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  • SBIR Company Advances Future Space Computers

    Onboard computers are the primary means of operating satellites that cost millions of dollars to build and launch; once in orbit, however, these computers are not easily repaired if problems arise. Furthermore, space-deployed hardware cannot tolerate data errors, since ordinary microchip performance degrades considerably outside the earth's
  • Revolutionary Rotary Airflow Controller

    The cyclic (on/off) characteristics of pulsed detonation engine (PDE) airflow requirements impose a difficult airflow matching problem for the integration of an unsteady PDE with a high speed limit. Therefore, AFRL engineers developed a revolutionary airflow controller and isolator to (1) control the detonation chamber airflow, (2) provide sealing,
  • AFRL Develops Novel Ceramic-Based Body Armor

    AFRL materials scientists worked with Excera Materials Group (Columbus, Ohio) to develop a novel metal-ceramic hybrid material for use in high-performance, lightweight, low-cost small arms protective inserts (SAPI) for body armor vests. Excera Materials Group is the manufacturer of a unique ceramic material called ONNEX, which the company develops
  • AFRL Successfully Tests small Unmanned Air Vehicles

    As part of the Cooperative Operations in Urban Terrain (COUNTER) project, AFRL scientists used unmanned air vehicles (UAV) to conduct flight tests designed to provide special operations forces with situational awareness in an urban environment. Small obscured urban targets are harder to detect from high altitudes. UAVs flying at lower altitudes
  • AFRL Leads Falcon HTV-1 Model Tests

    The Falcon program, a joint effort between Air Force Space Command and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, is an initiative focused on developing and validating technologies needed for prompt global reach while demonstrating affordable and responsive spacelift. The in-flight technologies undergoing maturity as part of this effort range
  • Cirrus Cloud Study Shows Laser Beam Impact

    AFRL scientists completed a study on the potential impacts that cirrus clouds have on airborne defensive laser systems. These laser systems have envisioned potential both in missile defense and in the engagement of theater ballistic missiles during their boost phase. However, high-energy lasers are subject to optical turbulence that may diffract
  • AFRL Successfully Tests Heat-Pipe-Cooled Leading Edges

    AFRL scientists completed thermal validation tests to verify the performance of a heat-pipe-cooled wing leading edge. The effort, which furthers the development of reliable, maneuverable space operating vehicle (SOV) technology, demonstrated a technology readiness level (TRL) increase, advancing the technology's viability from TRL 4 to TRL 5. The
  • New Rocket Engine Combustion Cycle Technology Testing Reaches 100% Power Level

    America's rocket propulsion capabilities recently achieved an important milestone. During tests conducted at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Stennis Space Center (near Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi), the nation's only staged-combustion liquid booster rocket engine now in development reached "steady-state" operation at 100%
  • AFRL Successfully Completes GDE-2 Testing

    AFRL engineers completed testing of the second-generation Ground Demonstration Engine, known as GDE-2, at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Langley Research Center's 8 ft high-temperature tunnel (Hampton, Virginia). The GDE-2 is a hydrocarbon-fueled supersonic combustion ramjet (scramjet) engine featuring a single integrated
  • AFRL Develops a Unified Taxonomy for Assessing Visionic Devices

    A cooperative effort between scientists at AFRL's Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, facilities and the US Army's Aeromedical Research Laboratory, Fort Rucker, Alabama, produced more than 40 test methodologies for conducting laboratory evaluations of visionic devices. The key to properly applying these methodologies lies in the associated,