March 6, 2018

George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, has been awarded a $25,520,067 cost-reimbursement contract for Mobile Unmanned/Manned Distributed Lethality Airborne Network (MUDLAN). The university will help demonstrate airborne high bandwidth, multi-beam common data link, autonomous connectivity between tactical data links Transition and Distribution/Access/Range Extension (DARE) Joint Area Layer Network (JALN) layers within pod-mounted systems high bandwidth, directional, multi-beam communications long haul, high date rate connectivity to swarming unmanned aircraft systems and small unmanned aircraft systems. Work will be performed in Fairfax, Virginia, and is expected to be complete by March 2, 2021.

March 1, 2018
By George I. Seffers
The Air Force Distributed Common Ground Station is receiving a new open architecture that will allow more rapid adoption of new capabilities and is destined to obtain deep learning technology to enhance data analysis and multidomain command and control.

The U.S. Air Force is deploying a new open architecture for its primary intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance system. At the same time, Air Force researchers are developing deep learning capabilities that will allow the decades-old system to sort through reams of data more easily, enabling faster decision making on the battlefield and enhancing multidomain command and control.

January 18, 2018
Kimberly Underwood
Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson, Gen. Stephen Wilson, USAF, vice chief of staff for the Air Force, and Air Force Maj. Gen. William Cooley, commander, Air Force Research Laboratory, discuss the process to update the service's research priorities.

While the Air Force is coming up with a budget and a five-year plan in the next few weeks, it also will tackle a much larger effort, the development of a long-term research and development plan to the year 2030. The examination of research priorities will include a look at how the service spends research dollars and how it can modernize business tactics. The Air Force is partnering with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, respectively, along with several public universities for the planning effort dubbed #AF2030.

December 20, 2017

UES Incorporated, Dayton, Ohio, has been awarded a $21,969,637 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to perform materials characterization research of aerospace materials and to develop tools, software and techniques to advance the state of the art in electron, x-ray, ion and optical microscopy as it pertains to materials characterization and microanalysis. Work will be performed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, with an expected completion date of April 3, 2023. Fiscal 2017 research and development funds in the amount of $238,550 are being obligated at the time of award.

December 20, 2017

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, Dallas, Texas, has been awarded an $110,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the Gray Wolf missile prototype science and technology demonstration effort. The contract provides for the design, development, manufacture, and testing of prototype-affordable cruise missiles to advance networked collaborative operations technologies for defeat of enemy integrated air defense systems. Work will be performed in Dallas, Texas, with an expected completion date of December 17, 2022. Fiscal year 2018 research and development funds in the amount of $2,814,490 are being obligated at the time of award. This contract was a competitive acquisition, and seven offers were received.

December 5, 2018

The Department of Defense (DoD) Information Analysis Center’s (IAC) Cybersecurity Technical Area Task (TAT) awarded $37 million to MacAulay-Brown, Incorporated of Dayton, Ohio. Under the task order, the company will provide cybersecurity and information systems support to the Air Force Research Laboratory's (AFRL's) Enterprise Business System (EBS).

September 25, 2017

The Air Force has tapped two universities to develop speech recognition technologies. One of the awards goes to the University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles, California, for $17,079,713, while the other award goes to Columbia University in New York, for $14,884,945. Both of the universities will perform research in developing and integrating agile and robust automatic speech recognition, machine translation, cross-language information retrieval, and summarization technologies into functional end-to-end systems. Work at USC and Columbia will be performed in Marina del Rey, California, and New York, respectivley, and should be completed August 22, 2021.

September 1, 2017
By George I. Seffers
Benji Maruyama, a senior materials research engineer at the Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL’s) Functional Materials Division, stands by the AFRL’s Autonomous Research System (ARES), which uses artificial intelligence to design, execute and analyze experiments at a pace much faster than traditional scientific research methods.

The U.S. Air Force’s most prolific scientist likely will never wear a lab coat, but it can perform experiments 100 times faster than its human counterparts. The robo-researcher may one day help spark explosive growth in scientific knowledge.

The Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL’s) Autonomous Research System (ARES) does not fit the conventional idea of a robotic system. It is not humanoid. It does not move freely across the ground or fly through the air. But in a single day, it can autonomously execute 100 experiments, compared with about one for its human peers.

August 30, 2017
By Kimberly Underwood
Soldiers at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, test the new positioning technology being developed by Echo Ridge.

The military is developing a new battlefield tool that will help ground forces navigate hostile territory without the susceptibility of GPS platforms. Instead, warfighters will use radio frequency signals as a source of positioning information. To display navigational solutions on a map, the tool connects to a smartphone running the Air Force’s Android Tactical Assault Kit.

In conjunction with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Sterling, Virginia-based Echo Ridge LLC is designing the technology to fit in a small, low-power package that can be carried by ground operators, according to Mark Smearcheck, an electronics engineer with the AFRL Sensors Directorate.

August 15, 2017

Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation, Manassas, Virginia (FA8650-17-D-2715), and Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation, Redondo Beach, California (FA8650-17-D-2719), have been awarded a $499,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity shared ceiling for six contracts for the Aerospace Systems Air Platform Technology Research program. These contracts provide research for affordable, revolutionary capabilities for the warfighter, including cost-effective, survivable air vehicle platforms for delivering weapons and cargo worldwide. Work will be performed in Manassas, Virginia; and Redondo Beach, California, and is expected to be completed by 2025. This award is the result of competitive acquisition and six offers were received.

June 27, 2017
By Maryann Lawlor
The TrueNorth chip has the equivalent of 1 million neurons and 256 million synapses in a form of a postage stamp.

The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and IBM are collaborating on a brain-inspired supercomputing system powered by a 64-chip array. The laboratory is investigating applications for the system in embedded, mobile, autonomous settings where limiting factors today include size, weight and power.

As an end-to-end software ecosystem, the scalable platform would enable deep neural-network learning and information discovery. Its advanced pattern recognition and sensory processing power would be the equivalent of 64 million neurons and 16 billion synapses; however, the processor component only will consume approximately 10 watts, the equivalent of a dim light bulb.

August 1, 2015
By George I. Seffers
The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds perform a six-ship formation flyover during an air show. Researchers want to know which indicators of personal performance—heart rate or body sway, for example—begin to synchronize when a team works well together.

U.S. Air Force researchers intend next year to provide a system on the commercial market that will significantly improve collaboration capabilities among groups, whether special forces, cyberwarfare, medical or sports teams. The combat fitness tool will categorize teams or individuals as being in red, yellow or green zones, offering an easy-to-understand assessment of readiness levels that will allow commanders to decide if a person needs a break, whether a team’s workload should be rebalanced or if one team is better prepared than another to tackle a specific mission or task.

August 16, 2013
George I. Seffers


January 24, 2013
George I. Seffers

SIX3 Advanced Systems Inc., Dulles, Va., is being awarded a $7,035,000 contract modification for establishment of program requirements and milestones for Cyber Fast Track Commercial Agreements. The location of the performance is Dulles, Va. Work is expected to be completed by Jan. 18, 2014. The contracting activity is the Air Force Research Laboratory, Rome, N.Y.

January 2, 2013
George I. Seffers

Science Applications International Corp., McLean, Va., is being awarded a $24,525,000 cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for high-energy research and applications and high-power microwave and plasma technologies. The contracting activity is the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. 

November 17, 2012
George I. Seffers

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Herndon, Va., is being awarded a $10,208,232 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for software enhancements for the Automated Virtual Information Production Support System. The contracting activity is U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, Rome, N.Y.

December 10, 2012
George I. Seffers

Northrop Grumman Information Systems, Herndon, Va., is being awarded a $49,618,000 cost plus fixed fee, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract for information processing for data to decision making in support of the functions and customers of the Air Force Command and Control Integration Center and the 35th Information Squadron. The contracting activity is the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, Rome, N.Y.  

November 9, 2012
George I. Seffers

Raytheon BBN Technologies Corp., Cambridge, Mass., is being awarded a $16,487,403 cost plus fixed fee contract for alert dissemination and event profiles from text as part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Deep Exploration and Filtering of Text Program. The contracting activity is the Air Force Research Laboratory, Rome, N.Y. 

November 9, 2012
George I. Seffers

Pacific Defense Solutions LLC, Kihei, Hawaii is being awarded a $9,724,737 cost plus fixed fee contract for space situational awareness research and development. The contracting activity is Air Force Research Laboratory, Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. 

November 9, 2012
George I. Seffers

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Poway, Calif., is being awarded a $7,034,404.00 cost-plus-fixed fee, research and development contract for the continuous look/attack management for the Predator software updates. The contracting activity is the Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.