AFRL to highlight lab’s efforts to ‘drive the future fight’ at AFA Warfare Symposium

AFRL to highlight lab’s efforts to ‘drive the future fight’ at AFA Warfare Symposium

by Aleah M. Castrejon for AFRL News

Wright-Patterson AFB OH (SPX) Jan 21, 2024

The Air Force Research Laboratory, or AFRL, will showcase nine technologies during the Air and Space Forces Association’s Warfare Symposium Feb. 12-14, 2024, at the Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center in Aurora, Colorado.

This year’s AFA conference theme is “Preparing for Great Power Conflict”, and attendees can expect to see AFRL displays highlighting multiple programs and technologies with a special focus on science and technology, or S and T. The AFRL exhibit booth theme is “Drive the Future Fight.”

Maj. Gen. Scott A. Cain, AFRL commander, will participate in a panel discussion titled “The Hypersonics Weapons Fight” Feb. 13, 2024, at 3:35 p.m. in the convention center’s Aurora Ballroom. Additional panelists will include Gen. Glen D. VanHerck, commander, U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command; retired Navy Vice Adm. Jon A. Hill, former director of the Missile Defense Agency; and Derek Tournear, director of the Space Development Agency within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. Dr. Mark Lewis, Air Force chief scientist from 2004-2008 and currently CEO of Purdue Applied Research Institute, will moderate discussion.

AFRL programs and technologies on display

AFRL’s booth at the symposium will highlight warfighting technologies and programs that emphasize AFRL’s technological superiority and recent advancements in the lab to support the nation’s defense. These include high mach turbine engines, or HMTE; Rapid Energetics and Advanced Rocket Manufacturing, or RE-ARM; missile utility transformation via articulated nose technology, or MUTANT; Electronic Warfare/Electromagnetic Spectrum Systems, or AERRES; Counter Uncrewed Aircraft Systems, or UAS; Global Lightning; Biocementation; En Route Care Training; and Autonomous Closed Loop Control of Mechanical Ventilation.

HMTE are optimal for supersonic applications and allow the Air Force to unlock additional trade space in terms of speed, range and payload size and type. HMTE is applied to standoff missiles in the near term, and as part of the integrated solution for reusable hypersonic platforms long term.

AFRL’s RE-ARM program is developing inexpensive solid rocket motor, or SRM, production equipment enabling revolutionary, affordable, flexible, scalable capability to produce state-of-the-art SRMs to support national defense needs. This approach enables affordable expansion of the industrial base with both current and emerging partners.

Missile utility transformation via articulated nose technology, or MUTANT, is an AFRL technology that is a form of active morphing involving high-rate pivoting of the missile forebody, referred to as articulation. Articulation is accomplished with an articulation control actuation system, comprised of a composite high-strain skin structure that envelops an internal electromagnetic actuation system.

The Strategic Development Planning and Experimentation, or SDPE, AERRES experimentation campaign assesses open architectures for rapid deployment or upgrade of electronic warfare, or EW, software in platform agnostic ways. Through numerous successful flight tests of the capability in partnership with the operational and acquisition communities, AFRL has demonstrated the utility of an open architecture approach to EW. AERRES also illustrates AFRL’s ability to take strategic demand signals and use them to influence design methods that deliver relevant capabilities rapidly to drive change with speed and dominate the electromagnetic spectrum.

Counter UAS is developing and rapidly prototyping systems to detect, identify and defeat adversary UAS in different areas of the world. Automation and machine learning technologies are employed throughout the system to provide this capability.

Global Lightning is a prototyping and experimentation campaign to provide reliable, secure satellite communications to both stationary and mobile users. The focus of the Global Lightning program has now advanced to the creation of multi-constellation systems capable of communicating with five to 10 commercial and military satellite communications systems in low-, medium-, and geostationary orbits (LEO, MEO, and GEO) across multiple frequency bands, referred to as Hybrid SATCOM.

Biocementation uses processes to rapidly expand austere airfields using common agricultural chemicals and natural resources, such as soil and water found at the location. These processes significantly reduce the need for heavy equipment, large teams of civil engineers or large quantities of cement and other materials to be shipped to the site.

En Route Care Training educates and trains total force medical personnel responsible for delivering basic and advanced en route care capabilities within the aeromedical evacuation system using the most advanced modalities and realistic mission environments possible. It also provides potent training venues to fulfill clinical currency and readiness skills requirements.

Autonomous Closed Loop Control of Mechanical Ventilation supplies a unique capability for managing respiratory care patients. It automatically keeps hemoglobin oxygen saturation within a clinician’s target range while reducing oxygen supply requirements without the clinician monitoring its function. This safe alternative provides continuous monitoring and adjustment as ambient pressure or patient conditions change, making it especially relevant for situations like critical care air transport medical missions.

Symposium attendees can access additional information about potential partnership avenues with AFRL by visiting the AFRL exhibit booth. AFRL possesses a rich history of participation in joint science and technology ventures and is actively seeking future collaborations.

To register for the symposium, visit here

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Randy Lanz