Research poles

Conflict studies

The research pole Conflict Studies develops a high-level expertise in the history of contemporary conflicts and the security and defence problems. The research activities focus on

  • The historical analysis of the military conflicts since the First World War.
  • The integration of Belgium in international structures.
  • The military approaches to promoting security.
  • History and geopolitics of Central Africa.

Environmental Mechanics and Mobility Applications

The EMMA research pole focuses on the relation between mechanical devices and their environment (vibrations, acoustics, ageing, air quality, sensing) as well as on the performance, stability and technology of mobility platforms in the air, sea, and land domains whether manned or unmanned.

Plasma Physics

The Laboratory for Plasma Physics of the Royal Military Academy is conducting experimental and theoretical research on plasma physics and fusion energy in the framework of the European thermonuclear fusion research programme and has focused more particularly on the development of Ion Cyclotron Resonance Heating (ICRH) systems. We study the theoretical aspects of the interactions of ICRF waves with fusion plasmas by means of analytical models and sophisticated numerical codes developed in the laboratory. The design of heating systems (antennas) is also an important aspect of our activities, and the LPP has developed antennas for various experiments: Textor (Germany), JET (UK) and W7-X (Germany). The LPP is also strongly involved in the design of an ICRF antenna system for the future international fusion experiment ITER.

Energetic Materials and Blasting Engineering

The activities of the research pole are related to the synthesis, analysis, testing or assessing effects of Explosives, Propellants and Pyrotechnics (Energetic Materials).

Risk, Crisis & Disaster Management (RCDM)

Organizations (such as the military) that operate in crisis settings need to be able to adapt quickly to their complex, hostile and volatile environment. This is the focus of the Research Pole ‘Risk, Crisis & Disaster Management’ (RCDM). Recent work in this area focuses on:

  • Disaster management within a changing disaster landscape
  • The role of leadership style on the creation of learning organizations in deployed military units.
  • Adaptive command in extreme contexts
  • Crisis communication in public organizations
  • Organisational trauma

Signal, Systems & Sensors, Information & Intelligence, Communication

The SIC develops a high-level expertise in C4I Command, Control, Communication, Computers & Information) systems. The research focuses on the processing of data recorded from a wide area of sensors (radar signals and images, optical and thermal images, navigation signals, radio signals, …) in order to support a decision process. The recorded data can be affected by passive or active countermeasures hampering the information extraction. The processing can range from a simple sensor-specific processing to a large scale AI-based multi-sensor & multi-temporal processing. The expertise that was build-up is applied in both security and Defence-related problems.

Life Sciences

The LIFE research pole represents the biomedical pillar of research within Belgian Defence with the global research goals of sustaining and optimizing health and performance of all the operational personnel of the Belgian Defence.