Air Force Technologies

Tuesday, February 02, 2010
By Maryann Lawlor

 

Wearing chemical warfare gear, Staff Sgt. Tamara Needle, USAF, 355th Communications Squadron, checks her e-mail during a recent exercise. Brig. Gen. Steven J. Spano, USAF, director of communications (A-6), headquarters, Air Combat Command (ACC), believes that service members should have a computer interface other than e-mail that encourages collaboration.

June 2009
By Robert K. Ackerman

 

A U.S. Air Force Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) air weapons officer tracks potential targets during a mission over Iraq. The E-8 Joint STARS aircraft is undergoing a modernization that affects an even larger overhaul of
Air Force command and control.

June 2009
By Maryann Lawlor

 

Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) aircraft before the beyond-line-of-sight (BLOS) communications capability was installed and after is minute but mighty. The small orb located on top of the airplane’s tail is one piece of the new Joint STARS BLOS capability, which creates a secure airborne network.

June 2009
By Rita Boland

 

The Distributed Mission Operations (DMO) system allows operators to hone their homeland defense skills using a combination of real and virtual tools. Here, operators use simulators to train on a homeland defense scenario.

January 2008
By Henry S. Kenyon

 
Key U.S. Defense Department command and control and logistics applications are vulnerable to new types of cyberspace attacks. The U.S. Air Force’s Application Software Assurance Center of Excellence (ASACE) seeks to assess mission-critical applications for vulnerabilities and to correct them when they are detected.
New center seeks to shield vital military applications from evolving threats.

January 2008
By Robert K. Ackerman

 
A U.S. Air Force Delta II booster launches the newest global positioning system (GPS) satellite into orbit. With the military and the private sector placing greater reliance on satellites for daily operations, the Air Force Space Command is increasing its emphasis on protecting space-based assets.
Air Force command moves to ensure continuity amid varied challenges.

March 2007
By Robert K. Ackerman

 
A Proteus testbed aircraft carries the Global Hawk variant of the U.S. Air Force’s new multiplatform radar technology insertion program radar. The Electronic Systems Center (ESC) program will equip the unmanned aerial vehicle as well as other platforms with a radar that can feed data into the Air Force’s Airborne Network.
Diverse electronics systems find common ground.

March 2007
By Robert K. Ackerman

 
Scientists at the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory test a composite radar antenna that can serve as the skin of an aircraft. Breakthroughs in low- and high-band radar antenna technology are clearing the way for aircraft exteriors built largely of sensors.
Radar advances clear the way for long-duration sensor aircraft.

October 2006
By Henry S. Kenyon

October 2006
By Robert K. Ackerman

 
The F-35A Joint Strike Fighter, christened the Lightning II, offers the pilot next-generation situational awareness from sensor fusion.
Advanced sensor fusion gives F-35 operators full knowledge of their environment.

October 2006
By Maryann Lawlor

 
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company’s Advanced Development Programs sector is proposing a morphing wing design that can be locked into either an expanded or contracted position. Key to enabling this capability is the aircraft’s skin, which is made out of a shape memory polymer.
Morphing capability would offer flexible tactical options.

October 2006
By Maryann Lawlor

 
Part of the U.S. Air Force’s computer network defense efforts involve 67th Network Warfare Wing airmen monitoring Internet activity from a center located at Lackland Air Force Base. The wing falls under the auspices of the newly created Air Force Network Operations Command (AFNETOPS), Barksdale Air Force Base.
Reorganization boosts Air Force ability to fly and fight in air, space and cyberspace.

February 2001
By Robert K. Ackerman

Researchers even consider Greek mythology to stay ahead of enemy technological advances.

Future U.S. Air Force sensors will serve multiple roles as detectives, guards, messengers and avengers. New active and passive systems will network, exchange information, formulate opinions and even lead the fight against adversaries on the ground and in the air.

Existing technologies will see improved capabilities amid reduced costs. Advances in signal processing are opening up new areas of sensor application. And, the process of designing and building state-of-the-art sensor systems is inspiring Air Force scientists to develop countermeasures to equivalent enemy technologies.

February 2001
By Maryann Lawlor

Sharp infrastructure allows users to dig deeper for data.

The U.S. Air Force is spearheading the joint community’s pursuit to meet the need for speed—in a realm other than aircraft. A Web-based system developed by the service is providing the boost that commanders and intelligence specialists need to attain the goal of striking a target within seven minutes of a command to attack.

February 2001
By Robert K. Ackerman

High technology takes on a literal meaning as exotic programs gain altitude.

Autonomous batwing aircraft, boomerang-shaped surveillance vehicles, hypersonic exoatmospheric bombers and rapid-turnaround space launchers may be leading Air Force wings in this new millennium. As the F-22 becomes operational and the Joint Strike Fighter undergoes selection testing, Air Force scientists are pursuing extraordinary new vehicles that reflect the service’s maturing mission as well as revolutionary capabilities.

July 2000
By Capt. Allan D. Bartolome, USAF, Scott Gustafson and Steve Presley

Engineers and customers collaborate to analyze effectiveness of proposed innovative technologies.

A synergistic interaction between experts, processes and technology is producing concepts of space systems for the U.S. Air Force that will effectively use current and planned assets to address future warfighters’ needs. In a corporate facility dedicated to maximizing a coordinated team approach, specialists in utility, availability, cost, power, propulsion, software and payloads develop consistent point designs in as little as three days.

July 2000
By Maryann Lawlor

Battlelab employs might of the Four Horsemen to formalize tasking order processes, procedures.

Military and civilian command and control experts are exploring new ways to exploit one of the most powerful weapons in the U.S. Air Force arsenal—information. Processes, procedures and technologies currently under development are scheduled to be put into place later this year and in early 2001.

July 2000
By Robert K. Ackerman

Joint experiments, intelligent agents and simulation come together to lay the groundwork for future battlespace information systems.

U.S. Air Force experts are introducing new methods of developing, deploying and exploiting information systems in the joint environment. However, instead of inventing new technologies for leap-ahead capabilities, planners now are innovating system architectures and operational methodologies to provide more efficient and effective networking and information access.

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February 2005
By Robert K. Ackerman

 
The E-10A will help define the future U.S. Air Force as a multifaceted network-centric force. Its sensor capabilities, which will migrate to other aircraft, will be vastly improved over existing systems. And, its ability to share data will be the linchpin of the Air Force's digitized battlespace. 

Progress may hinge on solving hardware and software challenges.

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