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  • AFRL Invents Coherent Beam Combination Technique

    AFRL scientists invented a coherent beam combination technique--Locking of Optical Coherence by Single-Detector Electronic-Frequency Tagging (LOCSET)--that is scalable to a large number of array elements. Existing fiber amplifiers, which are suitable for high-quality beam combination, exhibit 400 W in a single amplifier. The Department of Defense
  • AFRL Researcher Granted All-Cavity Magnetron Axial Extractor Patent

    AFRL directed energy expert Dr. Andrew Greenwood earned a US patent entitled "All-Cavity Magnetron Axial Extractor." The patented technology is a key enabler for packaging a relativistic magnetron high-power microwave (HPM) source into a compact, airborne platform. Previous schemes for extracting microwave energy from a magnetron source required
  • AFRL Completes Automated Aerial Refueling Station-Keeping Flight Test

    AFRL researchers completed a series of automated aerial refueling (AAR) station-keeping flight tests. The test series included the first autonomous flight of an aircraft in the refueling position behind a KC-135 tanker. The purpose of the AAR program is to develop and demonstrate operationally representative subsystems enabling the existing Air
  • AFRL Demonstrates High-Rate Laser Communications Using Optical Phased Arrays

    AFRL scientists used an actively operating optical phased array (OPA) to demonstrate a 10 Gb per second laser communication link. The liquid-crystal-based OPA steered the laser beam while recording laser power levels, communication signal eye diagrams, and overall link error levels. Like liquid crystal display (LCD) monitors and televisions, OPAs
  • Instruments Installed in Greenland Will Enhance Space Weather Forecasts

    Under an international cooperative research project between the US Air Force (AF), Denmark's Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Transport and Energy, and the Greenland Home Rule government, AFRL researchers deployed a suite of five ionospheric monitoring instruments at Station Nord, located in far northeast Greenland. With assistance from the

    AFRL engineers successfully completed a critical design review (CDR) of the Information Support Server Environment (ISSE) version 3.6. Upon completion of the CDR, AFRL received approval to proceed with implementation from major stakeholders, which include the Air Force Command and Control Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Center
  • AFRL Completes Dual-Use Initiative for Nonintrusive Stress Measurement

    AFRL, in partnership with Williams International and Hood Technology Corporation, managed a Dual-Use Science and Technology initiative to advance Nonintrusive Stress Measurement System (NSMS) technology for small turbine engines. Exploiting initial NSMS research conducted by the Arnold Engineering Development Center, the team developed and
  • AFRL Achieves Breakthrough in High-Speed Matching of Titanium

    AFRL and Third Wave Systems, Inc (Minneapolis, Minnesota), collaborated to cut the time and cost of titanium machining. Entering into a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) agreement, the team reduced titanium machining time by 30%. The use of titanium alloys in aircraft manufacturing continues to increase over time due to the element's high
  • AFRL Continues to Find Ways to Decrease Air Vehicle Costs

    An AFRL-led team determined that an air vehicle's pressure gradient can mitigate the detrimental effect that small surface defects have on air vehicle performance. This finding may result in less restrictive manufacturing tolerances, reducing air vehicle manufacturing and maintenance expenses. During the 1940s and 1950s, scientists conducted
  • Manufacturing Technology Program Reduces

    The B-2 Systems Group initiated a major effort to improve the B-2 fleet mission capability (MC) rate. This effort involved the removal of the tape that covers access panel gaps and fasteners, followed by the replacement of the tape with a material known as alternate high-frequency material (AHFM). AHFM exposes the gaps and fasteners, allowing easy