June 16, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
A Gulfstream C-37A taxis on the flight line at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, May 3, 2021, carrying Gen. Mark Kelly, USAF, commander of Air Combat Command and his team for a visit about the base’s rebuild. The Air Force’s innovation hub, AFWERX, is conducting a new consecutive three-part challenge to bring in solutions for flightline security, advanced sensors and communication, and aircraft maintenance. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Anabel Del Valle

The U.S. Air Force’s innovation arm, AFWERX, is looking for state-of-the-art data, sensor and communication solutions in three concurrent competition areas: the Aircraft Maintenance Operations Challenge; the Flightline Security Challenge; and the Airfield Maintenance and Repair Challenge, which are all part of a greater effort called the Revolutionizing USAF Flightline Operations Challenge.

April 6, 2021

Enlighten IT Consulting LLC, Linthicum Heights, Maryland, has been awarded a $66,294,372 firm-fixed-price contract to provide Enterprise Logging Ingest and Cyber Situational Awareness Refinery (ELICSAR) Big Data Platform (BDP) to provide Air Force enterprise data analytics and further development and deployment of ELICSAR in the unclassified, secret, and top secret domains. ELICSAR BDP is a government-owned, cloud-based platform that collects data and enables complex analytics to identify advanced cyber threats. Work will be performed in Linthicum Heights, Maryland, and is expected to be completed March 31, 2024. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition using AFWERX Commercial Solutions Opening authority.

March 26, 2021

Collaboration.Ai LLC, Minneapolis, Minnesota, was awarded a $10,000,000 maximum indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (H92408-21-D-0002) with firm-fixed-price and cost-reimbursable contract line items to facilitate AFWERX Challenges using its Augmented Human/Community Performance Platform to conduct market research for the High Speed Vertical Takeoff and Landing aircraft concept. Fiscal 2021 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $250,000 are being obligated at the time of award. The facilitation will primarily be conducted virtually and is expected to be completed by March 2024. This is a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase III contract award.

November 1, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
The flexibility that flying orbs present the military is game-changing, notes Col. Nathan Diller, USAF, director, Agility Prime, and director, AFWERX. Beta Technologies’ six-seat lift and cruise aircraft has a 50-foot wingspan.  Beta Technologies

The U.S. Air Force is preparing to have initial electric vertical takeoff and landing, or eVTOL, testing by December and a more substantial fielding of an estimated 30 or more eVTOL aircraft by 2023. The service’s Agility Prime program is pursuing a so-called Air Race to Certification, seeking a global advantage in eVTOL, says Col. Nathan Diller, USAF, director, Agility Prime, and director, AFWERX.

Agility Prime is one of three experiments that adds innovation quickly—in addition to Spark and Air Force Ventures—and represents a new approach for the service, Col. Diller says.

August 24, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
LIFT Aircraft CEO Matthew Chasen shows Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett the controls of the company's Hexa electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft at Camp Mabry, Texas, on August 20. The demonstration, hosted by the Texas Air National Guard, was the first in a series that the service's Agility Prime will hold this fall as it strives to field eVTOL aircraft by 2023. Credit: Air National Guard photo by Staff. Sgt. Sean Kornegay

Last Thursday afternoon, leaders deemed the first demonstration of a flying orb by AFWERX’s Agility Prime effort a success. The event was the first in a series of steps toward the U.S. Air Force fielding electric vertical takeoff and landing, or eVTOLs, by 2023.

April 1, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
A new augmented reality platform will help pilots train in the air with digital assets.  Design by SIGNAL Art Director of DOD photo by Tech. Sgt. Ned Johnston, Air Force Thunderbirds

A technology that harnesses augmented reality will enable the U.S. Air Force to train in the air for initial pilot qualification, dogfighting, refueling and maneuvering. The A-TARS augmented reality platform, or Airborne Tactical Augmented Reality System, developed by California-based Red 6, provides virtual opponents, such as the fifth generation Chinese J-20 and Russian Su-57, for pilot’s aerial dogfighting training runs, as well as other aerial digital assets to develop and enhance different piloting skills.

January 29, 2020
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
A new tool from West Lafayette, Indiana-based PlaneEnglish provides a training application for new pilots learning to speak with air traffic controllers during all flight phases, from taxi out, to takeoff, to airspace entrance, approach, landing and taxi in, the company says. Credit: PlaneEnglish

The U.S. Air Force and its innovation arm, AFWERX, have funded an application-based simulator of aviation radio communications through a $1 million Phase II Small Business Innovation Research award. The tool, called PlaneEnglish, offers a training environment for pilots to learn aviation speak and radio telephony flight procedures by simulating communications between the pilot and air traffic control. 

September 13, 2019

Milpatis, California-based Avocado Systems* received a $1.8 million Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program Phase II award from the U.S. Air Force to evaluate the company's ability to protect Air Force data centers and cloud systems, according to a company announcement. Through AFWERX, the award has the company evaluating Avocado's patented application security solution to secure enterprise level cloud and data center infrastructures. The company's Pico-Segmentation technology secures application, web and data tiers inside of clouds and data centers, a company official stated. *Small Business

May 15, 2019

The U.S. Air Force awarded a contract to Chandler, Arizona-based Privoro to demonstrate the company's SafeCase anti-surveillance mobile device technology. The solution will be used with the Air Force's Mobile Device Management system to prevent mobile espionage by securely masking microphones and blocking cameras on smartphones, providing users improved 24/7 operational security. The Air Force will also use SafeCase in a blue force tracking platform to enhance Air Force Command Center awareness and improve agent safety for personnel in and outside the United States, the company announced recently.