ATD is a budget operation (BA) 3 in a Research, Development, Testing and Evaluation (RTD & E) account.
ATD involves subsystem and component creation, and attempts to incorporate subsystems and components into prototype systems for field testing or simulated environment experiments. ATD also includes conceptual and technical presentations (CTDs) of system components and subsystems or models. Models can be shape, fit and function (F3) prototypes or scale versions which work for the same demonstration purpose.
Projects usually relate directly to established military needs. The outcomes of the standard efforts are a measure of technical viability and an evaluation of the operability and production capability of the subsystems and components rather than material development for service use. Program elements (PE) funded under this BA typically include pre-milestone B attempts, such as demonstrations of systems theory, collaborative and service-specific tests, or presentations of technologies. ATDs are sponsored by ATD.