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AFMC Command News

AFRL’s Expeditionary Energy Campaign commences

  • Published
  • By Bud Boulter
  • Air Force Research Laboratory Transformational Capabilities Office

The National Defense Strategy identifies the need to project combat power via expeditionary forces to counter global threats in all theatres of operation. These forces require fuel and power to move, fight and sustain. The Air Force Research Laboratory’s Transformational Capabilities Office launched the Expeditionary Energy Campaign to fund innovative energy technologies (e.g., flex-fuel and renewable power generation, wireless power transmission, etc.) that offer needle-moving capability enhancements for the expeditionary warfighter.

The Expeditionary Energy Campaign calls on AFRL to partner with eight energy technology companies (selected from the AFWERX Reimagining Energy Challenge for the Department of Defense to help each understand the expeditionary realm and to connect with potential Air Force and Space Force users.) Contract awards were completed across the portfolio, providing funding to all eight companies for a Phase 1 six-month, $200,000 feasibility study. Based upon an assessment of military utility, some of the solutions may receive additional funding for a limited demonstration to show proof of concept.

The following companies were selected for a feasibility study.

The AES Corporation, located in Arlington, Virginia, is a Fortune 500 global power company that operates on four continents. They are a leader in renewable energy and energy storage, and are the fifth largest solar developer in the world. The company’s Phase 1 study title is “4S—Swift Standalone Solar + Storage—to Mitigate Fuel Dependence and Reduce Logistical Risks.”

Florida Turbine Technologies, Inc., a Division of Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, headquartered in Jupiter, Florida, has been making turbomachinery solutions since 1998 and has previously accomplished work with AFRL. The company’s Phase 1 study will focus on the development of a lightweight, power-dense portable generator system for expeditionary forces.

IceWind, LLC, located in San Marcos, Texas, is developing the IceWind Power Platform to integrate power generation, distribution and energy storage, and solving the DOD’s need for distributed energy that is easily deployable for the warfighter. The company’s Phase 1 study title is “Military-Deployable IceWind Power Platform for Expeditionary Environments.”

Influit Energy, LLC, located in Chicago, develops novel, patented nanotechnology-based functional liquids, or nanofluids, that enable powerful solutions for a variety of energy challenges. By changing the surface chemistry of nanoparticles, Influit Energy has created new, low-viscosity liquids that can more effectively transport and store energy in various forms. The company’s Phase 1 study is titled “Nanoelectrofuel (NEF) Refueling POD.”

Reach Labs, located in Emeryville, California, is a technology company with competencies in scalable radio frequency wireless power transmission, collaborative energy mesh network algorithms, adaptive electromagnetic metamaterial design, bidirectional high power, high-efficiency conversion circuitry, and intelligent power management software. The company’s Phase 1 study will address designs for a passive relay, akin to a simple lens, used to focus a wireless power signal, enabling increased range between transmitter and receiver nodes.

Resonant Link, located in Burlington, Vermont, offers high-performance wireless power for mission-critical applications. Resonant Link is exploring the feasibility of a scalable, forward-deployable, and ultra-high-efficiency wireless charging system to support an all-electric flight line, including ground support equipment.

Liftwave, Inc. DBA RISE Robotics, located in Somerville, Massachusetts, has invented a replacement for hydraulic systems that will enable the next era of fully electrified heavy machinery — one that is sustainable, robust and precise. The startup’s core technology is an electrically powered mechanical linear actuator with all of the abilities of a hydraulic cylinder, but vastly improved efficiency and control. The company’s Phase 1 study is “Feasibility of RISE™ Technology to Electrify Air Force Equipment.”

Siemens Energy, Inc., located in Orlando, Florida, is a global team of more than 91,000 employees and has worldwide expertise in turbine technology, power generation, power management and several other power related areas. The company’s Phase 1 study title is “Siemens Hummingbird Micro Gas Turbine in Expeditionary Operations.”