also offer the student the capability to design, build, and test integrated differential and discrete operational amplifiers. These labs are used in the Introduction to Electrical Engineering, Basic Electrical Engineering, Introduction to Electronics, and Electronics Design courses.
Digital Computer Logic Laboratory. This lab supports combinational and sequential logic design and also provides the capability to program complex programmable logic devices and field-programmable gate arrays. Students in Digital Computer Logic, Fundamentals of Digital Logic, and senior design projects use this lab.
Microcontroller and Embedded Systems Laboratory. This lab provides cadets with the ability to design, build, and test electronic circuits with embedded microcontrollers. The combination of PCs, logic analyzers, digital oscilloscopes and other test equipment allow cadets to explore microcontroller interfacing at all levels. Students in the Designing with Microprocessors and Mechatronics courses use this lab.
Signal Processing & Control Systems Laboratory. This laboratory provides facilities to design, build, and analyze digital filters, data acquisition and digital feedback control systems, and realize signal processing algorithms in hardware. This lab supports the Signals and Systems and Dynamic Modeling and Control courses.
Advanced Electronics & Communications Laboratory. This lab contains high-end equipment equivalent to graduate-level labs at other universities to design, build, and test microwave circuits and communication components and systems. This lab is primarily used by the Microwave Engineering and communications systems courses.
Photonics Engineering Laboratory. This lab contains lasers, oscilloscopes, spectrum analyzers, and other equipment for the generation of optical signals and their transmission through free space and fiber optic cables. The equipment provides cadets with hands-on demonstrations of the fundamentals of geometrical optics, lasers, LEDs, photodetectors, holography, and fiber optic communication systems. This lab is primarily used by the Photonics Engineering course and students working on senior design and independent study projects.
Power & Machines Laboratory. This laboratory contains integrated workstations for the study of AC and DC power generation, transmission, and utilization. The workstations were designed by faculty members and built especially for USMA. This lab also includes a test station for the characterization of small DC motors consisting of a 160A DC power supply, dynamometer, and torque/speed controller. Students in the Electric Power Engineering and Mechatronics courses and students working on senior design projects use this lab.
Robotics Laboratory. This lab supports the research, development and testing of robotic systems. The lab is equipped with measurement and testing tools including a camera based visual tracking system and a global positioning system simulator. Students in the Robotics depth thread and senior design projects use this lab.
Fabrication shops
Our fabrication capabilities printed circuit layout and fabrication by both wet and dry machining processes, surface-mount soldering, and extensive numerically-controlled machining and manufacturing capability. A local stock of over 1000 types of electronic items (our "radio shack") minimizes needs for special ordering to complete cadet design-build-test projects. On-site calibration support keeps all equipment in excellent operating order.