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Materials and Manufacturing Directorate
Air Force Research Lab working to develop future workforce
Ensuring a steady supply of technical and scientific expertise for American industry and innovation has been a national priority since about 1957 when the Soviet Union launched its first Sputnik. Today, however, with the increasingly rapid pace of high technology, the need to attract young people to the field of advanced technical manufacturing has become even more critical. To meet that need, the Air Force Research Lab recently tasked NextFlex with finding ways to attract students who might not otherwise consider such a career path.
Air Force, university scientists share vision for unconventional computing
Conventional computing hardware represents information as ones and zeros, depending on the state of electronic transistors. This creates artificial bottlenecks in the flow of information processing by first requiring that environmental loads be converted into an electronic state and second by routing the information to centralized computers for processing. Researchers from Wright-Patterson’s Air Force Research Lab, along with collaborators from the University of Pennsylvania, University of York and Northwestern University, argue in a recently published Nature perspective paper that new and unconventional ways of representing information in materials could be the key to removing these bottlenecks and redistributing this computing burden.
AFRL Materials Characterization Facility pushes state of the art
The Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base recently renovated their materials characterization facility to meet the ever-advancing needs of materials research.
Washington State Patrol pilots successfully test special laser eye protection developed at Wright-Patterson Lab
Aiming a laser at an aircraft is a federal crime that can net offenders up to five years in jail or cost them a $250,000 fine. Even with this heavy potential penalty, laser strikes have become increasingly more common. According to the FAA, 6,852 such incidents were reported in 2020, compared with 385 in 2006, and so far this year, incidents of “joy lasing” are up 20 percent over last year. Cheap and easily obtained, hand-held lasers used as pointers and cat toys are certainly harmless when used as intended. But when they are aimed at the cockpit of an aircraft, they can temporarily blind the pilot — with possibly deadly consequences.
AFRL Materials scientist receives NextFlex 2021 Fellow Award
Dr. Jeremy Ward, a scientist at Wright-Patterson’s Air Force Research Laboratory, has received a 2021 Fellow Award from NextFlex, America’s Flexible Hybrid Electronics (FHE) Manufacturing Institute. Ward was one of four recipients.
AFRL testing made Perseverance, the search for life on Mars possible
On February 18, 2021, NASA’s rover Perseverance touched down on the surface of Mars to begin searching for evidence of past life. The success of this touchdown would not have been possible without the work of a team of researchers who operate unique erosion testing equipment in a windowless bunker at Wright-Patterson’s Air Force Research Lab. And this is not the only Dayton connection to this particular Mars mission.
Team from Air Force Research Lab finds a way to use packaged snow as explosion protection
In March 2021, a team from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base’s Junior Force Warfighter Operations in the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate (designated “JFWORX”) led a collaborative, live-fire test with explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) personnel from the 354th Civil Engineer Squadron at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Because the extreme cold of Alaskan winters often makes standard ordnance disposal procedures inadequate if not impossible, JFWORX was asked to formally evaluate the use of a readily available resource — snow — as a protective barrier between live ordnance and people or property or both.
AFRL approves Cooperative Research and Development Agreement for silicon photonics
The Air Force Research Laboratory recently approved a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement between its Nanoelectronic Materials Branch and Iris Light Technologies. The collaboration will be working to develop hybrid silicon lasers. Sometimes called the “holy grail of optoelectronics,” these miniature lasers are part of a broader field of technology known as silicon photonics.
AFRL researchers demonstrate record-breaking RF isolator performance in ultra-compact device
As the USAF continues with the unrelenting pursuit of driving down the size, weight and power of radio frequency (RF) components, the inherent challenges in these types of technologies are compounded. The typical difficulties of making smaller mechanical and physical components, however, are dwarfed by the challenges posed by making the required onboard electronic equipment smaller, lighter, and less power-hungry.
AFRL Materials and Manufacturing Directorate celebrates annual awards recipients
The Air Force Research Laboratory’s Materials and Manufacturing Directorate recently held their 68th Annual Awards Ceremony to honor its top achievers. Masters of ceremony were Dr. Jonathan Spowart from the Materials Integrity Branch and Mr. Keith Slinker from the Composite Branch.
AFRL researchers, partners uncover hidden features in two-dimensional materials
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE – Nanomaterials continue to amaze scientists and engineers with
AFRL discovers new technique for creating electronics using “Transformative Manufacturing”
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio - Electronic circuits, the backbone of modern electronic
Air Force evaluates next generation light cart prototype at joint exercise, reduces barriers for flightline electrification
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – The Air Force Research Laboratory seeks to meet the needs of
Air Force partners with universities in next-generation minority leaders research collaboration program
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – The objective of the Air Force Research Laboratory Research
Air Force ups the ante on supersonic rain erosion testing
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE Base, Ohio (AFRL) - The Supersonic Rain Erosion Test Rig (SuRE) at