AFRL is leveraging advances in synthetic biology to optimize Airmen performance and health, and to develop next-generation materials to provide an asymmetric advantage to our warfighters and weapon systems. Synthetic biology, where biosciences, information sciences and engineering converge, provides ways of creating materials and manipulating biological process for sensing and improving airman performance. AFRL is part of larger DoD effort (in collaboration with Army and Navy) in exploiting synthetic biology for Defense applications. The AFRL team recently engineered a human gut microorganism to produce a beneficial metabolite when a stress biomarker is sensed, and this is undergoing testing using state-of-the-art in vitro systems developed by the Air Force. The ultimate goal is to enhance the resilience of our Airmen.
AFRL, NASA partner on aerospace physiology to spin into next era of space travel
But due in part to the relationship between the Air Force and NASA as well as the location and unique capabilities of the Defense Department’s only human-rated centrifuge, 10 astronauts in their royal blue flight suits walked through the doors of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s 711th Human Performance Wing here Nov. 1 to undergo two days of centrifuge testing.
“We are thrilled to have…
Secure Live Virtual Constructive Advanced Training Environment
The Secure Live Virtual Constructive (LVC) Advanced Training Environment (SLATE) training is filling major training gaps for our pilots.
This Advanced Technology Demonstration was established in March 2015 as a 40-month effort with the specific direction to evaluate critical enabling technologies required to field a live, virtual, and constructive (LVC)-capable training system architecture and structure.
This is a complex AFRL program touching multiple technology areas as well as the Air Combat Command, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Secretary of the Air Force, Headquarters Air Force, National Security Agency, Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the United States Navy. Program vendor partners include Cubic Corporation, Boeing, L-3 Technologies, Rickard Consulting Group, Inc., and Massachusetts Institute of Technology-Lincoln Labs.
An LVC capability is seen by many as a potentially cost-effective, realistic and secure approach to satisfying major documented training gaps for air, land, space, multi-service, and multi-national users. The goal of the SLATE ATD is to demonstrate, evaluate, analyze, and report the current technology readiness levels of these ‘LVC critical enabling technologies,’ so that the USAF requirements and acquisition communities will be informed as LVC capabilities are processed for fielding to the warfighter.
Air Force Special Operations personnel face a number of challenges in the battlefield. Many of these can be attributed to complexity and weight (over 100 pounds) of the gear they carry on a typical mission. The Battlefield Air Targeting Man-Aided kNowledge (B.A.T.M.A.N.) program works to eliminate these challenges. Our researches have created ways to reduce operator fatigue and workload in combat environments; increase mission effectiveness; reduce tactical decision-making time and errors in accessing and transmitting mission information; and enhance battlefield situation awareness, communication and information processing. Examples include:
The Battlefield Assisted Trauma Distributed Observation Kit (BATDOK) is a revolutionary mobile tool in battlefield patient care. It provides an intuitive means to monitor multiple patients’ vitals wirelessly, autonomously documents patient care, and transmits data throughout the patient’s continuum of care.
Handheld Electronic Audio Recording System (HEARS™) is a series of adaptable recording devices that can connect inline with fielded radios and aircraft intercom systems. It records all bi-directional input/output communications that can be reviewed later for after-action reports.
Flashing Indicator of Swimmer’s Health (FISH) is a personal underwater blood-oxygen monitor that detects potential blackout conditions and alerts users. This will help prevent shallow water blackouts experienced during water training events.