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AFRL Cover 1202
11/19/2002
4:45 PM
Page 1
Volume 3 • Number 4 • December 2002
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AFRL Contents 1202
11/20/2002
9:58 AM
Page 2
December 2002 • Vol. 3 No. 4
45
FEATURES
13 Winter Olympics
16 AFRL and the Air Force Battlelabs
ARTICLES
9
18 Electronics
18 MONOBIT II
26
18 Silicon Carbide Schottky Diodes
20 Photonics
20 Dual-Beam Focused Ion Beam-Scanning
Electron Microscope
21 Integrated Photonics
22 Micro-Particle Image Velocimetry
23 Sensors
23 Miniature Magnetic Sensor
DEPARTMENTS
6 Commercial
Technology Team
9 Transitions
10 In the Know
7 Commercialization
Opportunities
46 Available Literature
7 Facility
46 Air Force Small
Business Impact
8 Spin-Offs
24 Space
24 Small Satellite Technology
26 PICOSat
0N
THE
COVER
AFRL supported two Air Force competitors with the
redesign of their skeleton racing equipment and also
demonstrated the WB 4 Body Scanner at the Winter
Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. Photo courtesy of
the Hilltop Times, Hill AFB, Utah.
(See page 13.)
27 Aeronautics
27 Drag Reduction from Formation Flight
29 Continuous Moldline Technology
32 Understanding Hypersonic Vehicle
Radiation Emission
33 Computers
33 Air Force Materiel Command Knowledge Now
36 Operator Vehicle Interface Laboratory
38 Multi-Resolution Modeling
40 Intelligent Mission Controller Node
42 Medical
42 Excimer Laser Photorefractive Eye Surgery
Quality Assessment
44 Spatial Disorientation
2
This publication was prepared under the sponsorship of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and published by Associated Business Publications Co., Ltd. (a private firm), which is in no way connected with the
United States Government, the Department of Defense, the Department
of the Air Force nor any person acting on behalf of the United States Government. Neither the United States Government, the Department of Defense, the Department of the Air Force nor the publisher assumes any liability resulting from the use of the information contained in this
document, nor warrants that such use will be free from privately owned
rights. The appearance of advertising in this publication, including inserts
or supplements, does not constitute endorsement by the United States
Government, the Department of Defense or the Department of the Air
Force and does not endorse any commercial product, process, or activity
identified in this publication. Contents of Technology Horizons are not
necessarily the official views of/or endorsed by the United States Government, the Department of Defense or the Department of the Air Force.
www.afrlhorizons.com
AFRL Technology Horizons, December 2002
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AFRL Masthead 1202
11/19/2002
4:52 PM
Page 4
www.afrlhorizons.com
Published by .....................................................................Associated Business Publications
Publisher ..............................................................................................Joseph T. Pramberger
Editor/Associate Publisher ...................................................................................Linda L. Bell
Editor, Market Focus Editions............................................................................Ashli K. Riggs
Associate Editor/Internet Editor .......................................................................Robert Braham
Production Manager ....................................................................................Joanne Gaccione
Assistant Production Manager ..........................................................................John Iwanciw
Art Director .........................................................................................................Lois Erlacher
Senior Designer ...................................................................................Christopher Coleman
Circulation Manager.......................................................................................Hugh J. Dowling
ARTICLES & SUPPORTING LITERATURE: Prepared and produced for AFRL by
VERIDIAN ENGINEERING, 5200 Springfield Pike, Suite 200, Dayton, OH 45431
Contract/Program Manager .........................................................................................Jodi Nix
Lead Editor/Writer........................................................................................John M. Connolly
Staff Editor/Writer ..............................................................................................Debbie Miller
Graphics Manager .............................................................................................Dean Neitman
AIR FORCE RESEARCH LABORATORY (AFRL):
Technology articles are provided by the Air Force Research Laboratory scientists and engineers under the approval of the Chief Technologist and the Research Council.
Commander ............................................................................Major General Paul D. Nielsen
Publications Director ........................................................................................Andrea Wright
Program Manager .......................................................................................Susan Wapelhorst
Program Assistant .......................................................................................Barbara Scenters
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4
For Free Info Visit www.afrlhorizons.com/633
or Enter No. 633 at www.afrlhorizons.com/rs
AFRL Technology Horizons, December 2002
AFRL Abaqus Ad 1202.qxd
11/19/2002
11:53 AM
Page 2
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For Free Info Enter No. 638 at www.afrlhorizons.com/rs
AFRL Tech Team 1202
11/20/2002
9:57 AM
Page 6
AFRL Commercial Technology Team
AFRL’s research and development efforts produce a robust supply of promising technologies
with applications in many industries. A key mechanism in identifying commercial applications
for this technology is AFRL’s integrated network between the technology transfer office of the
technology directorates and supporting organizations, including the Air Logistics Centers. Call
AFRL’s TECH CONNECT office at (800) 203-6451 for additional information.
Air Force Program Offices
AFRL's Technology Sources
If you need further information about new technologies presented in AFRL
Technology Horizons ® , contact the transfer office at the technology
directorate that sponsored the research. They can provide you with additional
information as required.
Air Vehicles
Directorate
Sustainment; TransAtmospheric & Space;
Uninhabited Air
Vehicles; Computational
Science; Control
Sciences; MultiDisciplinary Technologies.
Keith Powell
(937) 904-8161
[email protected]
wpafb.af.mil
Information
Directorate
Dynamic Planning &
Execution; Law Enforcement Technologies;
Information Security;
Speech Processing
Technologies; Digital
Imagery Watermarking;
Distributed ComputerBased Collaboration;
Optical Memory
Storage; Computer
Network Management;
Satellite Communication
System Antennas;
Information for
Transportation
Apps; JFACC Battle
Management; Air
Operations Planning;
Force Level Execution
System.
Frank Hoke
(315) 330-3470
[email protected]
Propulsion
Directorate
Airbreathing Engines;
Rocket Propulsion;
Propellants; Aircraft &
Missile Power; Plasma
Physics & Combustion
Science.
Directed Energy
Directorate
Advanced Optics &
Imaging; High-Power
Microwave; Lasers;
Starfire Optical
Range; Technology
Assessments.
Kristen Schario
(937) 255-3428
[email protected]
wpafb.af.mil
Kate Fry
(505) 846-5776
[email protected]
kirtland.af.mil
Space Vehicles
Directorate
Battlespace
Environment; Space
Technology Integration
& Demonstration;
Surveillance & Control.
Ponziano Ferraraccio
(505) 846-2707
[email protected]
kirtland.af.mil
Sensors Directorate
Reconnaissance;
Surveillance; Radio
Frequency Sensors;
Radar; Electronic Warfare;
Digital Receivers;
Antennas; Target
Modeling; Threat Warning;
EO Sensors/Imagers; ATR;
Photonics; Sensor
Fusion; RF Components;
Electron Devices.
Leila Oliver
(937) 255-5285x4122
[email protected]
Human Effectiveness
Directorate
Crew Systems;
Warfighter Training;
Directed Energy
Bioeffects; Deployment, Protection, &
Sustainment.
Scott Hall
(937) 255-4649 x231
[email protected]
Munitions Directorate
Assessment;
Explosives; Weapons
Integration; Fuzes;
Guidance, Navigation &
Control; Seekers;
Warheads; Processor/
Algorithms.
Materials &
Manufacturing
Directorate
Polymers; Metals;
Organic Matrix
Composites;
Nondestructive
Evaluation; Ceramics;
Tribology and
Coatings; Materials &
Processes for Sensors;
Laser Hardened
Materials;
Manufacturing
Technology; Systems
Support; Deployed
Base Systems, Force
Protection, and
Pollution Prevention
Processes; Analysis
for Accident
Investigation;
Nanotechnology;
Biomimetics;
Computational
Materials Science;
Metal Matrix
Composites.
Gregory McGath
(937) 255-5669
[email protected]
wpafb.af.mil
Allen Geohagan
(850) 882-8591x1280
[email protected]
eglin.af.mil
AFRL Headquarters also manages
several Air Force-level programs:
AF Technology
Transfer Office
Douglas Blair
(937) 656-9176
[email protected]
wpafb.af.mil
Small Business
Innovation Research
(SBIR) Program
Stephen Guilfoos
(937) 656-9021
[email protected]
wpafb.af.mil
AF Dual Use
Science &
Technology
Program
AF Independent
Research &
Development Program
Richard Flake
(937) 656-9015
[email protected]
wpafb.af.mil
Giovanni Pagán
(937) 255-3474
[email protected]
wpafb.af.mil
Other Focal Points
Freedom of
Information Act
Program
Chris Love
(937) 255-1688
[email protected]
wpafb.af.mil
Public Affairs
Anne Gunter
(937) 656-9876
[email protected]
wpafb.af.mil
Technology Information
Clearinghouse
TECH CONNECT
(800) 203-6451
http://www.afrl.af.mil/techconn/index.htm
e-mail: [email protected]
AFRL’s Air Logistics Center Technology Transfer Partners
Tom Skillen
Warner-Robins Air Logistics Center
(912) 926-6617
[email protected]
6
Tom Gailey
Ogden Air Logistics Center
(801) 586-3009
[email protected]
www.afrlhorizons.com
Mark Reed
Oklahoma Air Logistics Center
(405) 736-7454
[email protected]
AFRL Technology Horizons, December 2002
AFRL CommOpp/Facility 1202
11/19/2002
Excimer Laser Photorefractive
Eye Surgery Quality Assessment
(HE-02-08)
Scientists developed a novel scanning
confocal slit photon counter system to
objectively measure a patient’s postphotorefractive surgery haze. Not only
can doctors use the device to objectively
track the healing process of the surgery,
they can also monitor cataract formation
at levels long before it is clinically
observable. (See page 42.)
Silicon Carbide Schottky Diodes
(PR-02-05)
Silicon carbide Schottky diodes offer
high blocking voltage capability,
resulting in a higher Schottky barrier,
ten times higher electrical breakdown
field strength, and an operating voltage
of 600-1200 volts. The result is a highper formance power diode with low
switching losses. The diodes are
currently available commercially. (See
page 18.)
4:54 PM
Page 7
Micro-Particle Image Velocimetry
(OSR-02-05)
Small Satellite Technology
(VS-02-02)
The Micro-Particle Image Velocimetry
provides a revolutionary tool for
measuring the fluid motion inside
microfluidic devices and the
understanding required to optimize
their performance. (See page 22.)
Researchers are providing small
satellite launch opportunities at a
reasonable cost and on a regular
schedule. (See page 24.)
Integrated Photonics (ML-02-07)
Integrated photonics offer several
advantages over electronics used in
radar phased array technology
including less weight, low power
consumption, small size, low loss,
a n d immunity to electromagnetic
interference. (See page 21.)
Miniature Magnetic Sensor
(MN-02-08)
Researchers developed a shockhardened miniature magnetic sensor
that has high sensitivity and very low
power consumption for long-term
vehicle detection. (See page 23.)
PICOSat (OSR-02-08)
PICOSat demonstrated the practicality of using commercial off-the-shelf
spacecraft platform technology to
provide low-cost, capable microsatellites,
a key to cost-effective and rapid launch
capability for space systems. (See
page 26.)
Multi-Resolution Modeling
(IF-02-06)
A high-level architecture model allows
integration of current simulations of
different levels of resolution for use in
war fighter training and simulationbased acquisition. (See page 38.)
Advanced Composites Office
By Capt Peter Cseke, Jr., Materials and Manufacturing Directorate
FRL’s Advanced Composites Office (ACO), located at Hill
A
Air Force Base, Utah, provides leading-edge composite
materials technology demonstration, design, and engineering
as well as composite repair and maintenance support to Air
Logistic Centers and aerospace forces worldwide. The ACO
accomplishes its diverse mission through the expertise and
dedication of both civilian and military engineers and
scientists with advanced training and hands-on experience in
composite structures design, engineering and repair,
composite tooling and manufacturing, material science and
engineering, chemical engineering, and composite
manufacturing technology. Using its extensive in-house
capabilities, the ACO already provides rapid, cost-effective,
and mission-critical solutions to several pressing structural
replacement and repair challenges.
The ACO also supports the Air Force Materiel Command’s
aircraft battle damage repair mission and is a leading
authority on environment, health, and safety issues
concerning hazardous exposures, composite-materials fire
science, and composite-aircraft mishap response. The ACO
continues to lead the Air Force in advanced composites
material technology by organizing the annual Advanced
Composites Maintainers’ Conference, where composite
weapon systems maintainers from various Department of
AFRL Technology Horizons, December 2002
Defense agencies meet to gather, exchange, and develop upto-date technology data and best repair practices, and to
identify and solve common issues in the supportability of
advanced composite assets. The ACO also offers assistance
to many government agencies and industry in the areas of
advanced composite material design, fabrication, and repair.
ACO engineers prepare master model for composite mold.
7
AFRL Spin-Offs 1202
11/19/2002
4:59 PM
Page 8
Agents Technology Goes Commercial
he University of Southern California/Information Sciences Institute licensed a software agent technology, developed under
Tinnovative
the Control of Agent Based Systems (CoABS) program to Fetch Technologies, Inc. in California, a company that provides
data integration solutions. Fetch Technologies’ research led to the development of the Fetch Agent Platform, a
system for accessing information directly from web solutions. Since web sites present data visually, users need software agents to
navigate through sites and extract data in a structured form to pipe into applications. The Defense Advanced Research Projects
Agency’s Information Technology Office provided funding, and the Information
Directorate’s Dynamic Command and Control Technology Branch technically
AgentBuilder
managed the CoABS program. The Fetch Agent Platform is a simple, powerful,
and efficient way to integrate Internet-available data sources. The platform
Agent
consists of two components: AgentBuilder (the design-time component) and
AgentRunner (the run-time component). Using proprietary artificial intelligence
Design time
techniques, the Fetch Agent Platform creates a two-way bridge, connecting
Production
software applications with any web site or Internet-available applications. The platform
is a stand-alone licensable software product that users can apply to a variety of
information-gathering tasks. Applications include intelligence, wireless devices,
Application
Web Site
Agent
sales, information integration, and data aggregation. Fetch Technologies uses
artificial intelligence techniques that allow users to build agents by example, ensure
AgentRunner
that the agents accurately extract data, continually verify agents to avoid failures
when sites change, and automatically repair agents in response to web site changes.
Current-Carrying Capacity of Yttrium
Barium Copper Oxide Increased
Composites Affordability Initiative
Cost Analysis Tool
he Propulsion Directorate’s Superconductivity Group
Tbarium
developed a new method for flux pinning of the yttrium
copper oxide (YBCO)-coated substrate used for high-
he Composites Affordability Initiative Cost Analysis Tool
Timprove
(CAICAT) offers the aerospace industry the opportunity to
the decisions made during the preliminary design
temperature superconductors (HTS). Researchers can pin
magnetic flux inside these conductors to improve current
transport properties at higher fields. Researchers created an
initial sample with a critical current density more than double
that of a normally prepared sample at 70°K and 1-2 Tesla applied
field. The slight drop at lower fields is not important since it is
the overall current-carrying ability of the conductor that matters
in rotating machinery (up to 5 Tesla). Directorate researchers
deposited multilayer coatings with very thin alternating layers of
an HTS and non-superconducting layers 1-5 nm in width that are
not chemically reactive with the HTS compound. This
requirement is critical since many compounds diffuse and react
with the HTS material during high-temperature processing when
the layer thickness is ~1 nm. Directorate researchers
demonstrated the multilayer process using pulsed laser
deposition for HTS and non-superconducting material.
However, researchers could apply this process to other HTS
materials using other
thin film deposition or
10
coating techniques. This
70˚K
new manufacturing
method will significantly
{211/123} Multilayer
increase the current
capacity of HTS power
generators and magnets,
10
123 Film
and can also be used for
power transmission
0
0.6
1.2
1.8
cables, transformers, and
H (Tesla)
motors.
phase by enabling them to review 10 times as many options as
before. If aerospace engineers need to compress the preliminary
design phase, CAICAT
allows them to conduct
a set number of
projections in one-tenth
the time compared to
traditional methods.
The CAICAT’s real
success is the fact
that industry uses it
extensively. Composites Affordability
Initiative (CAI)
industry team members use CAICAT on a growing list of
systems such as the Joint Strike Fighter, F-22 Raptor, F-16, F-18
E/F, and more. The CAI Team, consisting of the Materials
and Manufacturing Directorate; the Air Vehicles Directorate;
the Office of Naval Research; and prime aerospace
contractors, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop
Grumman, developed and demonstrated a cost analysis tool
that allows airframe designers to save money in the design of
airframe structural concepts. CAICAT enables increased cost
reductions by identifying the most affordable composite
airframe structural concepts earlier in the design phase with
greater dependability than previously possible. In validations
by CAI Team members, nearly 75% of the structures and
assemblies evaluated fell within 10% of actual costs, and more
than a third were within 2%.
J (A/cm2)
7
6
For additional information, contact TECH CONNECT via the web site at http://www.afrl.af.mil/techconn/index.htm or at (800) 203-6451.
8
www.afrlhorizons.com
AFRL Technology Horizons, December 2002
AFRL Transitions 1202
11/20/2002
9:59 AM
Page 9
Mid-Infrared Periodically
Poled Lithium Niobate Infrared
Countermeasures Laser
ensors Directorate scientists helped develop an
Stechnique
efficient, compact, low-cost, and broadly tunable
for generating mid-infrared (IR) laser
radiation called periodically poled lithium niobate
(PPLN) technology and successfully transferred it to
industry for construction of a compact and rugged
mid-IR brassboard laser. Basic directorate research
demonstrated a breadboard laser that generated the
power and tunability needed for aircraft protection
from IR missiles. The approach used PPLN for
broadband frequency conversion in the mid-IR
spectral region. The directorate then transferred this
technology to Northrop Grumman, who assembled a
packaged brassboard laser device that successfully
performs the countermeasure function. This mid-IR
laser source is ready for insertion into fielded IR
countermeasure (IRCM) systems and should provide
a major advance in IRCM capabilities.
Breadboard
PPLN Optical
Parametric
Oscillator
2 ft x 4 ft
Brassboard
Northrop Grumman
Viper® Laser
(not to scale)
Smart Target Model Generator
he Smart Target Model Generator (STMG) allows
Ttarget
Munitions Directorate engineers to rapidly generate
models for weapon effectiveness simulations for
conceptual and inventory munitions analysis. The
STMG reduces time and increases fidelity of groundfixed target
models
generated for
conventional
weapon
effectiveness
simulations.
The
directorate’s
Lethality and
Vulnerability
Branch,
through a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research
program contract with Applied Research Associates,
developed three-dimensional (3-D) structural modeling
software that rapidly generates realistic 3-D building
models of military and industrial targets. The tool also
allows users to drag and drop critical components into
target models and to evaluate the effects of
conventional weapons against critical components
inside military targets. This new software tool reduces
modeling and weapon assessment time for engineers,
simulating the effectiveness of conceptual and
inventory weapons against ground-fixed military and
industrial targets. Directorate engineers used this 3-D
modeling tool to model the Social Hall Building in
support of the 2002 Winter Olympics protective security
planning efforts by various government agencies. For
further information on AFRL support to the 2002
Winter Olympics, see page 13.
Air Force and Navy Dedicate New Relay Spacecraft Laboratory
he Directed Energy Directorate at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, and the
TOptical
Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, recently dedicated the
Relay Spacecraft Laboratory at the Naval Postgraduate School, as
part of a long-term agreement to coordinate research and accelerate the
development of relay mirror technologies (mainly spacecraft-specific).
The new laboratory will receive approximately $3.5 million in Air
Force funding over the next five years. The lab will use the money to
develop and demonstrate technologies for future defense imaging and
laser communications satellites. At the heart of the joint laboratory is
experimental test equipment developed by Naval Postgraduate School
Professor Brij Agrawal, his staff, and graduate students. Laboratory
scientists will use the equipment to extend pioneering research by an Air
Force and Navy team that established practical methods of satellite design,
incorporating bifocal relay mirrors to transfer directed energy from lasers on the
ground, in the air, or in space.
AFRL Technology Horizons, December 2002
www.afrlhorizons.com
9
AFRL In the Know Reinhardt 1202
11/20/2002
10:36 AM
Page 10
Dr. Kitt Reinhardt discusses his research with multijunction space solar cells
Dr. Kitt Reinhardt
Space Vehicles Directorate,
Advanced Space Power Generation Group
Q: What technology used today by the
warfighter stems from your research at
the Space Vehicles Directorate?
A: My research led to a new generation
of high-efficiency multijunction (MJ)
space solar cells that optimally convert
sunlight into electricity needed to power
Air Force and Department of Defense
(DoD) spacecraft. Today’s warfighter
capability relies on increasingly higher
levels of affordable, lightweight electrical
power necessary for increasingly complex
space missions. Recent breakthroughs in
MJ solar cells enable significantly greater
warfighter spacecraft payload power and
mass budgets. AFRL’s development of
the most advanced and mission-enabling
space solar cells in the world has been
very successful.
Q: What are MJ solar cells and when did
you first begin this work?
A: An MJ solar cell consists of a stack of
three or four layers of light-sensitive
semiconductor material, successively
grown atop one another, that optimally
converts the sun’s light energy into
electricity. Each layer in the stack absorbs
10
Directorate (VS) in 1996. There he led spacecraft power management
and distribution, along with solar cell efforts, becoming Chief of the
Advanced Space Power Generation Group in 1998. Presently, he is
leading a concerted VS effort to establish space technology partnerships
with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA)
Goddard Space Flight Center in the areas of radiation-hardened
electronics, detectors, optics, power, and spacecraft systems engineering.
a different portion of the solar spectrum,
which is determined by its electronic
bandgap (see Figure 1). Generally, the
top layer absorbs the ultraviolet light, the
middle layer absorbs the visible, and the
bottom layer(s) absorbs the infrared.
The trick to maximizing MJ solar cell
conversion efficiency is finding the
optimum combination of semiconductor
layers that have the right bandgaps and
can be grown atop each other.
Conversion efficiency means the ratio of
electrical power produced at the solar
cell terminals divided by the solar power
striking the cell, which in near-earth
2
space is approximately 1350 W/m .
In 1990, I began work on AFRLdeveloped space solar cells, contributing
to the 18% efficient AFRL Manufacturing
Technology (ManTech) program and
statement of work for the first AFRL twojunction gallium arsenide/germanium
(GaAs/Ge) 21-23%-efficient solar cell
program while at PR. PR was responsible
for space solar cell development at the
time, actually since the late 1950s until its
transfer to VS in 1991. I worked on them
on and off since that time, helping
shepherd an increase in commercially
available space solar cell efficiency from
18% in 1990 to about 28% today. The
28%-efficient solar cell is a three-junction
gallium indium phosphide (GaInP) on
GaAs on Ge design. In the early 1990s,
my doctorate work included the first
electrical current conduction mechanism
and space radiation effects studies of the
GaInP top junction of the three-junction
cell design. My most significant
contribution to the MJ solar cell work
derives from the design and patent of a
four-junction cell design having a
theoretical efficiency of around 40%,
which transformed the whole MJ space
solar cell industry.
Q: What led to your solar cell patent?
A: Just prior to the four-junction solar
cell design, we were close to completing
development of a commercially available
24.5%-efficient solar cell with
www.afrlhorizons.com
Spectrolab, Inc. and Tecstar, Inc. via an
1
AFRL ManTech program. During this
program, VS provided the technical
oversight, while the Materials and
Manufacturing Directorate’s ManTech
Office managed the program and
provided the funding. The program was
1
0.8
Intensity (arb. units)
Dr. Reinhardt joined AFRL in 1988, first working on microwave
device development with the Sensors Directorate and then space solar
cells in 1990 with the Propulsion Directorate (PR). Upon receiving
his doctorate at the Air Force Institute of Technology in engineering
physics in 1994, he continued working with PR on wide-bandgap
semiconductor power devices, as well as aircraft and unmanned air
vehicles power system studies, until joining the Space Vehicles
0.6
Solar Spectrum
(1350 W/m2)
0.4
0.2
Cell
#1
#2
#3
#4
0
0.25
0.65
0.87
1.25
1.75
Wavelength ( m)
GaInP
GaAs
GaInAsN
Ge
Figure 1. 35%-efficient four-junction solar cell
design
completely successful, and we
anticipated that many future DoD and
commercial spacecraft missions would
benefit from the cells. However, it was
time to identify the next-generation,
even higher efficiency, solar cell design.
While surveying research in other device
applications, I learned of the quaternary
semiconductor material gallium indium
arsenide nitride (GaInAsN) used in laser
diode applications and contacted
Dr. Hong Hou, who was leading the
GaInAsN laser diode program at Sandia
National Laboratory in New Mexico.
Using Dr. Hou’s GaInAsN materials data
and our in-house modeling capability,
we realized the GaInAsN had a near
ideal semiconductor bandgap and
material lattice constant for an optimal
four-junction solar cell design. The
AFRL Technology Horizons, December 2002
AFRL In the Know Reinhardt 1202
11/20/2002
modeling revealed a four-junction solar
cell theoretical efficiency of around
40%, but we questioned whether we
could actually fabricate a practical
device.
Dr. Hou grew several GaInAsN p/n
junction wafers using Metal Organic
Chemical Vapor Deposition (MOCVD),
which I processed into test diodes and
solar cells. I measured the electrical
dark currents for the single-junction
devices (solar cell dark current controls
the cell photovoltage), and the data
looked promising. The photocurrents,
although fairly low, were reasonable
during our first attempt; however,
through repeated experiments, the
p h o t o c u r r e n t s i n c r e a s e d s l i g h t l y.
Dr. Hou and I then filed for a patent
and reported the findings to the
scientific and development community
so work could commence. Eventually,
Dr. Hou and I were granted a patent for
the four-junction design, and Sandia
and AFRL eventually sold non-exclusive
intellectual property rights to industry
for $300,000. The majority of this
funding was actually directed back into
the MJ solar cell effort.
4:29 PM
Page 11
the Ge, GaAs, and GaInP layers of the
four-junction cell design, we developed
clever design improvements that
enabled a commercial three-junction
cell efficiency boost to 27.5-28%, with a
prototype large-area cell efficiency of
30.5%. This represents an unprecedented
efficiency improvement of 1% per year.
Further progress on the three-junction
cell continues today under the DUS&T
program. I realistically expect a large
area, 30%-efficient, commercially
available, three-junction space solar cell
in two to three years.
Q: What practical applications does your
work have for industry and government
agencies?
A: The impact of the MJ solar cell
technology on current and future DoD,
NASA, and commercial spacecraft
missions is tremendous. The 25-27%efficient MJ solar cells have become the
industry standard for most US
communication satellites as well as for
most government and all future Air
Force satellites (see Figure 2). The
impetus for their implementation is
Q: What other benefits stem from your
work?
A: My work on the four-junction solar cell
sparked two important events. First was
the start-up of a third MJ space solar cell
vendor, Emcore Photovoltaics. Soon after
Dr. Hou and I conducted the initial
GaInAsN experiments leading to the fourjunction cell design, Dr. Hou left Sandia
National Laboratory to start Emcore
Photovoltaics. At the time, Emcore, Inc.,
the parent company, was the largest
Periodic Table III-V semiconductor wafer
grower and best MOCVD machine
manufacturer in the world. An Emcore,
Inc. market analysis indicated room for
an additional MJ space solar cell supplier,
and they jumped at it with Dr. Hou at the
helm. Dr. Hou and Emcore began
producing commercially available 26%efficient MJ solar cells within a year and
less expensively than the other two
vendors, Spectrolab and Tecstar. In fact,
Emcore developed such an efficient
manufacturing process that within two
years, they had pushed the market price
for 26%-efficient solar cell panels from
$500/W to $250/W, a savings of $5M per
20 kW of solar panel.
The second important event was the
initiation of a new AFRL Dual Use
Science and Technology (DUS&T)
program, developing more efficient
commercially available three-junction
solar cells. In the course of optimizing
AFRL Technology Horizons, December 2002
For Free Info Enter No. 635 at www.afrlhorizons.com/rs
11
AFRL In the Know Reinhardt 1202
11/20/2002
Figure 2. 7.5 kW solar array utilizing 26.5%-efficient
solar cells
significantly greater available payload
power and the reduction of both
spacecraft bus mass and total mission
cost. Just five or six years ago, the
industry state-of-the-practice space solar
cells were 12-15%-efficient silicon and
18%-efficient single-junction GaAs solar
cells. The 21-23% cells we developed in
the mid-1990s were a significant
improvement in the technology, but
with the completion of the AFRL
ManTech program in 1999, we were
producing commercially available
24.5%-efficient three-junction cells. We
achieved a whopping 35% increase in
available power for the same solar panel
area over the 18% design, while
reducing the cost per watt by 15-20%.
The spacecraft designers took notice,
and many missions have counted on
10:06 AM
Page 12
them since. These solar cells became a
direct replacement for existing cells so
that the same substrate panels and
deployment mechanisms could be used,
while the mass-per-unit area remained
constant. Today, the Boeing Satellite
Company exclusively uses threejunction solar cell technology for all its
missions, and Lockheed Martin and
Loral use this technology for their highpowered missions. Also, the MJ solar
cells provide a solution for future very
large spacecraft that require maximum
power, but whose solar array size is
constrained by the size of a particular
launch vehicle fairing or launch mass.
US government space programs were
the early beneficiaries of this technology,
since more capable spacecraft could be
built around existing buses and launched
on existing boosters. For example, direct
solar cell replacement is currently under
way on the Global Positioning System
(GPS) IIF spacecraft to enable greater
L-band transmitter capability, using 26.5%efficient cells to retrofit the previous GPS
block arrays that use 12.8% silicon solar
cells. This refit enables a 45% increase in
available power to the payload, while at
the same time reducing solar array mass
by 30% via the use of four solar panels
over the previous six. Over the next five
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years, we expect at least a dozen military
spacecraft will be launched that utilize 2528% multijunction solar cells. Because
this research enables many future
missions, the Air Force designated the MJ
solar cell technology as an Advanced
Technology Demonstrator program.
Q: Finally, tell us about the progress on
the 35-40%-efficient solar cell.
A: Progress is a bit slower than with the
three-junction 30% design.
The
introduction of the GaInAsN layer into
the three-junction design stack is a
challenge. In the mid-1990s, it took a
concerted effort with the top MOCVD
and material scientists in the country to
solve the issue with the 21-23% cells. The
four-junction GaInP/GaAs/GaInAsN/Ge
cell design differs from the threejunction GaInP/GaAs/Ge design only by
the insertion of the GaInAsN layer, with
some subtle design changes. The
electronic quality of the GaInAsN
material is a challenge; however, the
fundamental challenge is the growth of a
low-defect density GaInAsN layer, which
is confounded by the lack of a high-purity
gas source for the nitrogen within the
industry. While the photovoltage of the
GaInAsN layer is quite good, a low
photocurrent persists due to the high
defect densities. The nitrogen gas
source needs major improvement. The
material gas source purity issue is the
fundamental limiting factor for nearly
every major new semiconductor
material used today. Consequently,
major efforts are under way within the
industry to purify the nitrogen. Also,
while new nitrogen gas sources continue
to be evaluated, we are studying several
new solar cell device structures that may
circumvent the nitrogen purity issue.
Importantly, we are also investigating
several new fourth-junction material
system candidates that may hold as much
promise as the GaInAsN. Today, AFRL
can be proud of the outstanding progress
made in the last decade, fostering the
development of commercially available
MJ solar cells from 18% efficiency in the
early 1990s to 28% efficiency today.
Dr. John Brownlee of the Air Force
Research Laborator y’s Space Vehicles
Directorate wrote this article. For more
information contact TECH CONNECT at
(800) 203-6451 or place a request at
http://www.afrl.af.mil/techconn/index.htm.
Reference document VS-02-03.
Reference
1
Drerup, R., Price, M., and Reinhardt, K.
“ManTech for Multi-Junction Solar Cells.”
AFRL Technology Horizons®, vol 2, no 3 (Sep
01), 27-29.
AFRL Technology Horizons, December 2002
AFRL Winter Olympics Feat 1202
11/20/2002
10:09 AM
Page 13
Winter Olympics
AFRL demonstrates new technologies
during the Winter Olympics.
A
s the world watched the 2002
specification. The ACO team showed
Researchers in the Air Vehicles
Winter Olympics in Salt Lake
up at the track one day with pods, and
Directorate tested the sleds using
City, Utah, AFRL was busy with
since that day, we haven’t had a concern
computational fluid dynamics in order
its own notable work behind the scenes.
over our sleds passing inspection,”
to gain insight into the flow conditions
Armed with the home-field advantage,
Canfield said.
around the two sleds and to compare and
AFRL supported two Air Force
“The redesign project was directly
evaluate the aerodynamic performance.
competitors with the redesign of their
beneficial to the ACO as a learning
The analyses were necessary to predict
skeleton racing equipment, demonexercise,” Coulter explained. “We had
the down-force and drag generated by
strating the importance of AFRL
several new engineers who had received
the sleds in their nominal (no driver,
technology and how some of that
training on new software and
zero angle of movement) configuration.
technology benefits the general public.
manufacturing methods, but had not
Researchers constructed computer
Skeleton, the oldest known downhill
had the opportunity to practice their
models, imported them into the grid
sled racing sport in the world, was
new skills.
This was an ideal
generation software packages, and ran
included in the events at the games.
opportunity to put into action the
several thousand simulation iterations
Major Brady Canfield, Hill Air Force
techniques required to create solid
until they achieved a solution. The test
Base (AFB), Utah, competed for a spot
models,
design
tooling,
and
will serve as a basis for sled design and
on the United States (US) Skeleton
manufacture a composite part.”
manufacturing for future Olympians.
Team. In a sport where the athlete lies
The ACO used a hand-built model of
According to Coulter, the skeleton
face down on top of the
sled component was an ideal choice,
sled in a head-first position,
since Canfield and Senior Airman
without steering, braking,
(SRA) Trevor Christie (see Figure 2)
or propulsion capability,
were both competitors and could
Canfield needed a topreadily apply and test the results of the
notch sled for the trials.
redesign effort. “The gravy is that the
“The skeleton track is
pods are lightweight and fast. They also
about one mile of ice.
give us a very unique and proud military
Unlike skiing, we don’t
look,” Canfield added. He placed
have slopes, and snow slows
fourth at the trials, just missing a spot
us down considerably,”
on the three-man US team.
Canfield said. The three
AFRL also took advantage of the
components for high speed
unique public forum created by the
are weight, driving, and
aerodynamics.
E n g i n e e r s f r o m t h e Figure 1. ACO engineers work on skeleton
Materials and Manufactur- sled redesign and hand lay-up.
ing Directorate’s Advanced
Composites Office (ACO) at Hill AFB,
the pod to generate a 3-D
redesigned the aerodynamic comrepresentation, which was
ponent of a skeleton racing sled for
then placed into a CAD
Canfield. According to the ACO
program used to change the
manager, Mr. Lawrence Coulter, the
shape of the part. To optimize
redesign effort provided valuable handsthe air flow contour of the
on computer-aided design (CAD) and
part, ACO engineers made
three-dimensional (3-D) modeling
two different designs, each
experience, in addition to giving
conforming to the standard
Figure 2. SRA Christie hits a straightaway at the
Canfield an opportunity to hone his
2-feet wide by 3-feet long Park City Olympic Park track in Park City, Utah
skills for the trials. “I took care of the
dimensions.
Next, they (photo by Master Sergeant Lance Cheung, Airman
first two (weight and driving), and the
downloaded the model to a Magazine).
ACO took care of the third
five-axis router and cut a
(aerodynamics),” Canfield said.
wooden master. They used the master
games to showcase new technology
Canfield approached the ACO team
to make a fiberglass female mold, then
designed by the Air Force that will
nearly two years ago, when the rules
produced a hand lay-up part from the
benefit the world. At the Bud World
concerning the shape of sleds made
mold using a graphite epoxy sometimes
Party during the games, the Human
certain sleds illegal. “The fiberglass
employed on aircraft (see Figure 1).
Effectiveness Directorate’s (HE),
pods warp in extreme temperatures,
Finally, they autoclave-cured the new
Computerized Anthropometric Recausing concavities to the point of
pod to provide the needed strength and
search and Design Laboratory showcased
making the sleds fall out of
stability.
its Whole Body (WB) 4 Body Scanner.
AFRL Technology Horizons, December 2002
www.afrlhorizons.com
13
AFRL Winter Olympics Feat 1202
11/20/2002
10:10 AM
Page 14
LACROIX OPTICAL CO.
WINTER OLYMPICS
Bud World Party officials estimate
roughly 10,000 visitors attended per
day during the course of the games.
During the first weekend, for instance,
the team scanned more than 200
people per day, providing spectators
with full-color printouts and educating them about this cutting-edge
technology (see Figure 3).
The
body
scanner
records
anthropometric data to provide for,
among other things, a better fit.
Anthropometry is the measurement of
to medical products such as the burn
mask and prosthetics.
“With this image, we can do
incredible things,” said Mr. Mark
Boehmer of Sytronics, Inc., who serves
as anthropometric specialist for the
body scanner. “We can take the scan
and put it in a program that simulates
car accidents, resulting in similar results
and information at a lower cost for the
company.” In fact, many companies have
partnered with AFRL to get information.
“We have almost 40 partners from all
areas of industry; we work with Ford,
Hanes, John Deere, to name a few,” said
Mr. Dave Hoeferlin, a senior systems
administrator at Sytronics, Inc.
AFRL scientists understand the value
of Olympic exposure and recognized
the opportunity to capitalize on this
quadrennial event. “We came here to
both showcase and educate the world
about this great technology,” said Mr.
Scott Fleming of Veridian (formerly of
Sytronics, Inc.). As wide an audience as
the Olympics provided, exposure to the
world is nothing new to the team.
During a recent study, called the
Civilian American European Surface
Anthropometric Research, Fleming
traveled the globe measuring people.
Figure 3. WB 4 Body Scanner
printout
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the human body. Historically,
people were measured using
calipers and a tape measure.
With their motto, “We put the
F-I-T in flight,” the body
scanner now takes these
measurements to another level.
“We use this data to engineer
all kinds of products that people
wear or operate from apparel to Figure 4.
crew stations,” said Ms.
Kathleen Robinette, HE Principal
Research Physical Anthropologist. The
scanner utilizes its four scan heads and a
combination of lasers, lights, and
mirrors to create a 3-D image on a
computer screen (see Figure 4). To
benefit the Air Force, the body scanner
data provides measurements that will
make uniforms and cockpits fit better.
Because of increased interest in
allowing women to fly various types of
military aircraft and modifying the body
size restrictions for flight training,
researchers must reconsider flight
equipment and work area. Protective
equipment will use the data from the
scanner to create an optimal
assortment of sizes. This will improve
accommodation and minimize cost.
The scanner will also have applications
www.afrlhorizons.com
WB 4 Body Scanner
The team scanned approximately 4,500
people in North America and Europe.
In addition to helping things fit better,
the scanner may soon aid in fitness
evaluation. Again putting “the F-I-T in
flight,” the scanner may provide for
accurate body fat measurements and
become a valuable tool in determining
fitness. For further information on
AFRL support to the 2002 Winter
Olympics, see page 9.
Lt Morgan O’Brien of the Air Force
Research Laboratory’s Public Affairs Office
wrote this article with support from the
Materials and Manufacturing Directorate’s
Technology Information Center. For more
information contact TECH CONNECT at
(800) 203-6451 or place a request at
http://www.afrl.af.mil/techconn/index.htm.
Reference document HQ-02-06.
AFRL Technology Horizons, December 2002
AFRL Mfg.Quote Ad 1202.qxd 11/18/02 12:44 PM Page 2
AFRL Battlelabs Feat 1202
11/20/2002
10:12 AM
Page 16
AFRL and
the Air Force Battlelabs
Applying AFRL technology to battlelab initiatives
provides innovation to the warfighter.
eadquarters United States Air
Force (HQ USAF) created the
Air Force (AF) battlelabs in 1997
to
rapidly
identify
and
demonstrate the military utility of
innovative near-term concepts for the
warfighter. The seven battlelabs consist
of Air Expeditionary Force (AEF)
Battlelab, Mountain Home Air Force
Base (AFB), Idaho; Air Mobility
Battlelab, Ft. Dix, New Jersey;
Command and Control Battlelab (C2B),
Hurlburt Field, Florida; Force
Protection Battlelab, Lackland AFB,
Texas; Information Warfare Battlelab,
Kelly AFB, Texas; Space Battlelab,
Schriever AFB, Colorado; and
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Battlelab,
Eglin AFB, Florida. The HQ USAF
Deputy Chief of Staff (DCS) for
Warfighting Integration, AF Battlelabs
Innovation
Division,
provides
overarching battlelab guidance, policy,
and oversight.
The AFRL/battlelab relationship has
been close from the beginning. AFRL
supports the battlelabs by providing
technical expertise, demonstration
facilities, data analysis, demonstration
ideas, and full-time, on-site representatives at individual battlelabs. In
turn, the battlelabs leverage this AFRL
support to match current warfighter
operational needs with innovative
solutions in battlelab demonstrations.
Currently, Dr. Hendrick Ruck, Director
of the AFRL Washington DC Office, and
Ms. Diana Smith, the AFRL
representative to the HQ USAF DCS for
Warfighting Integration for battlelab
issues, are leading an effort to examine
how the AFRL/battlelab relationship can
be further enhanced. AFRL and
battlelab communications continue to
improve, ensuring a focused approach to
applying AFRL technology to battlelab
initiatives in support of warfighter needs.
H
Directed Energy (DE) Directorate,
General Atomics Corporation, BoeingSVS, Inc., and MacAulay-Brown, Inc.,
are demonstrating a day/night, allweather imaging capability utilizing
short pulse lasers and hoping to show a
significant improvement over current
space-based imagery systems.
Illumination of a target area with an
eye-safe pulsed laser, using a light
amplification for detection and ranging
technique, has been shown to provide
day/night image quality comparable to
forward-looking infrared or standard
visible imagery. Reducing the duration
of the laser pulse and utilizing a time-
demonstration platform. In November
2001, the team checked out the sensor
component of the platform in a truck at
the Marine Corps Yuma Proving
Ground’s Urban Warfare Training Site,
where they successfully demonstrated
system operation and performance in a
repetitive environment. Figure 2 shows
the impact of minimal weather on night
vision conditions with no attenuation,
night vision at 2x attenuation, and the
demonstration sensor ballistic image at
2500x attenuation. The final phase of
the Space Battlelab demonstration was a
series of flight tests of the system on a
C-130H in September 2002. The team
used DE’s Argus airborne
pointing and tracking system to
mount and direct the laser
during tests.
This system
consisted of a precision pointing
mirror, a telescope, and a flightworthy
optical
bench.
Researchers originally developed
the system for DE’s Argus C-135
aircraft, but the team converted
Conventional Image
Gated Image
it to fit on two standard freight
pallets to fly on a wide variety of
Figure 1. Laboratory images comparing a conventional image to
AF aircraft.
The system
a gated imaging system using an optical obscuration of 1 x 104
successfully penetrated through
resolving detector can achieve highseveral elements during the flight tests.
quality, three-dimensional optical
Additionally, SN provided technical
imagery through adverse weather or
expertise including risk assessment, onfoliage. Eliminating laser light scattered
site demonstration support, technical
by the clouds via gating scattered
management, contract support,
radiation accomplishes obscurant
modeling, and prototype transition
penetration. Laboratory images in
support to the AF Tactical Exploitation
Figure 1 show a conventional image
of National Capabilities Office.
compared to a gated image using this
AFRL and the AEF Battlelab—A Vital
technique.
Partnership
The General Atomics laboratory
Future
AF
operations
in
began the system demonstration in the
environments that include hostile laser
summer of 2001 by integrating the
threats are an unwelcome reality. To
system into the planned flight
Combat Eye—Seeing Through
Clouds Using Short Pulse Lasers
Clouds, fog, and smoke chronically
impact the warfighters’ ability to image
and target in operational scenarios.
The AF Space Battlelab, in conjunction
with the Sensors (SN) Directorate, the
16
Night Vision
No attenuation
Night Vision
2x attenuation
Ballistic Image
2500x attenuation
Figure 2. Ground tests with minimal weather conditions
www.afrlhorizons.com
AFRL Technology Horizons, December 2002
AFRL Battlelabs Feat 1202
11/20/2002
10:13 AM
Page 17
operational effectiveness—the
true measure of success. In
doing so, the battlelab injects
operational aspects early into the
development process. Also, the
framework of the battlelab
initiative helps to develop critical
partnerships between the
developer, the provider (Air
Figure 3. BLADES concept
(shown mounted on an A-10)
address this, AFRL and the
AEF Battlelab are working
aggressively with Air Combat
Command and the rest of the
AF to bring vital defensive
capabilities to the warfighter as
soon as possible. Two critical Figure 4. Lazarus concept
elements of this thrust are the
Battlespace Laser Detection System
Force Materiel Command), the using
(BLADES) (see Figure 3) and the
major commands, and higher
Aircrew/Aircraft
Laser
Threat
headquarters. These links help ensure
Simulation System (called Lazarus) (see
the war fighter receives the right
Figure 4) initiatives. BLADES is a
capability in minimal time.
cooperative effort with SN to provide
AFRL at the C2B
aircraft and crews with an interim
The C2B, at Hurlburt Field, Florida,
capability to detect and characterize
has a number of ongoing initiatives
laser threats. Lazarus utilizes a
involving AFRL. The Speech Interface
capability, developed by the Materials
for Data Exploitation and Retrieval system
and Manufacturing Directorate, to
seeks to provide air operations centers
simulate the effects that laser threats
with a state-of-the-art speech interface for
will pose to AF air operations using safe
levels of laser energy. The
Lazarus system will enable
the AF to provide training,
and develop and validate
tactics for operations in a
laser threat environment.
Critical to the success of
these initiatives is the
partnership between AFRL
and the AEF Battlelab,
which relies on the unique
mission of each organization
to bring a total capability to
the AF. In this partnership, Figure 5. Speech interface with the MAAP Toolkit
AFRL provides the essential
data access, retrieval, exploitation, and
materiel to make these new capabilities
visualization. The Human Effectiveness
possible, namely the development, from
Directorate is contributing technical
concept to proven hardware, of new
management for developing the interface
technologies. However, hardware
between the speech system and the Webalone, no matter how sophisticated,
enabled Temporal Analysis System
does not constitute a capability. The
(WebTAS). WebTAS provides the means
operational aspect that the battlelab
to access, retrieve, format, and visualize
provides is also needed. By utilizing
data from disparate sources. WebTAS is a
organic operational expertise and close
very successful product of the
ties to the warfighter, the battlelab is
Information Directorate, and the C2B has
able to integrate these new technologies
used it in a number of initiatives.
with the Concepts of Operations
One of the C2B initiatives using
(CONOPS) to demonstrate and
WebTAS is the Master Air Attack Plan
evaluate the solution in terms of
AFRL Technology Horizons, December 2002
www.afrlhorizons.com
(MAAP) Toolkit (see Figure 5). The
MAAP lays out the basic scheme of air
operations within a single air tasking
order (ATO). The current MAAP
process is time-consuming and laborintensive. The MAAP Toolkit provides
real-time planning information to the
MAAP cell through an operationally
friendly, man-to-machine-to-machine
inter face that expedites MAAP
development and transmission to the
Theater Air Planner (TAP) module of
the Theater Battle Management Core
Systems. The MAAP Toolkit provides
information from multiple sources such
as unit level resource information,
Modernized Intelligence Database, Air
Operations Database, space planning
information from the Space Battle
Management System, intelligence
preparation of the battlespace,
predicted theater-wide weather, other
component plans (ground, air,
maritime), the target nomination list,
and commanders’ guidance. The
MAAP Toolkit will automatically build
target-planning worksheets and transfer
this information to TAP without the
need for human data entry. The
automatic transfer and compilation of
data will dramatically increase
manpower effectiveness for the Air
Operations Center MAAP and ATO
production cells. As a result of the close
coordination between these efforts,
researchers will also demonstrate the
speech interface as an auxiliary manmachine inter face for the MAAP
Toolkit.
Benefits of the AFRL—AF Battlelab
Collaborative Environment
The examples provided in this article
depict some of the benefits of the
AFRL/battlelab collaborative working
environment. AFRL brings technology
solutions to the table, while the AF
battlelabs provide early injection of an
operational perspective to help focus
development efforts. The battlelabs
also enhance program visibility to the
MAJOR COMMANDS, Product Centers,
and air staff, providing accelerated
transition paths as well as aiding in the
development of CONOPS for AFRL
technology solutions.
Ms. Mar yann Zelenak, Dr. Donald
Hoying, Mr. Eric Werkowitz, and Ms. F.
Diana Smith of the Air Force Research
Laborator y’s Plans and Programs
Directorate wrote this article. For more
information contact TECH CONNECT at
(800) 203-6451 or place a request at
http://www.afrl.af.mil/techconn/index.htm.
Reference document HQ-02-04.
17
AFRL Electronics Briefs1202
11/20/2002
10:59 AM
Page 18
Electronics
MONOBIT II
Researchers recently achieved a breakthrough in digital signal processing for receivers.
AFRL’s Sensors Directorate, Radio Frequency Sensors Division, Reference Sensors and Receiver Applications
Branch, Wright-Patterson AFB OH
MONOBIT II (see figure) uses field
direction of signals for threat warning
programmable gate array technology,
and intelligence gathering. Engineers
and recent testing successfully reported
can also use MONOBIT II for calibration
the frequencies of two simultaneous
and monitoring applications where fast
signals per channel. Most receivers
signal processing is required. Directorate
cannot handle more than one signal
studies indicate that a variety of
per channel, or worse, they give a false
techniques will be needed to detect a
report. Preliminary testing indicates
wide variety of new signals. The concept
that the MONOBIT II may be able to
behind MONOBIT II is to create the
manage up to five signals. A total of five
simplest system that can accomplish
MONOBIT II systems are in
production for use in laboratory
development and integration
into advanced signal intelligence
system demonstrations. Using a
much simpler design (no
multiplying) with a much
smaller footprint along with
higher bandwidth and higher
speed than conventional
techniques, MONOBIT II only
uses 2-4 bits instead of 9-14 bits.
The simple design allows for
high speed, flexibility with
reconfiguration, very wide
bandwidth, and extremely small
size. Applications include highspeed cueing of frequency,
pulse width, time of arrival, and MONOBIT II
specific tasks adequately and adapt to
changing needs quickly. The US Air
Force was awarded three patents on
MONOBIT technology to date.
Mr. Keith Graves of the Air Force Research
Laboratory’s Sensors Directorate wrote this
article. For more information contact TECH
CONNECT at (800) 203-6451 or place a request
at http://www.afrl.af.mil/techconn/index.htm.
Reference document SN-02-04.
Silicon Carbide Schottky Diodes
Silicon carbide Schottky diodes improve operational efficiency.
AFRL’s Propulsion Directorate, Power Division, Electrical Technology and Plasma Physics Branch,
Wright-Patterson AFB OH
The Propulsion Directorate’s
Electrical Technology and Plasma
Physics Branch, in conjunction with
Cree, Inc., developed and commercialized a power electronic device based
on the robust semiconductor material
silicon carbide (SiC). The device, a
high-speed SiC Schottky diode (see
figure) with low on-resistance, significantly reduces conduction and
switching energy losses, resulting in
increased power system efficiency.
Schottky diodes are inherently capable
18
of high-speed switching, but
previously have been based on
silicon (Si) technology, and thus
limited to practical applications of
< 200 volts due to the moderate
field strength of Si. However, the
breakdown field strength of SiC is
ten times greater than that of Si.
This allows the utilization of these
efficient high-speed devices in
high-voltage inverters/converters,
motor drives, and other power
components, which previously
www.afrlhorizons.com
SiC Schottky diodes
AFRL Technology Horizons, December 2002
11/20/2002
could not take advantage of the
attractive characteristics of Schottky
diodes.
Current Si technology is now
operating very close to the theoretical
limit; however, by developing a new
power device technology based on
wide bandgap material systems,
significant increases in performance
can be achieved.
Air Force
applications, such as inverters/
converters and motor drives, require
power devices with fast switching
speeds to minimize the losses
associated with pulsed control
waveforms. The exciting aspect of this
novel development is that now SiC
Schottky diodes are available in the
600-1200 volt class, enabling the use of
their high switching speeds in power
applications previously limited to
slower, inefficient types of rectifiers.
These two properties translate into
dramatically higher power system
efficiency.
The intrinsic material properties of
SiC can result in order-of-magnitude
improvements in voltage and current
handling capability, thus reducing
parts count, and volume and weight
from the power management and
distribution components of these
systems. In addition, the extremely
rugged nature of SiC enables hightemperature operation and resistance
to the natural radiation environment
of space. The new SiC Schottky diode
significantly reduces switching losses
by a factor of five times. This allows
further environmental control system
(ECS) size and weight reductions by
reducing electronic device cooling
requirements. A ten times higher
breakdown field strength compared to
Si enables large blocking voltages
using thinner and more conductive
layers than previously possible. As a
result, manufacturers can fabricate
large
voltage
devices
with
appreciable electrical current
handling capability without suffering
significant conduction losses, thus
enabling higher power system
efficiencies. Although the efficiency
improvements afforded by SiC
device technology enable a scaling
down of power component size and
weight, the most significant gains are
associated with reductions to the
power electronics ECS. These ECSs
are required to remove the heat load
generated by device inefficiencies
and prevent catastrophic thermal
failure.
In addition to the wide range of
military applications, a commercial
AFRL Technology Horizons, December 2002
10:15 AM
Page 19
market for the SiC devices also exists.
Industry’s use of these technologies
will lead to significantly improved
power device fabrication yield,
electrical per formance, and cost
effectiveness. Commercial applications
include transmission of electric power,
industrial process control, power
supplies, electric motor drives, hybrid
and electric vehicles, and electric
powered
mass
transportation.
Significant demand in the military
and commercial market will likely
result in the long-term success of this
initial SiC power device product and
enable the continued development
and ultimate release of companion
switching devices.
Dr. James D. Scofield of the Air Force
Research Laborator y’s Propulsions
Directorate wrote this article. For more
information contact TECH CONNECT at
(800) 203-6451 or place a request at
http://www.afrl.af.mil/techconn/index.htm.
Reference document PR-02-05.
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19
AFRL Photonics Briefs1202
11/20/2002
10:19 AM
Page 20
Photonics
Dual-Beam Focused Ion Beam-Scanning Electron Microscope
A new laboratory instrument significantly improves materials characterization and helps reduce
sample preparation time.
AFRL’s Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, Metals, Ceramics, and Nondestructive Evaluation Division,
Wright-Patterson AFB OH
The Materials and Manufacturing
critical microstructural characterization
Directorate acquired an advanced
instrumentation.
microscope that will greatly enhance
MCF researchers surmised that due to
the facility’s capability to research and
the intrinsically diverse nature of
develop new materials for current and
materials discovery and expanding
future aerospace systems. Designed
levels of microstructural control and
around the basic functions of a focused
manipulation, they needed new
ion beam (FIB) and a scanning electron
analytical tools that are more sensitive,
microscope (SEM), the new instrument
user-friendly, computer-controlled, and
significantly improves materials
efficient. The MCF team also knew
characterization by combining nanothese tools must be able to address large
machining, micro-deposition, and micronumbers of material classes and systems,
manipulation capabilities with
high-resolution imaging, using
both ion and electronic optics
(see figure).
Researchers at the directorate’s
Microstructural Characterization
Facility (MCF), collaborating with
faculty at the Ohio State University
and the Air Force Office of
Scientific Research, assisted FEI,
Co. (formerly Phillips Electron
Instruments) in developing the
critical concepts required to
build the dual-beam FIB-SEM
next-generation laboratory
instrument. The newly acquired
microscope is a powerful tool
for analyzing the difficult,
complex materials and systems Researchers at work with the new FIB-SEM
routinely encountered by
directorate researchers. It also allows for
and that the amount of time needed to
novel high-resolution characterization
prepare samples must be drastically
studies and helps reduce sample
reduced. Improved characterization
preparation times from weeks to hours,
capability was clearly the best solution.
which results in substantial savings for
Unfortunately, the cost of upgrading
both in-house and shared resource users.
and maintaining a world-class materials
Directorate research scientists and
research facility with state-of-the-art surface
engineers study an extensive variety of
and bulk characterization instrumentation
materials and systems in order to
has grown at an alarming rate and has
enhance understanding, assist in
subsequently limited the growth of the
discovery, and advance technologies.
characterization market. This, in turn,
This effort includes timely and accurate
constrained the level of characterization
characterization of microstructure,
effort in many research programs and
crystallography, and chemistry, all of
slowed technological advancement.
which have become increasingly
Characterization equipment developers
diversified
and
have
grown
are trying to reverse this trend by making
tremendously in the past few years.
their laboratory instruments more
This growth placed several demands
versatile. Research institutions, on the
on directorate p e r s o n n e l a n d
other hand, are considering joining forces
resources, particularly in researchand forming centers of excellence at each
20
www.afrlhorizons.com
institution. In essence, when an
institution needs a technology it does not
have, the work is accomplished in a
cooperative center.
The new dual-beam FIB-SEM incorporates many of the versatile qualities
eagerly sought by characterization
equipment developers, while offering
outstanding potential as a shared
resource among partnering centers of
excellence. For example, researchers
can incorporate numerous analytical
sensors for chemistry and
crystallography into the new
microscope as well as
process controls and digital
data acquisition via userfriendly computer interfaces.
Of particular importance
to the directorate, the new
instrument is highly effective
in characterizing a large
number of solid material
classes and systems such as
polymers, metals, ceramics,
and mixtures of each.
Researchers also use it
successfully to characterize
microelectromechanical
systems, micro-lithography,
oxidation, and corrosion
scales. The instrument also
proves to be very effective for studying
biological samples such as arthropods,
human hair, brain cells, and pollen.
The new dual-beam FIB-SEM reduces
sample preparation times, resulting in a
savings of both time and money that
researchers can apply to other projects
to advance Air Force technology and
national security.
Dr. Lawrence E. Matson, Dr. Michael D.
Uchic, Mr. Frank J. Scheltens (UES, Inc.),
and Dr. Pete Meltzer, Jr. (Anteon Corp.) of
the Air Force Research Laborator y’s
Materials
and
Manufacturing
Directorate wrote this article. For more
information contact TECH CONNECT at
(800) 203-6451 or place a request at
http://www.afrl.af.mil/techconn/index.htm.
Reference document ML-02-09.
AFRL Technology Horizons, December 2002
AFRL Photonics Briefs1202
11/20/2002
10:20 AM
Page 21
Integrated Photonics
The use of Integrated photonics improves phased array technology for missile defense radar.
AFRL’s Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, Nonmetallic Materials Division, Polymer Branch,
Wright-Patterson AFB OH
The Materials and Manufacturing Directorate provided
program management support to an advanced research
effort that demonstrated a method to simplify and improve
existing phased array radar systems to meet the
technological challenges posed by missile defense systems.
The research effort demonstrated that scientists can
dramatically enhance national missile defense (NMD) and
theater missile defense (TMD) systems by using an
integrated technology approach that significantly reduces
the size, weight, and complexity of the operational radar.
The integrated approach could result in less costly, more
effective missile defense systems to protect the United States
and its allies, while improving the overall capabilities of
existing radar systems.
Phased array technology offers greater speed and accuracy
than conventional radar technologies and is assuming an
increasingly significant role in space-based applications.
Unfortunately, practical implementation of arrays with
thousands of elements is limited due to the complexity of feed
structures and active phase-shifting elements.
Expanded use of integrated photonics is one attractive
solution to this problem. Photonics generate and harness
light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is
the photon. Practical applications include energy generation,
detection, communications, and information processing.
Integrated photonics improve phased array beam forming.
One of the major components is a photonic radio frequency
(RF) phase shifter that provides an accurate and easily
controllable phase shift. The figure shows a power-balanced
photonic phase shifter with a piezoelectric positioner in the
lower left corner. An RF probe positioner and a coaxial cable
feeding the probe is shown in the lower right corner. In the
center near the chip is the ferule for mechanical support of
the lensed fiber.
Directorate scientists supported Pacific Wave Industries,
Inc. of California, and the University of Southern California,
who successfully demonstrated integrated photonics that
simplify and improve existing phased array radar systems to
meet several of the NMD and TMD technological challenges.
Photonics offer several advantages over conventional
electronics including less weight, small size, low loss, low
power consumption, low cost, and immunity to
electromagnetic interference—features that enable powerful
applications such as true time delay (TTD) and antenna
remoting. The University of Southern California and Pacific
Wave Industries conceived and demonstrated an advanced
photonic microwave system suitable for phased array radars.
They effectively demonstrated that modifying the TTD
system using phase delays has important implications in
terms of applications because of the reductions in the size,
weight, and complexity of the entire radar system. They also
showed that this modification dramatically enhances the
effectiveness of NMD and TMD systems. The prototype
devices developed and tested during the research effort
confirm these findings.
Mr. Max D. Alexander and Dr. Pete Meltzer, Jr. (Anteon
Corporation) of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Materials and
Manufacturing Directorate wrote this article. For more
information contact TECH CONNECT at (800) 203-6451 or place a
request at http://www.afrl.af.mil/techconn/index.htm. Reference
document ML-02-07.
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AFRL Technology Horizons, December 2002
For Free Info Enter No. 640 at www.afrlhorizons.com/rs
21
AFRL Photonics Briefs1202
11/20/2002
10:21 AM
Page 22
PHOTONICS
Micro-Particle Image Velocimetry
New instrumentation allows researchers to probe microscale fluid motion.
AFRL’s Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Aerospace and Material Sciences Directorate, Arlington VA
Professor Carl Meinhart, at the
University of California, Santa Barbara
(UCSB), developed a new instrument
that will allow researchers to measure
motion of fluid inside microfluidic
devices at thousands of points
simultaneously. The device, a micronresolution Particle Image Velocimetry
(micro-PIV) instrument (see Figure 1),
will enable scientists to better understand
the basic physics of fluid motion at
the microscale. It will also lead to
improvements in the design of
microfluidic devices. The Air Force
Office of Scientific Research and the
Defense Advanced Research Projects
Agency jointly funded the research under
the MEMS [microelectromechanical
system] for Flow Control program.
While scientists are increasingly using
microfluidic devices in commercial,
medical, and military applications, it is
small fluorescent particles in the flow.
By tracking the displacement of these
particles during a short time interval
using two pulses of a laser beam,
scientists can determine the fluid
velocities in the device. Developing the
micro-PIV system required innovations
in the imaging system, data processing,
and seed particles.
Recent market surveys predict that
during 2003, worldwide sales for
microfluidic devices will be $3.8 billion
or about 40% of the total MEMS
market. Industry experts expect
worldwide sales to grow at an annual
rate of 25-35%. The majority of current
sales involve inkjet printer heads,
although scientists are developing new
applications in a variety of fields.
In printer head applications,
scientists at UCSB applied micro-PIV to
measure liquid flow through inkjet
Figure 1. Micro-PIV system
difficult for scientists to measure the
details of fluid motion inside these
devices. The small scale of these devices
makes direct measurements inside of
them with probes almost impossible.
However, scientists do not understand
many complex fluid-surface interactions
at the microscale, inhibiting the
development and commercialization of
microfluidic devices.
Micro-PIV works by making
measurements of the displacement of
22
printer nozzles (see Figure 2).
Traditionally, manufacturers designed
inkjets based upon trial and error,
empirical models, and computer
simulations of the fluid motion. MicroPIV measurements provided the first
detailed velocity measurements inside
an inkjet printer head. The micro-PIV
velocity field can also show the detailed
motion and droplet formation during
the ejection process. This gives insight
into common problems such as nonwww.afrlhorizons.com
Figure 2. Inkjet printer head
uniform ejections, satellite droplets,
cross talk between adjacent nozzles, and
excessive relaxation times required
between ejections.
Biotechnology researchers can also
use micro-PIV to investigate the
interaction between microscale fluid
motion and cells. Previous research
reported that shear stress on
endothelial cell walls causes them to
change shape. Scientists combined
micro-PIV with Atomic Force Microscopy to simultaneously measure the
fluid motion and cellular shape around
cultured endothelial cells.
Scientists are currently developing
microfluidic devices for use in biomedical diagnostics, biotechnology
sensors, and for a variety of aerospace
applications. An improved understanding of the details of fluid
mechanics at the microscale, made
possible with micro-PIV, may lead to a
number of applications. Among them
are more efficient mixing and response
times in biological and chemical
detection devices, more efficient
a n d repeatable microthrusters for
nanosatellite station-keeping, more
efficient heat exchangers for cooling
electronic components, and a variety
of other applications. Micro-PIV
provides a revolutionary tool for
measuring the fluid motion inside these
devices and the understanding required
to optimize their performance.
Dr. Thomas Beutner of the Air Force
Research Laboratory’s Air Force Office of
Scientific Research wrote this article. For
more information contact TECH CONNECT
at (800) 203-6451 or place a request at
http://www.afrl.af.mil/techconn/index.htm.
Reference document OSR-02-05.
AFRL Technology Horizons, December 2002
AFRL Sensors Briefs1202
11/20/2002
11:02 AM
Page 23
Sensors
Miniature Magnetic Sensor
New miniature magnetic sensor uses micro power to see vehicles.
AFRL’s Munitions Directorate, Ordnance Division, Fuzes Branch, Eglin AFB FL
As munitions become more
sophisticated, the electronics content
continually increases, requiring smaller
and smaller components to fit within a
fixed cavity. As an added bonus, these
smaller components tend to behave
more favorably under extreme shock
loading. Also, there is an ongoing need
to reduce power consumption to extend
the battery life in electronics. NVE
Corporation developed a proprietary
technology magnetic sensor that meets
all of these goals under a Phase II Small
Business Innovation Research (SBIR)
program
with
the
Munitions
Directorate. This technology has the
potential to revolutionize magnetic
sensing. The goal of the SBIR program
is to develop a shock-hardened,
magnetic sensor for long-term vehicle
detection.
The new device uses an integrated
circuit technology with giant magnetoresistance films in a spin dependent
tunneling (SDT) format to achieve
higher sensitivity, lower power, and
smaller size than other technologies.
Existing SDT sensors require a bias coil
to center the operating point over zero
field for operation. This biasing coil
can consume as much as 200 mW,
which is totally unacceptable for long
periods of battery operation.
The new NVE-developed SDT sensor
eliminates the requirement for the
coil, which allows the power
consumption to be reduced to
approximately 500 µW with an
excitation voltage of 5V @ 100 µA and
an element resistance of R = 50 kΩ.
Researchers fabricated the low power
SDT sensor and measured its response
to small magnetic fields. The sensor
has a low hysteresis, a high sensitivity
region of operation near zero field,
and requires no biasing fields for
operation. The sensitivity is about 20
mV/V/Gauss, which is 5 to 10 times
higher than typical commercial
anisotropic magneto-resistance sensors.
Researchers are addressing further
optimizations of hysteresis and offset to
achieve even better per formance.
Since the fabrication of the sensor uses
AFRL Technology Horizons, December 2002
Figure 1. Relative size of sensor. Probe is 7 x 0.5 in.
1.650000
1.600000
V
o
1.500000 l
t
1.450000
s
1.550000
1.400000
1.350000
0.00
0.200
0.400
0.600
0.800
1.000
Seconds
Figure 2. Windstar side magnetic profile
common integrated circuit processes,
researchers can make the sensor very
small as shown in Figure 1.
Vehicle sensing is one of the
applications of this new sensor. The
results of sensing a Ford Windstar are
shown in Figure 2. The graph shows
the earth’s magnetic field change
caused by the presence of the side
magnetic profile of the vehicle. It is
evident that this vehicle has a distinct
magnetic signature.
This development resulted in the
fabrication of magnetic sensors that
have the combination of the desired
www.afrlhorizons.com
features including miniature size,
higher sensitivity, and very low power
consumption. This combination of
features will result in increased
applications, both militarily and
commercially, where current magnet
sensing products cannot be applied.
Mr. Robert Sinclair of NVE Corporation
and Ms. Amy E. Herrmann-Spears of the Air
Force Research Laborator y’s Munitions
Directorate wrote this article. For more
information contact TECH CONNECT at
(800) 203-6451 or place a request at
http://www.afrl.af.mil/techconn/index.htm.
Reference document MN-02-08.
23
AFRL Space Briefs 1202
11/20/2002
11:03 AM
Page 24
Space
Small Satellite Technology
Researchers are developing affordable and reliable small satellite launch opportunities.
AFRL’s Space Vehicles Directorate, Spacecraft Technology Division, Spacecraft Component Technologies Branch,
Kirtland AFB NM
The Department of Defense (DoD),
National Aeronautics and Space
Administration (NASA), universities,
and industry share an interest in using
small satellites to per form space
experiments, demonstrate new
technology, and develop operational
systems. One potential operational
application of small satellites is using
opportunities, where the small satellites
Colorado at Boulder, and New Mexico
hitch a ride with a primary payload, are
State University (Three Corner Sat);
more affordable (typically hundreds of
Stanford University and Santa Clara
thousands of dollars), but are much less
University (Emerald and Orion); Boston
frequent, especially in the United States
University (Constellation Pathfinder);
(US) launch market. In an attempt to
Carnegie Mellon University (Solar Blade
solve this problem, the Space Vehicles
Nanosat); and Utah State University,
Directorate implemented two small
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State
payload launch initiatives called
University, and University of Washington
University Nanosat and
(ION-F). In addition, numerous
the Evolved Expendable
industry partners are supporting the
Launch Vehicle (EELV)
universities with design assistance,
Secondary Payload Adapter
hardware, and testing services. One of
(ESPA). The goal of these
the ancillary benefits of the University
programs is to solve the
Nanosat program is to provide a
launch problem by incooperative/outreach/training environcreasing the number of
ment in which the universities,
secondary payload launch
government research organizations, and
opportunities available at a
industry can develop innovative small
reasonable cost.
satellite technologies.
The University Nanosat
The university-designed and -built
program is a partnership
nanosatellites are scheduled to launch
effort between the directfrom the Space Shuttle in 2003, using
orate, the Air Force Office
an AFRL-developed Multi-Satellite
of Scientific Research, the
Deployment System (MSDS) (see Figure
Defense Advanced Research
2). Engineers designed the MSDS
Projects Agency, NASA, the
platform to deploy multiple satellites to
Air Force Space and Missile
low-earth orbit using the Shuttle as the
Center’s Space Test Program
primary launch vehicle. The MSDS/
Figure 1. University Nanosat program payloads undergoing thermal
vacuum testing
(SMC Det 12/ST), and ten
nanosatellite system is attached to the
US universities. Through
Shuttle Hitchhiker Experiment Launch
clusters of microsatellites that operate
this program, the government partners
System, and the entire assembly is
cooperatively to perform the function
are sponsoring the development and
installed in the Shuttle payload bay.
of a larger, single satellite. Each smaller
launch of university-designed and -built
Post-deployment from the Shuttle, two
satellite communicates with the others and
nanosatellites (10-25 kg class) (see
low-shock separation systems will
shares the processing, communications,
Figure 1). The universities are pursuing
separate the individual nanosatellites.
and payload or mission functions. This
creative, low-cost space experiments to
Existing pyrotechnic clamp-band
type of a distributed system has several
research and demonstrate
advantages: (1) system-level robustness
nanosatellite technologies in
and graceful degradation, and (2)
such areas as miniature bus
distributed capabilities for surveillance
technologies, formation flying,
and science measurements built into
enhanced communications,
the system architecture. Despite the
distributed satellite capabilities,
benefits of small satellites for certain
and maneuvering. There are
applications, infrequent launch
also
several
science
opportunities and their associated high
experiments in such areas as
costs present the primary obstacle to the
Global Positioning System
full utilization of small satellite
scintillation, solar wind,
technology. As an example, dedicated
magnetic fields, and upper
rocket launches cost in the tens of
atmosphere ion density. The
millions of dollars, which is costuniversities participating in
prohibitive for almost all small
the program are Arizona Figure 2. MSDS (shown in black) adapts the nanosatellites to the
satellite programs. Secondary launch
State University, University of Space Shuttle.
24
www.afrlhorizons.com
AFRL Technology Horizons, December 2002
AFRL Space Briefs 1202
11/20/2002
11:05 AM
Figure 3. ESPA ring undergoing final machining
separation systems are not suited for
small satellite applications; the high
shock separation event is too close to
the sensitive electronics on a small
satellite. One of the primary goals of
the University Nanosat program is to
demonstrate this new class of nonpyrotechnic, low-shock separation
systems, which is an enabling
technology for small satellite launches.
Contingent on the success of the
University Nanosatellite program first
flights, the MSDS will be a viable
platform for the launch and
deployment of future small satellites.
Page 25
ESPA is a joint effort
between the directorate and
SMC Det 12/ST to develop a
standard secondary payload
accommodation on the
EELV launch vehicle. In
1995, SMC identified large
unused payload margins on
the majority of the DoD’s
EELV manifests. In almost
all cases, this unused
payload margin was in
excess of 3000 lbs. ESPA
exploits this unused payload
margin by deploying up to
six secondary payloads. By
taking advantage of existing
unused payload margin, ESPA will
increase access to space for small
satellites and space experiments, and by
sharing mission integration and launch
expenses, the cost of space access can
be dramatically reduced.
ESPA is a 0.5 in. thick aluminum ring
that is roughly 62 in. in diameter by 24
in. tall (see Figure 3). Engineers can
mount individual satellites on one of six
standardized secondary payload (SPL)
mounting locations found on the
perimeter of this ring. The secondary
satellites mount radially on the ESPA
adapter using a low-shock separation
system called Lightband, developed by
Planetary Systems Corporation of Silver
Springs, Maryland. Each SPL can have a
maximum mass of 400 lbs and a dynamic
envelope of 24 in. × 24 in. × 38 in. ESPA
is installed between the EELV payload
attach fitting (PAF) and the primary
payload (PPL). To provide minimal
impact to the PPL, the ESPA duplicates
the standard interface plane of the PAF
and is designed to be very stiff in all
directions. The PPL may have a mass of
up to 15,000 lbs and since the ESPA
ring is only 24 in. high, only a small
amount of volume is taken away from
the PPL.
The first flight of the ESPA will be in
early fiscal year 2006 on the MV05
Mission, managed by SMC Det 12/ST.
The primary payload on this mission is
the Indian Ocean Meteorological
Experiment. Secondary payloads will
consist of one STPSat containing a
Naval Post Graduate School payload, a
second STPSat—a suite of experiments
managed by SMC Det 12/ST, and three
TechSat 21 satellites—a directorate
experiment to investigate the benefits of
a constellation of small satellites. The
sixth slot on the ESPA is currently left
empty for contingency. This series of
satellites will be launched on a Delta IV
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AFRL Technology Horizons, December 2002
For Free Info Enter No. 641 at www.afrlhorizons.com/rs
25
AFRL Space Briefs 1202
11/20/2002
11:06 AM
Page 26
SPACE
medium launch vehicle. The success of
this mission will ensure the availability
of a secondary payload capability on the
EELV class of launch vehicles.
Researchers expect the directoratedeveloped MSDS and ESPA adapter
technologies to have a tremendous impact
on future spacecraft programs by
increasing the number of secondary
payload launch opportunities available at
a reasonable cost. In addition, they expect
the low-shock separation system
development and demonstration to
provide an enabling technology for future
small satellite launches. Researchers
anticipate current AFRL development
efforts will help pave the way to changing
the launch paradigm by providing small
satellite launch opportunities at a
reasonable cost and on a regular schedule,
thus allowing for the full utilization of
small satellite technology within the US.
Mr. Jeff Ganley and Dr. Peter Wegner of
the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Space
Vehicles Directorate wrote this article. For
more information contact TECH CONNECT
at (800) 203-6451 or place a request at
http://www.afrl.af.mil/techconn/index.htm.
Reference document VS-02-02.
PICOSat
The Air Force is using commercial off-the-shelf technology in microsatellites.
AFRL’s Air Force Office of Scientific Research, European Office of Aerospace Research and Development, Arlington VA
The first US government-purchased
commercial off-the-shelf (COTS)
microsatellite, PICOSat, was successfully
launched from the Alaskan Spaceport
in Kodiak, Alaska. Built for the
Department of Defense (DoD) Space
Test program and initially funded by an
Air Force Office of Scientific Research
(AFOSR) Windows On Science
initiative, PICOSat demonstrated the
practicality of using COTS spacecraft
platform technology to provide low-cost,
capable microsatellites, a key to costeffective and rapid launch capability for
space systems.
With innovative and leading-edge
technology, PICOSat fulfills both DoD
and the Air Force’s (AF) profile of
achieving faster mission turnaround
times with lower life-cycle costs. For its
size, PICOSat provides a significant
capability by carrying four experimental
payloads whose first letters are the basis
of the PICOSat acronym:
• Polymer
Battery
Experiment,
developed by Johns Hopkins
University, demonstrates the charging
or discharging characteristics of
polymer batteries in the space
environment. The battery is onboard
PICOSat
26
to test its capability to provide a
lightweight, flexible technology that
will reduce weight and cost
requirements for future military and
commercial space systems.
• Ionospheric Occultation Experiment,
developed by the AF Space and Missile
Systems Center (SMC), uses Global
Positioning System signals at the
edge of the atmosphere to measure
ionospheric properties. It demonstrates remote sensing techniques
for future DoD space systems and
operational modeling for ionospheric
and thermospheric forecasts.
• Coherent Electromagnetic Radio
Tomography, developed by the Naval
Research Laboratory, is a space-based
radio beacon providing cooperative
ionospheric observations with ground
receivers. It provides a global
ionospheric map to aid prediction of
radio wave scattering, thereby
improving navigation accuracy and
communications capacity for military
and commercial systems.
• Orbital
Precision
Platform
Experiment, developed by the Space
Vehicles Directorate, is an antivibration isolation test between the
satellite bus and the science
payload. This could reduce
launch cost and improve
per formance of space-based
sensors for military and
commercial space systems.
The microsatellite weighs
67 kg and is based on the commercially available technology
of Surrey Satellite Technology
Limited in Guilford, United
1
Kingdom (see figure). Currently, it is flying in an 800 km
circular orbit with a 67°
inclination. PICOSat uses a
gravity gradient boom for
stabilization, while the bodywww.afrlhorizons.com
mounted solar panels produce on-orbit
power. Engineers designed PICOSat for
a minimum of one year of on-orbit
operations, but it may possibly be active
for up to five.
Starting in the early 1990s, AFOSR’s
European Office of Aerospace Research
and Development (EOARD) program
manager, Lieutenant Colonel Jerry
Sellers, facilitated the exchange of
dialogue between Surrey scientists and
the Space Test Program Office. Now, as
director of the Small Satellite Research
Center at the AF Academy in Colorado
Springs, Colorado, Lt Col Sellers is
overseeing the normal mission
operations of the satellite jointly with
the ground site in Guilford. Using two
sites to downlink information greatly
increases the amount of experimental
data that can be received from
PICOSat.
Through EOARD’s Windows on
Science program, scientists from other
countries visit their US counterparts
and facilities. One such visit by Surrey
representatives to the SMC, at Kirtland
Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New
Mexico, resulted years later in the
purchase of the microsatellite. What
began as a modest Windows on Science
initiative culminated into a successful
joint endeavor with the United
Kingdom and a new operational success
for the AF space program.
Col Gerald O’Connor of the Air Force
Research Laboratory’s Air Force Office of
Scientific Research wrote this article. For
more information contact TECH CONNECT
at (800) 203-6451 or place a request at
http://www.afrl.af.mil/techconn/index.htm.
Reference document OSR-02-08.
Reference
1
“Surrey-Built PICOSat Launched for US Air
Force.” Space Daily. Oct 01, http://www.
spacedaily.com/news/nanosat-Old.html
AFRL Technology Horizons, December 2002
AFRL Aeronautics Briefs 1202
11/20/2002
4:22 PM
Page 27
Aeronautics
Drag Reduction from Formation Flight
Flying aircraft in bird-like formations could significantly increase range.
AFRL’s Air Vehicles Directorate, Control Sciences Division, Control Theory Optimization Branch, Wright-Patterson AFB OH
The Air Vehicles Directorate is
currently studying a novel form of
formation flight. For centuries, flocks
of migratory birds have flown in large
formations. One reason for this is the
drag reduction obtained by flying in
close proximity to wakes generated by
other birds. Photographic studies of
Canadian Geese indicate the average
spacing between adjacent birds is very
close to the optimum predicted by
simple aerodynamic theory. Small heart
monitors implanted in White Pelicans
show reduced heart rates while flying in
formation compared to individual
flight. Recent advances in automatic
control theory, combined with the
ability to accurately determine the
location of aircraft, may now make this
practical for aircraft.
Aircraft wings generate strong tip
vortices (like horizontal tornadoes) that
generate large downward velocities
(downwash) between the wing tips and
upward velocities (upwash) outboard of
the tips. For some aircraft, the velocities
at the edge of these vortices can exceed
100 mph. By properly positioning the
wing of another aircraft within this
upwash, the effective velocity vector of
the aircraft is rotated downward. This
rotates the lift vector forward and the
drag vector upward, giving the
impression of flying downhill. The net
effect is a decrease in drag as measured
with respect to the flight path.
The theoretical maximum possible
range of a formation is the square root
of the number of aircraft in formation
times the range of a single aircraft, but
this is dependent on altitude or speed.
For example, assume a single aircraft
flies at a certain altitude and speed, the
range of nine aircraft in formation
would be three times the range of the
single aircraft. However, this requires
the formation to fly much higher than
the original altitude or much slower.
If the formation flies at the original
altitude and speed, the range of a
nine-aircraft formation is 1.8 times
t h e range of the single aircraft.
Other considerations, like engine
per formance and atmospheric
turbulence, reduce the value even
further. Scientists are studying the
increase that is actually attainable in
wind tunnel and flight tests.
Figure 1. F-18C models in a 30 x 60 ft wind tunnel
AFRL Technology Horizons, December 2002
www.afrlhorizons.com
One of the difficulties in maintaining
minimum drag formations is that
trailing aircraft within the formation are
not in a stable position and will have a
tendency to wander. To maximize the
drag reduction, the trail aircraft must
be in the same horizontal plane as the
tip vortices from the lead aircraft.
Although flight demonstration teams,
like the United States Air Force
Thunderbirds or the Navy Blue Angels,
fly very close to one another, they
generally fly in stable positions with
respect to each other. The appearance
that the vehicles are coplanar is an
optical illusion. The wing aircraft in
the famous diamond formation actually
fly above the lead aircraft, while the
trail aircraft flies either above or below
the leader. If the flight path is nearly
perpendicular to the line-of-sight, the
observer cannot discern these vertical
separations, and it appears that the
vehicles are coplanar. Another difficulty
with minimum drag formations is that
the pilot may have to make large
control deflections to maintain position.
The beneficial upwash is predominant
on the wing nearest to the formation
leader, resulting in a tendency to roll
the trail aircraft away from the
leader. The control required to
counter this roll increases drag and
reduces the overall benefit.
Bihrle Applied Research of
Hampton, Virginia, under an Air
Vehicles Directorate Small Business
Innovation Research Phase II
program, modified the Langley fullscale 30 x 60 ft wind tunnel to
measure the forces acting on both
aircraft while in a formation. Tests,
using two tailless delta wing
unmanned air vehicle (UAV)
models, showed peak drag
reductions of about 15% for the trail
aircraft in a two-ship formation. The
maximum drag reductions occurred
when the wingtips slightly
overlapped. Scientists also measured
large pitching and rolling moments,
which would require control deflections to counteract. Directorate
scientists, using the vortex lattice
27
AFRL Aeronautics Briefs 1202
11/20/2002
11:10 AM
Page 28
AERONAUTICS
Figure 2. T-38 formation flight
code HASC95, computed a drag reduction of just over 20%,
slightly more optimistic than the experimental results. They
also used HASC95 to define stability boundaries for the trail
UAV. The computed boundaries were very close to those
measured in the Langley tests. Scientists also developed
advanced control algorithms for maintaining a UAV
formation using neural networks. Flight simulations
showed the trail UAV was able to track the lead UAV
during high-speed flight and maintain proper position
28
For Free Info Enter No. 642 at www.afrlhorizons.com/rs
with only small deviations during
banking maneuvers.
Scientists also conducted wind
tunnel tests using two 1/10 scale F-18C
models (see Figure 1), which showed
peak drag reductions of about 25%.
These tests supported the Autonomous
Formation Flight program recently
completed at the National Aeronautics
and Space Administration’s (NASA)
Dryden Flight Research Center. NASA
modified two F-18 aircraft with a
differential Global Positioning System
that allowed the aircraft to be
positioned within 30 cm of each other.
The trailing pilot’s heads-up display
showed the relative aircraft positions.
Scientists measured drag reductions of
up to 20% for short intervals. On the
final flight, the trail F-18 maintained
position for 96 minutes and
demonstrated a 12% fuel savings
1,2,3
relative to the lead F-18.
The Air Force Flight Test Center is also studying formation
flight using T-38s (see Figure 2). In October 2001, pilots flew
two- and three-ship formations of T-38s in various positions
while in echelon formation. Aerodynamic theory indicates the
third ship in a formation has a larger drag reduction than the
second. Air Force Institute of Technology and directorate
scientists performed extensive pre-test calculations of the
formation flight effects using the HASC95 code. They
performed the calculations at the flight test condition (Mach
0.5) and included control surface deflections for aircraft trim.
They indicated a 15% drag reduction for the trail ship in a twoship formation and an 18% reduction for the third ship in an
echelon. These results are smaller than the tailless UAV results
because the flight tests could not be conducted at the speed
for optimum drag reduction. At the optimum speed, scientists
predicted drag reductions of almost 30%. The flight tests did
not directly measure drag, but instead measured fuel flow,
which is representative of the actual benefits in terms of dollars
saved. Scientists measured the fuel flow savings using two
distinct methods. They recorded direct measurements of fuel
flow for the trail aircraft in formation and out of formation,
but at the same airspeed. They also recorded an indirect
measurement by comparing the airspeed difference of the trail
aircraft in and out of formation at the same throttle setting.
They used this speed difference in a high-fidelity engine model
to estimate the change in required fuel flow. They tested four
lateral separations, two with overlapped wingtips, one with
wingtips aligned, and one with a gap between the wingtips.
There was no overlap in the longitudinal direction, and pilots
maintained a 12 ft nose-to-tail separation between adjacent
aircraft. The pre-test calculations predicted the 14% overlap
position would show the maximum drag savings, which the
flight test verified. For the two-ship formation, they found an
11% fuel flow reduction using the direct method and a 7%
reduction using the indirect method. For the three-ship
formation, results were inconclusive due to the difficulty in
properly maintaining the position of all aircraft
simultaneously. The scientists also completed pilot workload
assessments. They found that maintaining the minimum drag
formation was a comparable workload to maintaining other
types of formations. Of the four lateral positions tested, the
pilots considered the 14% overlap position the easiest to fly.
This was the one that yielded the greatest fuel savings. The
AFRL Technology Horizons, December 2002
AFRL Aeronautics Briefs 1202
11/20/2002
longest duration the pilots could
maintain the position operationally was
approximately 20-30 minutes. This
indicates the aircraft would probably
require some sort of automatic system
to reap the benefits of formation flight
4
for extended periods.
The technologies developed under
these efforts are directly applicable to
aerial refueling. One area of current
interest is autonomous refueling of a
UAV. The UAV will require sophisticated control systems and position
11:10 AM
Page 29
sensors, and scientists will require a
complete understanding of the wake
effects of the tanker on the UAV to
attain this capability. Scientists are
already using the Langley facility to
study wake interference effects during
aerial refueling.
Mr. William Blake of the Air Force Research
Laboratory’s Air Vehicles Directorate wrote this
article. For more information contact TECH
CONNECT at (800) 203-6451 or place a request
at http://www.afrl.af.mil/techconn/index.htm.
Reference document VA-02-02.
References
1
Hagenauer, B. “NASA Studies Wingtip
Vortices.” Aerospace Engineering Online:
Technology
Update,
Jan/Feb
02,
http://www.sae.org/aeromag/techupdate/
02-2002/page5.htm
2
Iannotta, B. “Vortex Draws Flight Research
Forward.” Aerospace America, Mar 02, 26-30.
3
Ray, R. J., et al. “Flight Test Techniques
Used to Evaluate Performance Benefits
During Formation Flight.” AIAA paper
2002-4492, Monterey CA, Aug 02.
4
Wagner, G., et al. “Flight Test Results of
Close Formation Flight for Fuel Savings.”
AIAA paper 2002-4490, Monterey CA, Aug 02.
Continuous Moldline Technology
Researchers are developing the application of a highly flexible structure to enable adaptation of aircraft
geometry to different flight conditions and mission requirements for future morphing aircraft.
AFRL’s Air Vehicles Directorate, Structures Division and Aeronautical Sciences Division, Wright-Patterson AFB OH
Continuous moldline technology
(CMT) is an innovative structural
concept that utilizes highly flexible
materials to enable in-flight modification of airframe geometry. An air
vehicle’s external geometry largely
dictates its aerodynamic, control, and
structural characteristics and, therefore,
its ability to effectively per form its
mission. In designing the vehicle,
engineers usually determine the
geometry from performance trade-offs
between various disciplines and
required design attributes. Engineers
designed many of today’s military
aircraft to perform multiple missions,
and many other aircraft per form
missions for which they were not
originally designed. For example, many
fighter aircraft perform both air-to-air
combat and ground attack missions.
The Joint Strike Fighter is an example
of an air vehicle that will per form
multiple missions for multiple services.
The Air Force originally utilized the F-4
as an air-to-air fighter, but later used it
to perform electronic warfare roles,
which are dominated by cruise and
loiter capability instead of high levels of
maneuverability. While the military may
achieve significant cost savings by using
aircraft for multiple roles, multi-mission
and multi-service aircraft design
requirements often result in significant
compromise in air vehicle performance
and mission effectiveness.
Ideally, an aircraft required to
perform multiple missions would be
able to change its shape to perform
each mission more effectively. Even
single mission aircraft are required to
fly at different speeds and altitudes;
therefore, their design represents a
AFRL Technology Horizons, December 2002
compromise in that engineers usually
design the aircraft to per form optimally at only one condition. Engineers
designed aircraft, such as the F-111,
F-14, and B-1, with variable sweep wings
to help them perform effectively in a
wide range of flight conditions.
Similarly, the capture area of the
inlets on an F-15 adjusts with flight
condition to maximize aero-propulsion
performance, and the testing of the
Innovative Structural Concept
interest in aeronautics, evidenced by
many activities at the Defense Advanced
Research Projects Agency, the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration
(NASA), and AFRL. Recent technology
developments in compact actuators are
providing a foundation for future
adaptive structures applications. Some
advanced materials enable an integral
structure and actuation mechanism.
The development of highly flexible
CMT Can Carry Loads and Be:
Compressed or
Elongated
Rod Block
(Attach Provisions)
Elastomer
(Silicone)
Bent
Structural Rods
- Stiffness Tailored
as Required
Side View
Twisted
Distributed Load
Rods Sized
for Distributed Load
Figure 1. CMT structural concept
Mission Adaptive Wing in the 1980s was
an attempt to develop a variable camber
air foil. Development of adaptive
airframe structures that would enable
in-flight modification of vehicle
geometry (morphing) offers the
potential for air vehicle designs that can
perform more effectively over a wide
range of flight conditions and for
multiple missions.
Adaptive structures technology
development is currently of high
www.afrlhorizons.com
structures, such as CMT, is also enabling to future adaptive structures
applications. As shown in Figure 1,
CMT consists of an elastomeric
matrix, reinforced with stiffening rods
that are able to slide within the matrix
to achieve ver y high deformation.
Researchers demonstrated CMT
structures to 30% elongation and
compression as well as very large
bending and twisting deformation.
CMT offers substantial performance
29
AFRL Aeronautics Briefs 1202
11/20/2002
11:12 AM
Page 30
AERONAUTICS
Expandable
Fuel Cells
Continuous
Control Surfaces
Adaptive Inlets
Transition
Sections
Figure 2. CMT applications
Figure 3. CMT test structure installed on F-15 FTF
payoffs for numerous applications.
Variable geometry fuel cells and inlets
are two notable examples where CMT
can reduce aerodynamic drag
throughout a mission profile (see Figure
2). Also, application of CMT to
bridge the gap between movable
control s u r f a c e s a n d f i x e d w i n g
structure improves the aerodynamic
effectiveness of the control surface
and can reduce the noise generated
by the unsealed gap. While it is easy
to see how an adaptive structure can
improve aerodynamic performance, the
key to realizing these aerodynamic
benefits on an air vehicle is to
minimize any penalties associated
30
with the adaptive structure versus a
conventional structure. Weight, cost,
and actuation power requirements are
all potential penalties that could limit the
effectiveness of CMT applications. In
order to fully evaluate the benefits
and penalties for CMT, researchers
needed to fabricate and test large-scale
hardware in a relevant environment.
While the basic CMT structural
design concept is generic to the
various applications identified in
Figure 2, a team of directorate, NASA,
and Boeing researchers chose the
continuous control surface application
as the initial focus, due to availability
of experimental test assets. The
www.afrlhorizons.com
continuous control sur face design
concept consists of integrating CMT
transition structures on the inboard
and outboard edges of a control
surface, producing a continuous wing
surface. Also, CMT is installed across
the control surface hinge line. As the
surface is actuated, the CMT deforms
to provide a smooth transition
between fixed structure and the
actuated surface. By eliminating the
moldline discontinuities around the
deflected surface, effectiveness losses
associated with aerodynamic gap
spillage are eliminated, and flow
separation is reduced. The technical
challenges associated with the design
of a continuous control sur face
revolve around tailoring the stiffness
of the CMT structure. The CMT
structure must be as flexible as
possible to minimize actuation power
requirements and large loads in the
surrounding structure, yet it must be
stiff enough to maintain the proper
shape for optimal aerodynamic
per formance under steady and
unsteady aerodynamic loading.
Unsteady aerodynamic loading can
also induce undesirable structural
dynamic response, which could lead
to failure of the CMT structure.
The team conducted a wind tunnel
demonstration of a continuous control
sur face on a scaled fighter aircraft
model in a low-speed tunnel at NASA
Ames Research Center. The objectives
of this initial wind tunnel testing were
to validate the structural design
approach and verify aerodynamic
per formance improvements in a
relevant environment. Early in the
testing, the challenge of designing
highly flexible aircraft structures was
evident as the CMT structure exhibited
some undesirable structural dynamic
response due to an unexpected
aerodynamic load environment in the
wind tunnel. Based on improved
knowledge of the wind tunnel
environment, the team modified the
CMT transition section design and
successfully completed wind tunnel
testing. This testing validated the
structural design approach and
measured the aerodynamic and control
effectiveness improvements versus a
conventional control surface up to the
limits of the wind tunnel (Mach 0.3
and dynamic pressure up to 250 psf).
The team measured increases in
control surface effectiveness on the
order of 20% during this wind tunnel
testing.
While the wind tunnel testing
verified some of the aerodynamic and
AFRL Technology Horizons, December 2002
AFRL Aeronautics Briefs 1202
11/20/2002
1:51 PM
Page 31
Figure 4. CMT test structure in flight
control benefits associated with this
application, transition of this
technology would ultimately require
the demonstration of CMT structure at
the highest dynamic pressures and
Mach numbers associated with a typical
fighter aircraft flight environment.
The team per formed an analysis of
test environments, cost, and data
collection possibilities and identified
the NASA F-15B Flight Test Fixture
(FTF) as the best test bed for
continuing the development of CMT.
The critical component of the
continuous control surface application
is the transition section between the
fixed trailing edge and the actuated
control surface. In order to validate the
flight worthiness of this flexible
structure, the team modified the
trailing edge of the F-15B FTF to subject
a CMT transition structure to the full
operational envelope of the test aircraft.
The flight hardware is shown in Figures
3 and 4. The flights covered the
operational envelope of the test aircraft,
testing the CMT structure up to Mach
1.7, dynamic pressures up to 990 psf,
and altitudes from 5k to 40k ft. The
team obtained aerodynamic pressures
and CMT structural response data for
deflections of the CMT surface up to
30°. Preliminary inspections of the
CMT structure reveal no signs of wear
or damage after the 5 hours of flight
tests. The successful completion of this
flight research program gave the
research team confidence that highly
flexible structural concepts, such as
CMT, are viable as a step toward the
vision of adaptive air frames and
morphing aircraft.
Mr. Pete Flick and Mr. Dudley Fields of
the Air Force Research Laborator y’s Air
Vehicles Directorate wrote this article. For
more information contact TECH CONNECT
at (800) 203-6451 or place a request at
http://www.afrl.af.mil/techconn/index.htm.
Reference document VA-02-03.
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©2002 OptoSigma Corporation. ®OptoSigma is a registered trademark of OptoSigma Corporation.
All other trademarks acknowledged.
AFRL Technology Horizons, December 2002
For Free Info Enter No. 643 at www.afrlhorizons.com/rs
31
AFRL Aeronautics Briefs 1202
11/20/2002
11:14 AM
Page 32
AERONAUTICS
Understanding Hypersonic Vehicle Radiation Emission
Discovery of a new mechanism may control persistent radiation from hypersonic vehicles.
AFRL’s Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Aerospace and Materials Sciences Directorate, Arlington VA
Professor William Rich and a group
of scientists at the Ohio State
University (OSU), sponsored by the
Air Force Office of Scientific Research,
recently discovered a mechanism that
may suppress radiation emitted by
vehicles that travel at speeds several
times greater than the speed of sound.
Hypervelocity aerospace vehicles, such
as ballistic missiles, emit strong light
radiation during parts of their flight
trajector y.
Scientists knew, for
example, that during a ballistic
missile’s boost phase, the exhaust from
its rocket engines created a radiation
source. While scientists were able to
glean detailed information regarding
the signature characteristics of the
radiation, they knew little about the
exact mechanisms that produced the
radiation. Of particular concern was
the surprising persistence of
ultraviolet (UV)-visible radiation,
extending long distances behind the
vehicle.
Prof Rich’s group observed that
various modes of motion of energetic
molecules in the flow field caused the
radiation. As the flow was heated
during the normal course of the flight
profile, the excited molecules moved
randomly in translational and rotational
motion. Normally, detectable radiation
does not arise from these modes;
however, at sufficient energy levels, the
vibrational motions of the flow
molecules are excited and emit infrared
radiation. Some molecules present in
the shock wave created by a
hypervelocity vehicle are strong infrared
radiators (most notably, nitric oxide and
the hydroxyl free radical). However,
Wright Scholars Program Develops
Future Air Force Scientists and Engineers
By: Mr. Michael Kelly, Universal Technology Corporation,
AFRL Propulsion Directorate
W
hile most of their friends were flipping burgers at the local
fast food joint or just hanging out at the mall this past
summer, a select group of promising young scientists was
experimenting with their future as research assistants in the Air Force
R e s e a r c h L a b o r a t o r y a t Wr i g h t - P a t t e r s o n A i r F o r c e B a s e , O h i o .
Tw e n t y - s e v e n “ Wr i g h t S c h o l a r s ” j o i n e d a t e a m o f s c i e n t i s t a n d
engineer mentors in the laboratory’s Propulsion, Air Vehicles, and
Human Effectiveness Directorates for 10 weeks of hands-on
exploration designed to foster learning in the realm of science and
engineering. The paid internship gave the selectees, from 19 different
high schools, an opportunity
to assist with on-site research
and apply their knowledge
of chemistr y, physics, and
mathematics to various types
of engineering careers.
Twenty of the 22 juniors
who participated are returning
next year to continue their
research and pursue a possible
career as Air Force scientists
or engineers. Five seniors on
their way to college will be
invited to apply and take
advantage
of
summer Dr. Paul King (left), Air Force Institute of Technology, and
internships in the lab.
Mr. Casey Holycross (right), “Wright Scholar”
32
www.afrlhorizons.com
this mode does not account for
emission at UV-visible wavelengths.
The radiation at UV and visible
wavelengths comes from a different
molecular mode of motion—motion
of electrons bound in the molecule.
When these electronically excited
molecules lose energy, they emit UVvisible radiation. However, some
electronic states and many of the
vibrationally excited states do not
r a d i a t e s t r o n g l y a t U V- v i s i b l e
wavelengths. Scientists refer to these
states as dark states. In experiments
conducted at OSU, Prof Rich’s team
developed strong evidence to show
that some of the dark states strongly
a f f e c t t h e U V- v i s i b l e r a d i a t i o n
through an indirect but critical
mechanism.
These dark states
transfer their energy in collisions to
the radiating states and serve as an
energy storage source, supplying
energy to the electronic radiators.
The group concluded that the critical
mechanism controlling this energy
transfer came from the small
concentrations of free electrons that
are typically present in these
hypersonic flow fields. The free
electrons collide with molecules in
excited dark states, creating a
transfer of energy into the electronic
radiators. In experiments, OSU
researchers simulated the flow field
environment, including the necessary
free electron concentrations, in an
easily controllable laboratory flow
cell. By switching on weak electric
fields created by small electrodes in
the flow cell, the free electrons could
be removed quickly.
These experiments show that with
the electrons removed, the visible and
UV radiation from the flowing gases
can be almost entirely suppressed.
Prof Rich’s team is planning to further
investigate the range of applicability of
this mechanism and determine
whether the mechanism can provide a
possible means to suppress radiation
from hypersonic vehicle flow fields.
Dr. Mitat Birkan of the Air Force Research
Laborator y’s Air Force Office of
Scientific Research wrote this article. For
more information contact TECH CONNECT
at (800) 203-6451 or place a request at
http://www.afrl.af.mil/techconn/index.htm.
Reference document OSR-02-07.
AFRL Technology Horizons, December 2002
AFRL Computers Briefs 1202
11/20/2002
11:16 AM
Page 33
Computers
Air Force Materiel Command Knowledge Now
A Web-based resource provides workforce collaboration and learning.
AFRL’s Human Effectiveness Directorate, Williams AFB AZ
“Transforming
the
Defense
Department is as important to the
success of the global war on terrorism as
other steps the military is doing to
combat the threat,” said Defense
Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.
“Attracting and retaining quality people
is a top priority,” he stated, adding “We
need a workforce that is adapted to the
future, not the past. We need people
who are capable of operating highly
technical activities and providing the
kind of leadership that is distinctive in
our country and some other
1
To carry out the
democracies.”
mandate of transformation, the Air
Force Materiel Command (AFMC) is
creating a culture—a system—that
supports collaboration, people networks,
and on-the-job learning.
AFMC
Knowledge Now, an AFMC Requirements
Directorate initiative, applies commercial
knowledge management (KM) concepts
and technologies to respond to evolving
business challenges. This Internet-based
system is designed to accelerate
warfighter support by giving the AFMC
workforce a mechanism for finding and
accessing time-critical knowledge and
per formance support resources. It
connects the people within AFMC so
they may share organizational lessons
learned, community wisdom and advice,
and knowledge and educational
resources. Through this collaboration
and synthesis of ideas, the system
becomes a vehicle for driving innovation
to support current and future projects.
Understanding the relationship
between knowledge and learning is key
to recognizing the significance of
Knowledge Now. Social interaction
fosters the creation and transfer of
knowledge, and a KM system provides
the means for people who use
knowledge content to be involved in its
creation. Thus, KM sites distinguish
themselves from information-laden web
sites by their focus on community and
relevant collaboration. Learning is a
continual process where employees
acquire or enhance skills and
knowledge to improve performance.
Web-enabled learning (E-Learning)
AFRL Technology Horizons, December 2002
applies Internet technologies to deliver
an array of on-line solutions to enhance
employee knowledge and performance
on-the-job.
AFMC’s Knowledge Now successfully
merges KM and E-Learning to support
employee per formance through
interaction and collaboration, and
through instantaneous access to the
including the E-Learning Center (see
figure).
The Knowledge Now E-Learning
Center provides the AFRL and other
AFMC organizations with access to
complete on-line courses as well as
individual learning objects. Through a
formal partnership with AFMC, the Air
Force Institute of Technology (AFIT)
Knowledge Now home page
instructional information, procedural
documents, policy memos, and analytical
and scientific reports relevant to job
performance. This anywhere/anytime
access provides a path to critical
knowledge as it exists in explicit or tacit
form. Explicit knowledge resides within
written sources, such as documents,
databases, and courses, and is maintained
through an organization’s file
management process. Tacit knowledge
represents more intangible, informal
workforce expertise, including lessons
learned and unique experiences, and is
captured through virtual workspaces set
up to promote communication and
sharing among members of the
organization. Knowledge Now features
knowledge discovery through enhanced
search capabilities, access to existing
Community of Practice (CoP)
workspaces, and links to resources
www.afrlhorizons.com
supports the command’s on-line
education initiatives. The AFIT Virtual
Schoolhouse provides relevant on-line
courses to the Air Force workforce,
government, and industry partners.
“Our mission is to support AFMC by
providing education on timely subjects.
In this manner, we help AFMC achieve
its goals by educating the workforce on
new initiatives, processes, and policies,”
states Major Rich Remington, AFIT.
At times, an individual may need a
lesson on just one aspect of a larger
subject. In these situations, learning
objects make it easy for people to learn
what they need to know to accomplish a
particular job. For example, although
an entire risk management course is
available, an individual may need to
learn something pertaining only to risk
planning. As described by Ms. Desiree
Tryloff, Manager of E-Learning and KM
33
AFRL Computers Briefs 1202
11/20/2002
11:17 AM
Page 34
COMPUTERS
Initiatives, Veridian, “We designed the
E-Learning Center to let you find and
access single lessons outside the context
of an existing course framework. The
relationship to the course is maintained
so that you can return and take the
entire course when you have time.”
The AFMC Knowledge Management
Program Office created the integrated,
collaborative Knowledge Now environment
based upon CoPs. This community of
communities brings people with like
needs together and provides the
training and support needed to
accomplish their jobs. “Think of a CoP
as a ‘Community of Experience.’
Experience is what has to be transferred
to achieve labor savings,” says Mr. Randy
Adkins, AFMC Knowledge Management
Program Manager. “Knowledge Now links
knowledge consumers and knowledge
providers to promote sharing,
collaboration, and innovation within
the workforce.”
Because every community determines
the content of its own CoP workspace,
the functionality available to its
members varies accordingly. The full
operational range of a CoP involves a
significant number of possible features
including, but not limited to, Discussion
Forums, Document Management,
Community Calendars, Wisdom and
Advice, and Alert Notifications. “We
have designed Knowledge Now using a
multi-tier system so that you do not
need to be a web-developer to manage
your Community of Practice ... instead,
you can focus on content,” says Mr.
Douglas Brook, Knowledge Now
Development Lead, Triune Software,
Inc. The benefit of applying this tiered
approach is reflected in how quickly
the Knowledge Now team can respond
to an organization’s request for a CoP
site. Because each tier represents a
different level of content and
customization, the Knowledge
Management Program Office can
establish a Tier 1 site (standard off-theshelf features) within hours and a Tier
2 site (some custom definition) within
days, each at virtually no cost to the
customer. The program office can turn
around Tier 3 sites, which require a
higher level of customization, within
three months.
Two very popular CoPs that currently
reside in Knowledge Now are Human
Systems Integration (HSI), sponsored
by the Human Effectiveness Directorate,
and Evolutionary Acquisition (EA).
Their respective workspaces exemplify
the beneficial integration of KM and
E-Learning, providing community
members with shared tools, knowledge
AFRL Commander Receives AIAA’s Hap
Arnold Award for Excellence
By: Ms. Jill Bohn, Anteon Corporation, AFRL Public Affairs
A
ir Force Research Laboratory Commander, Major General Paul D.
Nielsen, received a national award in October 2002 for significant
achievement in aerospace technical leadership.
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) selected
Gen Nielsen as the recipient of this year’s Hap Arnold Award for Excellence
in Aeronautical Program Management. AIAA is the principal society of
aerospace engineers and scientists. With more than 31,000 members, AIAA is
the world’s largest professional society devoted to the progress of engineering
and science in aviation, space, and defense.
The coveted award is presented to individuals for
outstanding contributions in the management of a
significant aeronautical or aeronautical-related program
or project. The Hap Arnold Award is named after
Henry Harley “Hap” Arnold, the commanding general
of the Army Air Force during World War II and later the
first general of the Air Force.
In the citation of the award, Gen Nielsen is recognized
for “outstanding contributions to the restructuring of the
MILSTAR Satellite program, for an exemplary role as
Director of Plans for NORAD [North American Air Major General Paul D.
Nielsen, Commander,
Defense Command], and for visionary leadership of the Air Force Research
Air Force Research Laboratory in these demanding times.” Laboratory
34
www.afrlhorizons.com
resources, communication links,
training opportunities, and other
support mechanisms. Both CoP
workspaces offer relevant HSI and EA
courses. Each course reflects an
effective blend of conventional and
leading-edge instructional methods.
The result is an engaging, interactive
E-Learning experience that appeals to
and informs the target audience, thus
encouraging and motivating the
audience to seek more. The use of
gaming technology is one popular
aspect of the course design. “These
highly interactive learning exercises are
designed to simulate real-life situations
and scenarios, requiring the learner to
act, interact, and make decisions based
on available information and
resources,” notes Ms. Desiree Tryloff.
Coupled with integrated assessment
techniques, this role-based approach to
learning represents a well-established
method for ensuring learner
comprehension and retention.
The trend toward blended, seamless
integration of KM and E-Learning
resources, coupled with the increasingly
complex knowledge and learning
demands of today’s Air Force, will
continue to require equally innovative
solutions. The robust Knowledge Now
environment is a direct response to
these evolving expectations. It also
reflects AFMC’s commitment to
continue exploration of the cuttingedge strategies and technologies
needed to satisfy each unique customer
organization. Site capabilities put
principle into practice by promoting
and leveraging knowledge as the
primary tool—the product—necessary
for supporting AFRL and other AFMC
organizations. Quantifiable advantages
include increased workforce competency,
improved avenues for learning, and
reduction in costs of education and
training.
The more intangible
benefits include an atmosphere
geared toward innovation, inspired
contribution, and other collaborative
knowledge endeavors.
Ms. Sherrie Carper of Veridian, in
partnership with the Human Effectiveness
Directorate, wrote this article. For more
information contact TECH CONNECT at
(800) 203-6451 or place a request at
http://www.afrl.af.mil/techconn/index.htm.
Reference document HE-02-12.
Reference
1
“Rumsfeld Says Transformation Vital to Global
Stability.” American Forces Information Service
News Articles, Aug 02, http://www.defenselink.
mil/news/aug2002/n08082002_200208081.html
AFRL Technology Horizons, December 2002
AFRL Veridian Ad 1202.qxd
11/13/2002
12:11 PM
Page 2
For Free Info Enter No. 644 at www.afrlhorizons.com/rs
AFRL Computers Briefs 1202
11/20/2002
11:18 AM
Page 36
COMPUTERS
Operator Vehicle Interface Laboratory
A state-of-the-art laboratory provides flexibility for developing control station interfaces for unmanned
vehicles.
AFRL’s Human Effectiveness Directorate, Crew System Interface Division, Crew System Development Branch,
Wright-Patterson AFB OH
The Human Effectiveness Directorate
began the Operator Vehicle Interface
(OVI) program in 1998 as an
exploratory technology development
project focused on interface concepts,
allowing one operator to control four
lethal unmanned air vehicle (UAV)
platforms that perform a suppression
of enemy air defense-type missions.
Researchers prototyped inter face
concepts (see Figure 1) and conducted
an evaluation using subjects with
various operational backgrounds.
Barbato summarized the lessons
1
learned from this evaluation. This
initial evaluation helped educate the
OVI team on issues associated with UAV
operations as well as inter face
requirements. Since that initial
evaluation, researchers extensively
renovated the OVI lab and added new
capabilities.
The primary focus of the OVI
program is designing, prototyping, and
testing control station inter face
concepts for unmanned vehicles (UV).
While the emphasis to date has been on
UAVs, many of the concepts developed
are applicable to all types of UVs
including land-, sea-, and space-based
assets. All UVs contain similar aspects
of their operation. One simple
example is displaying the status of the
vehicle’s various systems. While each of
the vehicle’s specific systems may be
different, the way the operator accesses
the information and the way the system
status is presented, in the context of an
overall mission control station, can be
similar.
Eight state-of-the-art personal
computer (PC) workstations provide a
low-cost, high-fidelity simulation
environment. In support of the
Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle
program, researchers are using Dell®
530 workstations with Wildcat™ 5110
graphics cards to prototype interface
concepts. These systems contain 1 Gb
of memory and can drive two 1280 ×
1024 displays at two of the operator
consoles. For under $10,000, OVI is
utilizing graphics capabilities that would
have cost hundreds of thousands of
dollars on UNIX-based workstations
only a few years ago.
The facility contains a mock-up of a
mission control station van or shelter
36
Figure 1. Interface concepts
that provides a realistic setting
for testing concepts (see
Figure 2). The shelter can
accommodate up to four
operators at one time. Two
monitors are connected to one
PC on two of the mission
control stations. The other
two operator consoles use only
one monitor (see Figure 3).
Researchers can configure
these monitors in either a
horizontal
or
vertical
arrangement, depending on
customer needs. This control
station arrangement is very
flexible and dependent on the
type of evaluation being
conducted. Test controllers
monitor operator activities
using projectors and repeat
monitors outside the shelter.
The hardware architecture
of the OVI laboratory allows
researchers to evaluate
numerous types of vehicle
interfaces in many different
configurations.
Future
enhancements may include
voice recognition capability,
three-dimensional audio,
www.afrlhorizons.com
Figure 2. OVI facility
Figure 3. Mission control stations
AFRL Technology Horizons, December 2002
AFRL Computers Briefs 1202
11/20/2002
11:19 AM
Page 37
helmet-mounted systems, and haptic
controls. In addition, researchers can
conduct classified projects in the lab.
Using PC workstations also pays a
dividend for software development.
Numerous low-cost commercial off-theshelf software development tools and
components are available for the PC.
Researchers built the OVI simulation
software using the Microsoft® Visual
Studio product line, third party
component libraries, and OpenGL®
graphics language. Researchers use
industry-standard software interface
techniques whenever possible so
operators are familiar with most
interface techniques. This helps make
operator training more efficient.
Researchers are also exploiting many
techniques and tools used on the
Internet today with emphasis on
meeting requirements, affordability,
rapid prototyping, and utilization of
industry standards whenever possible.
Researchers are designing the
simulation software architecture around
the concept of utilizing software
services. These services could be
inter face-specific services or ones
supporting the general simulation
environment. For example, researchers
may need to simulate a Synthetic
Aperture Radar (SAR) capability for a
given UV. In lieu of having a complex
and expensive radar model attached
to the simulation, researchers could
provide a simple low-fidelity service
that maintains a database of images
corresponding to the areas where a
SAR image will be taken. The service
will provide an image using a lookup
table methodology that uses vehicle
characteristics and parameters. While
this approach may work for simple
l o w - fidelity testing of inter face
prototypes, it may not be suitable for
more detailed interface performance
testing. In this case, the prototype
may require a higher fidelity physicsbased model. A service providing this
capability may reside on a remote
computer system running a different
operating system. Whatever service
the interface is actually using for the
simulation is transparent to the
operator. In either case, the method
the operator uses to command the
SAR to take the image and the way
images come into the interface should
be the same. This technique enables
researchers to scale OVI simulations
based on system resource capabilities
and testing requirements, and
provides an easy way to upgrade
ser vices as new capabilities or
requirements emerge.
Due to the lethality and nature of
modern warfare, UVs are becoming
essential tools to combat commanders.
The directorate’s OVI laboratory is a
state-of-the-art, low-cost facility
designed to develop inter faces for
operators controlling UVs. The
flexibility inherent in the laboratory
allows researchers to design,
prototype, and test interface concepts
for any type of vehicle, whether the
vehicle is used for land, sea, air, or
space applications.
Mr. Gregory L. Feitshans and Mr. Bob
Williams (Veridian) of the Air Force Research
Laborator y’s Human Effectiveness
Directorate wrote this article. For more
information contact TECH CONNECT at
(800) 203-6451 or place a request at
http://www.afrl.af.mil/techconn/index.htm.
Reference document HE-02-02.
AFRL Technology Horizons, December 2002
For Free Info Enter No. 645 at www.afrlhorizons.com/rs
37
Reference
1
Barbato, G. “Uninhabited Combat Air
Vehicle Controls and Displays for
Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses.”
CSERIAC GATEWAY, volume XI, no 1
(2000), 1-4.
AFRL Computers Briefs (WEB)1202
11/20/2002
1:58 PM
Page 38
COMPUTERS
Multi-Resolution Modeling
A high-level architecture model allows integration of current simulations of different levels of
resolution for use in warfighter training and simulation-based acquisition.
AFRL’s Information Directorate, Information Systems Division, C4ISR Modeling and Simulation Branch, Rome NY
Tr a d i t i o n a l l y, a c q u i s i t i o n a n a l y s e s r e q u i r e a
FOM
hierarchical suite of simulation models to address
engineering, engagement, mission and theater/
Initiate
React
campaign measures of performance, and measures of
Aircraft Configuration
effectiveness and merit. Configuring and running this
Type
X
X
suite of simulations and transferring the appropriate
Sensors
ECM
data between each model are both time-consuming
Weapons
and error prone. The ideal solution is a single
simulation with the requisite resolution and fidelity to
Aircraft Flight Profile
per form all four levels of acquisition analysis.
Cross Range
X
X
SOM
SOM RTI JMASS
JWARS
RTI
RTI
However, current computer hardware technologies
RTI
Down Range
Altitude
cannot deliver the runtime performance necessary to
Airspeed
support the resulting extremely large simulation. One
viable alternative is to integrate the current
hierarchical suite of simulation models using the
Air Defense Site
SAM Type
X
X
D e p a r t m e n t o f D e f e n s e ’s ( D o D ) H i g h L e v e l
Location
No. of Weapons
Architecture (HLA) in order to support multiresolution modeling. An HLA integration, called a
federation, eliminates the inconvenience of extremely
large models; provides a well-defined and manageable JMASS-JWARS HLA federated object model for Phase I
mixed resolution simulation; and minimizes
verification, validation, and accreditation issues. In order
Modeling and Simulation System (JMASS) and the Joint
to meet the objective of providing simulation at different
Warfare System (JWARS) simulations, two of DoD’s nextlevels of resolution, CACI, Inc.-Federal, under contract
generation simulations, using an HLA federation.
with the Information Directorate, integrated the Joint
In Phase I of this two-phase project, the federation passed
data one way from JWARS to JMASS to initialize a series of
surface-to-air engagements that provides an experimental
surface-to-air missile (SAM) performance envelope (see
figure). In Phase II, the federation passed data both ways,
allowing JMASS to provide more detailed calculations of the
missile’s performance for the surface-to-air engagements
played out in JWARS.
JWARS, the DoD’s next-generation, object-oriented,
constructive analytic simulation of multi-sided, joint,
theater-level war fare, is written in the object-oriented
language Smalltalk. As illustrated in the figure, JWARS
provides a balanced simulation of strategic, operational,
and tactical levels of war, both during deployment and
employment. The representations of command, control,
communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance,
and reconnaissance (C4ISR) form the foundation for how
entities perceive and interact with one another in JWARS.
A l t h o u g h J WA R S m a i n t a i n s b o t h g l o b a l t r u t h a n d
perceived truth for each side, entities within JWARS only
make and execute decisions based strictly on C4ISRperceived truth (i.e., on perceptions of the battlefield as
provided by JWARS).
JMASS provides an excellent framework for developing
detailed engineering and engagement simulations of weapon
systems, their subsystems, and their interactions with each
other. However, JMASS does not currently contain a synthetic
battlespace that defines the operational-level context for
evaluating the effectiveness of these systems and their
associated subsystems. Under this effort, JWARS provides this
joint theater-level, operational employment scenario and
battlespace for JMASS.
The HLA provides a standardized framework for the
interoperability and integration of simulations. In particular, the
Run Time Infrastructure (RTI) provides the capability to integrate
38
For Free Info Enter No. 646 at www.afrlhorizons.com/rs
AFRL Technology Horizons, December 2002
AFRL Computers Briefs 1202
11/20/2002
simulations at the communications and
data exchange level. Each HLA/RTIcompliant simulation includes a simulation
object model (SOM) and a federation
object model (FOM). The SOM defines
the RTI interface data available and/or
data required to interact with other
HLA/RTI-compliant simulations. The
FOM establishes the simulation federation
and the specific data parameters to be
exchanged between the simulations
during runtime via the RTI.
By federating JWARS and JMASS
using the HLA/RTI, developers can
initialize JMASS-based simulation
executions in realistic operational
scenarios. This combination allows
weapon system developers and
evaluators to obtain a much more valid
estimate of weapon system and
subsystem performance. In the JMASSJWARS HLA federation, JWARS
provides the operational setting and
initial starting conditions for the
employment of the JMASS weapon
system. Whenever the JWARS simulation employs the weapon system (in
this case the SAM), JWARS invokes the
JMASS detailed simulation to actually
employ the weapon system. The JWARS
simulation provides the initial starting
conditions for each participant in
JMASS including aircraft type, SAM
type, heading, airspeed, altitude, and
aspect angle. In the future, developers
can add other attributes that can have
an effect on the engagement including
aircraft weapons and electronic
countermeasure (ECM) configurations.
In Phase I of this program, the JMASS
simulation executes using these JWARSpassed parameters. In Phase II, once
the execution is completed, JMASS
passes the aircraft-SAM engagement
outcomes back to JWARS for continued
simulation execution.
The JMASS-JWARS HLA Federation
contract will allow an acquisition
engineer or analyst to leverage the
JWARS theater-level, synthetic battlespace to more accurately define realistic,
operationally focused experimental
designs for weapon system and
subsystem trade studies. It also
p r o v i d e s the ability to assess and
demonstrate the performance and the
effectiveness of acquisition systems and
subsystems. The multi-resolution
modeling approach also provides a
realistic JWARS theater c a m p a i g n l e v e l operational context to assess
the weapon system’s value added and
deployment/employment supportability
in a multi-day, combined force-on-force
scenario.
The final result of the program
AFRL Technology Horizons, December 2002
11:22 AM
Page 39
development is an outcome envelope
f o r each aircraft-SAM engagement
combination based on a JWARS
operationally driven JMASS e x p e r i m e n t a l d e s i g n . S p e c i f i c a l l y, t h e
individual engagements in JWARS
provided the initial down range, cross
range, altitude, and airspeed
parameters, and JMASS provides the
missile’s per formance. The final
result is an integrated system where
J M A S S p r o v i d e s t h e m i s s i l e ’s
performance used in the surface-toair attrition algorithms in JWARS,
thus providing a more realistic model
with more credible results.
Mr. Gar y Plotz and Dr. John Prince
(CACI, Inc.-Federal) of the Air Force
Research Laborator y’s Infor mation
Directorate wrote this article. For more
information contact TECH CONNECT at
(800) 203-6451 or place a request at
http://www.afrl.af.mil/techconn/index.htm.
Reference document IF-02-06.
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For Free Info Enter No. 634 at www.afrlhorizons.com/rs
39
AFRL Computers Briefs 1202
11/20/2002
11:22 AM
Page 40
COMPUTERS
Intelligent Mission Controller Node
AFRL technology enhances realism of air combat exercises.
AFRL’s Human Effectiveness Directorate, Deployment and Sustainment Division, Sustainment Logistics Branch,
Wright-Patterson AFB OH
The Air Force (AF) trains theater
duty.
The lack of real-world
aircraft commanders who review their
commanders and their staffs through
experience and knowledge can reduce
specific flights. They create detailed
Joint Training Confederation (JTC)
the operational realism of the JTC
ingress and egress routing, and
exercises. These exercises provide
exercise (see Figure 1). In a real-world
conduct final checks for timing,
opportunities to develop and increase
environment, the theater command
distance, fuel, and other details. For
skills in strategy, planning, and
staff generates the ATO and releases it
example, the AOC may produce an
execution of joint and combined air
to mission-ready personnel. The
ATO with the weapon load for a flight
warfighting. JTC exercises typically
command staff only plans the mission
listed as “best,” meaning the aircraft
consist of a training audience (a
should be loaded with the
theater commander and staff),
best available munitions for
a host of exercise controllers
the target. In an operMission Tasking
Theater Command
who represent the operational
ational environment, wingATO Creation
wings, and a theater-level air
level personnel have access
combat simulator. The air
to real-time logistics incombat simulator is a conformation on weapon
structive simulation that
availability. As the ATO is
Wing
Wing
Wing
executes the theater command
distributed through the
staff ’s Air Tasking Order
levels, everyone involved
Mission Detail
(ATO) and provides feedback
reviews the weapon load
ATO Review
on its effectiveness. The Human
selection and confirms
Squadron
Squadron Squadron
Effectiveness Directorate devavailability, ensuring the
eloped the Intelligent Mission
aircraft launches with
Controller Node (IMCN) to
munitions appropriate
reduce the level of effort
for the target and aircraft.
Mission Execution
exercise controllers expend
In a JTC exercise, it is
Flight
Flight
Flight
ATO Flyout
inputting parameters into the
often not practical to
simulator. IMCN provides
represent every step of the
intelligent rule sets that Figure 1. Real-world ATO distribution process
process
with
actual
implement AF doctrine and
personnel. Instead, each
tactics in processing the ATO.
exercise controller repIt bridges the gap between a
resents all of the review
Mission Tasking
Theater Command
real-world ATO and a simulated
levels, from the wing to the
ATO Generation
ATO, providing an increased
flight lead, for a given set of
realism into the exercise.
missions (see Figure 2).
ATO
Processing
IMCN also reduces the number
The controllers are grouped
Software
of participants involved in the
into mission cells (e.g.,
exercise, thereby reducing
Close Air Support, Combat
exercise cost and satisfying an
Air Patrol) that are
Mission Detail
ATO Review
established AF requirement.
responsible for all flights of
Mission
Mission
Cells
Cells
Simulation
JTC exercises can be comtheir mission type. The
Interface
plex, time-consuming, and
flights are divided among
Software
expensive. Large support
the controllers in the cell.
staffs, including numerous
During the planning stage
Mission Execution
Theater-level Air Combat Simulator
exercise control officers, are
of the exercise, the
ATO Flyout
needed to process the ATO
controllers must provide all
and provide feedback to the
the oversight and input for
training audience. These Figure 2. Exercise ATO distribution process
their missions, usually in a
controllers ser ve as ATO
matter of hours. The ATO
processors, mimicking operational
tasking, not the mission details. Wingprocessing is very tedious and error
procedures. They also act as rolelevel personnel assign missions to the
prone; the controllers need to be
players to send and receive
squadrons,
resolve
any
ATO
knowledgeable on operations, weapons,
information from the Air Operations
ambiguities and conflicts, and then
and aircraft in order to supply accurate
Center (AOC). Since most simulation
distribute taskings to the squadrons.
inputs. For example, a close air
centers do not have permanent staff
At the squadron level, the mission
support exercise controller will review a
assigned for these vital functions, they
commander
reviews
timing
portion of the close air support
use military augmentees from reserve
modifications and makes basic routing
missions. That controller is responsible
and guard units. The centers seek
assignments for all flights in the
for the accurate execution of all aspects
active duty operators, but they are
mission. Finally, the squadron sends
of those missions. He/she will confirm
generally unavailable for temporary
the ATO to the flight leaders and
or update the weapon loads for all the
40
www.afrlhorizons.com
AFRL Technology Horizons, December 2002
AFRL Computers Briefs 1202
11/20/2002
11:23 AM
Page 41
missions. Sometimes missions will slip through the review
process because the controller did not make the proper
updates. If no checks of mission weapons loads are made or
if munitions of a specified type are not available, a simulation
can launch weaponless aircraft. This can happen in
simulations, especially when real-world expertise is lacking.
Typically, the augmentees receive a controller handbook and
a few days of training. The few highly experienced
controllers, who may be available for an exercise, often spend
most of their time monitoring the augmentees, not applying
their experience directly to the exercise.
The IMCN helps to solve these practical problems using
the Java™ Expert System Shell inference engine developed
at Sandia National Laboratories. IMCN compares basic
factual information about the missions to criteria established
in rules. Controllers can quickly and easily construct new
rules. A user inter face provides a controller-friendly
graphical layout and breakdown of the rule structure with
specific windows that provide templates in specific categories
such as routing and weapon selection. When a mission
meets a rule’s criteria, that rule executes against the mission,
filling in relevant information. Controllers can build these
rule sets from scratch prior to the exercise and tailor them
according to the needs of the exercise and its specific
training objectives. Controllers can store the rule sets for
future use, allowing later modifications to adapt the rule set
to the next exercise and trainees. This flexibility promotes
reuse of complex rule sets, while providing the controllers
the ability to easily tailor them as needed.
In the example above, controllers would have constructed
rules to monitor weapon loads, addressing the aircraft, base,
and target. If the weapon load were missing or
inappropriate, the IMCN would update the mission’s weapon
load without any controller input. Because the simulation
centers host a variety of Numbered Air Forces (NAFs) under
different scenarios, it is extremely important for the
controllers to be able to adapt to the changes between the
NAFs. For example, one NAF may use the secondary target
field to represent the second target to be hit after the first.
Another NAF may use the same field to represent a target
that should only be hit if the first target cannot be hit.
IMCN can easily deal with these differences using rule sets.
Without IMCN, the controllers would have to remember and
encode nuances like these for every NAF in every scenario
for every flight.
The Defense Modeling and Simulation Organization
(DMSO) funded Phase II of the research. The strategy was
to link the IMCN with the Navy’s Research, Evaluation, and
Systems Analysis simulation and to provide a more robust
user interface for rule creation and management. The
original proof-of-concept IMCN required expert system
specialists to craft rules. The new user interface enables
trained controllers to easily author the rules through an
improved graphical inter face and the use of a syntax
abstraction tool. The directorate demonstrated the second
integration and user interface in an exercise at the Joint
Training Analysis and Simulation Center in the fall of 2000.
After a second demonstration, the Navy requested IMCN
functionality and support for future exercises. The
directorate also demonstrated a slightly refined IMCN,
which included the improved user interface and a more indepth rule set, to the AF Command and Control Training
and Innovation Group in December 2000; the group used
this successfully during a follow-on exercise.
The Office of Naval Research decided to broaden the
application of the IMCN and fund Phase III of the IMCN
AFRL Technology Horizons, December 2002
research. This phase provided integration with another Navy
simulation, Joint Semi-Automated Forces, through the
implementation of an extensible mark-up language file
transfer. The IMCN played a key role in Fleet Battle
Experiment India in late spring and summer 2001. The
directorate fully integrated and supported IMCN during this
important Navy exercise. The Navy is providing further
funding to support IMCN in future exercises.
The IMCN completed Phase IV of development in the
spring of 2002. This phase provided integration of the
IMCN into the current AF Modeling and Simulation
Toolkit as well as integration into the next generation of
the AF Modeling and Simulation Toolkit. As the transition
agent, the AF Integrated Command and Control System
Program Office (IC&C SPO), along with DMSO, provided
funding for this phase of the effort. The integration
schedule is sustained by IMCN support at key exercises at
each of the major AF simulation centers.
User feedback on the IMCN is extremely positive. Model
controllers who had the opportunity to interact with the
software consistently praised it. The directorate completed
rollout and final transition of the IMCN to the IC&C SPO in
June 2002. They are using the software in exercises
supporting four major simulations. The IMCN has become a
valuable addition to the Department of Defense’s Modeling
and Simulation Toolkit for more realistic, effective, and lower
cost air combat control exercises.
Lt John Camp of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Human
Effectiveness Directorate wrote this article. For more information
contact TECH CONNECT at (800) 203-6451 or place a request at
http://www.afrl.af.mil/techconn/index.htm. Reference document
HE-02-11.
For Free Info Enter No. 647 at www.afrlhorizons.com/rs
41
AFRL Medical Briefs1202
11/20/2002
11:25 AM
Page 42
Medical
Excimer Laser Photorefractive Eye Surgery Quality Assessment
A novel scanning confocal slit photon counter system objectively measures a patient’s postphotorefractive surgery haze.
AFRL’s Human Effectiveness Directorate, Directed Energy Bioeffects Division, Optical Radiation Branch, Brooks AFB TX
The Air Force is currently evaluating
the effectiveness of excimer laser
photorefractive keratectomy (PRK)
surgery of the cornea for the correction
of refractive errors such as myopia. The
goal is to comprehensively understand
the effect and characteristics of this
surgical treatment in order to make
important policy decisions on its use for
aircrews. The Chief of Staff of the Air
Force commissioned a comprehensive
health and performance effects study.
Researchers from the Air Force School
of Aerospace Medicine and the Wilford
Hall Medical Center, with AFRL
support, are conducting the study. Air
Force eye surgeons performed, under
study protocols, PRK corrective surgery
on 80 non-flying volunteers; 20 served
as controls. The researchers are
following the study group for a two-year
period. They score the subjects on an
extensive array of critical visual
performance tests and are measuring
corneal haze objectively by using a novel
method.
PRK and now a related method,
called laser insitu keratamiliuesus,
depend on the efficient and precise
tissue removal effects of an argon
flouride excimer laser characterized by
nanosecond pulses of intense far
ultraviolet (UV) laser light at a
wavelength of 193 nm. Notably, the
author was the first to discover this
tissue removal effect in an AFRL
laboratory in 1979 and was first to
suggest its surgical application. As
applied to eye surgery, the eximer laser
process effectively removes corneal
tissue with little ancillary damage to
reshape the corneal topography. The
resulting treated site heals remarkably
well and a new epithelial layer (outer
cell layer) grows back. There is,
however, the occurrence of a slight
opacification, or haze, in the new
corneal regrowth that may affect visual
performance. Postsurgery steroid drug
treatment substantially reduces the
appearance of haze, and visual
performance is not seriously impacted.
This implies that eye surgeons and
42
clinicians can use haze itself as a means
of tracking the healing process.
Normally, eye surgeons clinically
assess haze using a subjective scale of
one to four based on a slitlamp
biomicroscope observation of the
cornea. For this study and in general
practice, the scale is far too course to be
useful. Level four is almost as opaque
as a ground sheet of glass. Most of the
visibly observable haze of patients with
surgery below six diopters of correction
occurs below one on the scale. Project
scientists required a new instrument to
obtain more quantitative results. The
non-invasive, non-contact measurement
of corneal haze, or any opacity of the
eye, presents a significant challenge
including the following: (1) the
elimination of ancillary light scatter
from other regions outside the probed
area, (2) the reduction of the probing
beam intensity to comfortable levels
well below safety standards, (3)
controlling the geometry of the test
area, (4) the avoidance of blink reflex
requiring subjects to complete the test
in less than 10 seconds, (5) eye
centering
and
fixation,
(6)
measurement of very low levels of back
scatter requiring photon counting, (7)
stable and long-term reproducible
calibration, and (8) lateral and depth
control of the scan into the ocular
region. The author and colleagues
developed an optical probe of corneal
haze that meets these technical
challenges and applied it to the Air
Force PRK study.
This novel instrument is a form of
confocal laser slit beam, frontilluminated microscopy (see Figure 1).
The probe light source is a low-power
helium-neon (He-Ne) laser beam
reduced by a factor of 10+6 with a
variable neutral density filter (NDF). A
mirror (M) directs the beam through a
beam splitter (BS) with an approximate
10% portion sampled by a PIN
photodiode (PIN PD) readout on a
digital voltmeter for beam intensity
reference purposes. The transmitted
Figure 1. Schematic diagram of the scanning confocal slit corneal scatter measurement instrument
www.afrlhorizons.com
AFRL Technology Horizons, December 2002
AFRL Medical Briefs1202
11/20/2002
11:25 AM
Page 43
portion is shaped by a cylindrical lens
(CL) and truncating aperture (TA) to
produce a line beam collimated to
2
approximately 1 x 1 cm . This line
beam passes and reinforces the degree
of laser beam polarization at a 500:1
ratio polarizing beam splitter cube
(PBSC). The line beam is reflected
from a galvanometer-motor-driven
mirror (GM), which oscillates the
reflected beam about a small angle
from directly on axis with a computercontrolled zoom lens (CCZL). The
Figure 2. Subject taking the haze meter test
photon count/65.5msec bin
3000
2000
1000
0
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
z range x 0.22mm
Figure 3. Typical backscatter measurements, three repeat scans. The first peak is due to corneal scatter, and
the second and third peaks represent lens front and back surface scatter. The distance between the peaks is an
accurate anatomical measurement of the surface-to-surface dimensions.
1.0
0.9
Scatter Index
0.8
0.7
0.6
0.5
0.4
-100
0
100
200 300 400
500
Time Relative To Surgery (d)
600
700
800
Figure 4. Corneal scatter vs. time relative to surgery. Note the sharp decrease, which parallels the steroid
regimen in the early stages of postsurgery.
AFRL Technology Horizons, December 2002
www.afrlhorizons.com
zoom lens brings the line beam to an
extremely fine (~10 um width, 4 mm
length) line segment focus at a varying
depth into the eye. The zoom lens
gathers the back-scattered 633 nm
photons and projects them back
through the beam splitter cube through
a lens (L) that focuses the orthogonally
polarized light through a narrow (~20
um) slit aperture (SA) onto a photon
counter system. A view of a test subject
on the instrument is shown in Figure 2.
To acquire a scan, the subject is secured
on a chin rest, fixates on a dark spot in
the center of what appears as a
rectangular red illuminated field, and
refrains from blinking for a short 8second period while the computercontrolled zoom lens focuses the
scanned thin slit beam at varying planes
through the anterior ocular segment.
The resulting scan data of a typical
single 8-second test is shown in Figure 3.
The first peak at about 23 units of range
in the z-axis is due to scatter from the
cornea. The second broader peak at
about 43 units is due to scatter from the
subject’s lens. The fact that the lens
scatter is measurable for per fectly
normal eyes indicates that eye care
physicians can easily monitor cataract
formation at levels long before it is
clinically observable. This may be of
value in the assessment of the effects of
stressful environments such as bright
daylight, space travel, radio frequency
fields, and environmental exposure to
infrared or UV radiation on personnel
over long periods. Project scientists
tracked the corneal scatter for the Air
Force PRK subjects. A typical prepostsurgery time course is shown in
Figure 4. There is an immediate
scatter reaction to the surgery, which
is followed by a protracted
reestablishment of the original
transparency. Project scientists are
currently analyzing the correlation of
this scatter parameter with other
observations in the PRK study group,
but it is evident that precision haze
measurements track drug treatment
and the healing process. Through this
method, eye care physicians can
monitor modern day refractive surgery
to achieve optimum high visual acuity
results that will benefit both the military
and civilian populations.
Dr. John Taboada of the Air Force Research
Laborator y’s Human Effectiveness
Directorate wrote this article. For more
information contact TECH CONNECT at
(800) 203-6451 or place a request at
http://www.afrl.af.mil/techconn/index.htm.
Reference document HE-02-08.
43
AFRL Medical Briefs1202
11/20/2002
11:27 AM
Page 44
MEDICAL
Spatial Disorientation
Understanding the three types of spatial disorientation will bring a quicker solution to the spatial
disorientation phenomenon.
AFRL’s Human Effectiveness Directorate, Joint Cockpit Office, Wright-Patterson AFB OH
Spatial disorientation (SD) is the most
common cause of human-related aircraft
accidents. Due to the significance of the
phenomenon, the Human Effectiveness
Directorate initiated a five-year Spatial
Disorientation Countermeasures (SDCM)
program aimed at understanding and
reducing the SD mishap rate. This
program has a three-pronged approach:
training, displays/technologies, and
1
orientation mechanisms research. In
order to appreciate the approach,
everyone involved must understand the
definition of SD and the ways it will
manifest itself to the pilot.
SD requires the knowledge of both
the physiology and psychology of the
human in flight and, to a lesser extent
but still important, an understanding of
the physics of an aircraft in motion.
When reading about an accident
involving SD, terms like visual illusions,
vestibular misperceptions, task
saturation, weather, motion, and aircraft
experience are commonly found. In
the past, researchers aimed much of the
countermeasures research at improving
their understanding of these
misperceptions. However, in order to
better understand how to apply this
knowledge to the overall phenomenon,
researchers must start with the SD
definition and arrange each condition
into distinct categories.
The most widely used and accepted
general definition is “A state
characterized by an erroneous sense of
one’s position and motion relative to
2
the plane of the earth’s sur face.”
Fortunately, SD research is mature
3
enough to have an agreed definition.
Prior to this accepted definition,
researchers could not be certain that a
particular incident qualified as SD or as
another phenomenon altogether—
often masking the real magnitude of
the issue. To better support the use of
this definition by researchers, pilots,
physicians, and physiologists, an
operational definition recently
emerged—“An erroneous sense of the
magnitude or direction of any of the
aircraft control and performance flight
4
parameters.” The words “control and
performance flight parameters” add
more utility to the definition. These
words provide a means of measuring
the state of a pilot’s spatial orientation
through the recording of the pilot’s
perception of the flight information
depicted on the instrument displays.
The definition also uses words more
commonly applied by those in the
aircraft operational community.
Because of the different ways SD can
occur, researchers found it easier to
study by separating SD into three
distinct categories: Type I—unrecognized,
Type II—recognized, and Type III—
incapacitating. Each type impacts the
pilot in a different way, and researchers
must understand each type when
studying SD.
The first group, Type I—unrecognized
SD, explains the phenomenon as a state
where the pilot is unaware of the flight
parameters described in the operational
definition. This is the most common
type of SD and can be brought about by
many psycho-physiological variables (e.g.,
task saturation, channelized attention,
fatigue, etc). Many operators term this as
a simple failure of the pilot to maintain
an appropriate instrument crosscheck.
DIRECTION OF STICK INPUT
*No significant difference: head position, roll direction
Increase Bank
No Change
Decrease Bank
Percent of Responses
100%
75%
50%
25%
0%
0 deg/sec
10deg/sec
20 deg/sec
30 deg/sec
Roll Rate Prior to Task (Maintain Bank, Angle)
Figure 1. Gillingham Illusion (post-roll effect)
44
www.afrlhorizons.com
An example of Type I SD is the postroll or Gillingham Illusion (see Figure
5
1). A recent in-flight study that defined
the term found that following sustained
roll rates of three different magnitudes
(four if you consider the null condition
as a roll rate), pilots responded to the
sensations of the inner ear and rolled
the aircraft when instructed to maintain
a constant bank. The rates of roll tested
were at 10°/sec, 20°/sec, and 30°/sec.
Researchers found a significant
difference between the null roll
condition and the three different roll
rate responses. Each roll condition,
upon stopping, generated an undetected
roll sensation contrary to the direction of
the initial roll, resulting in the
undetected, but pilot initiated, opposite
roll. This illusion may be at the root of
many of the Type I accidents, especially
those involving loss of bank awareness.
The second group of SD sensations
encompasses those incidents that
produce a recognized phenomenon
known as a sensory mismatch or at least
the awareness that something has gone
wrong. This is labeled as Type II—
recognized SD. An explanation of the
classic Graveyard Spin Illusion
demonstrates Type II SD (see Figure
6
2). In this example, the pilot enters a
spin, becomes stabilized in yaw, and
realizes a need to place controls
opposite to the direction of rotation.
Once the pilot applies the opposite
controls, the aerodynamic result is a
decrease in the aircraft’s angular
rotational yaw followed by a false
sensation of the aircraft beginning to
spin in the opposite direction. When
this occurs and if the pilot looks at the
aircraft turn needle or compass card,
the pilot experiences a sensory conflict.
The turn needle will indicate a turn in
one direction, while the inner ear
sensation will generate a feeling that the
aircraft is turning in the opposite
direction. The pilot must decide which
sensory system to believe—the sensation
felt by the inner ear or the information
displayed by the instruments. When
this occurs, the pilot often suspects an
instrument malfunction and does not
recognize the situation as SD. As shown
in Figure 2, if the pilot does not believe
the instruments and relies on his/her
inner ear, the pilot may find the aircraft
spinning in the same original direction
AFRL Technology Horizons, December 2002
AFRL Medical Briefs1202
11/20/2002
11:27 AM
Figure 2. Graveyard Spin
all the way to ground impact, hence the
name Graveyard Spin.
The third and last type of SD is the
least common and the least understood.
Researchers call it Type III—incapacitating
SD. Few written reports and fewer
studies of this type of SD exist, but
researchers know it does occur, through
experience and pilot reports.
Unfortunately, researchers have not
been able to produce the proper
conditions that illicit the illusion on the
ground where they can study and better
understand the phenomenon. An
example of Type III SD is called the
Giant Hand Illusion (see Figure 3). The
following is an example of one such case,
which also explains the reason behind its
name. During a routine sortie, an
instructor pilot stated he was able to
move the control stick up, down, and to
the right, but was unable to move the
stick to the left. He transferred control
to the student pilot in the front seat of
the aircraft, and that pilot could move
the controls without any problems. The
Page 45
control sticks between the two seats are
connected so that any actual inability to
move the stick in one cockpit would be
the same in the other. After several
more instances, the condition appeared
to clear itself. The pilot reported the stick
malfunction to aircraft maintenance upon
returning to base. When maintenance
inspected the aircraft, they could not
duplicate the problem. A countermeasure often recommended to pilots
who experience this problem is to
remove their hand from the control
stick and then try to reapply pressure by
using just fingers and hand motion
(avoiding arm movements).
The SD phenomenon has been
intertwined with aviation since the
beginning of manned flight, and only a
concerted and coordinated research effort
will make a difference in reducing SD
mishaps. This effort begins with an
understanding of the definition of SD,
along with its three distinct types. Through
this understanding, researchers hope that
collaboration and shared resources will
bring a quicker solution to the
phenomenon. In addition, the SDCM
program established a web site dedicated
specifically to providing published
information to anyone interested in SD
countermeasures. The web site can be
accessed at http://www.spatiald.wpafb.af.mil.
Maj Todd E. Heinle and Mr. William R.
Ercoline (Veridian) of the Air Force Research
Laborator y’s Human Effectiveness
Directorate wrote this article. For more
information contact TECH CONNECT at
(800) 203-6451 or place a request at
http://www.afrl.af.mil/techconn/index.htm.
Reference document HE-02-10.
References
1
Heinle, T. E. “USAF Spatial Disorientation
Countermeasures Program.” Proceedings of
Recent Trends in Spatial Disorientation
Research. San Antonio TX, Nov 2000.
2
Ercoline, W. R., Freeman, J. E., Gillingham,
K. K., and Lyons, T. J. “Classification
Problems of US Air Force Spatial
Disorientation Accidents, 1989-91.”
Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine,
vol 65 (1994), 147-152.
3
Benson, A. J. “Special Senses, Work and
Sleep.” Ernsting, J, Ed. Aviation Medicine,
Physiology and Human Factors. 1st ed.
London: William Clowes & Sons Limited.
(1978), 405-467.
4
Gillingham, K. K. “The Spatial
Disorientation Problem in the United States
Air Force.” Journal of Vestibular Research, vol
2 (1992), 297-306.
5
Brown, D. L., DeVilbiss, C. A., Ercoline, W.
R., and Yauch, D. W. “Post-roll Effects on
Attitude Perception: ‘The Gillingham
Illusion’.” Aviation, Space, and Environmental
Medicine, vol 71 (2000), 489-495.
6
Gillingham, K. K. and Previc, F. H. AL-TR1993-0022, Spatial Orientation in Flight. Air
Force Materiel Command, Brooks AFB TX,
1993.
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Figure 3. Giant Hand Illusion
AFRL Technology Horizons, December 2002
For Free Info Enter No. 648 at www.afrlhorizons.com/rs
45
AFRL Available Lit/SBIR 1202
11/20/2002
11:29 AM
Page 46
AF ManTech Highlights
This publication promotes information
relevant to, and about, the people and
programs of the Manufacturing
Technology Division of the Materials
and Manufacturing Directorate.
Tool Design Software Creates
Big Impact on Sheet Metal
Forming
Company:
FEM Engineering, Inc.
Small Business Innovation
Research Program
Location:
The Air Force created this brochure
to encourage more small businesses to
participate in the Small Business
Innovation Research Program.
Employees:
Los Angeles, CA
7
President:
Ali Nezhad, PhD
Computational Sciences
Center of Excellence
This tri-fold brochure describes
areas of computational research
at the Air Vehicles Directorate’s
Control Sciences Division.
AFRL Success Stories CD-ROM
Success Stories for 1997-98, 1999, 2000,
and 2001 are available with just a click
of the mouse at the Success Stories web
link. This CD is business card size, runs
on standard PC CD-ROM readers, and
contains other AFRL program links.
Air Force Dual Use Science and
Technology (DUS&T) Program
This brochure describes the Air Force
DUS&T program and provides
examples of successful dual-use efforts
between government and industry.
To receive copies of these products, contact:
TECH CONNECT
(800) 203-6451
e-mail: [email protected]
web site: http://www.afrl.af.mil/techconn/index.htm
46
Air Force Requirement:
Tool design and fabrication are crucial steps in
manufacturing sheet metal parts for the Air Force fleet.
The design process itself takes time and is expensive.
The Air Force wanted to develop an expert system to
automate technology for the metal-forming area.
Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Technology:
Funded in part by SBIR, FEM Engineering developed
Metal Forming Tool Design (MFTD) software that
achieves a substantial reduction in tool design time for
sheet metal forming with additional benefits of greater
accuracy and consistency in tool design. The tooling
knowledge encapsulated and performed by the system
enables companies to maximize their tooling staff and
have greater throughput. The MFTD software works in
conjunction with Metal Forming Simulation software,
which enables designers to determine the formability
of a given part prior to manufacturing. The entire
software package reduces cycle time over 78% and
labor by over 50%. Also, the rejection rate decreased
by over 90%.
Company Impact:
FEM Engineering has already talked with several major
American, Canadian, and European aerospace
companies about commercializing the MFTD software.
For more information on this story,
contact Air Force TECH CONNECT
at (800) 203-6451 or visit the web site at
http://www.afrl.af.mil/techconn/index.htm
AFRL Technology Horizons, December 2002
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AFRL Ad Index 1202
11/20/2002
4:54 PM
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Advertisers Index
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Company
Page
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Number
Page
Abaqus ........................................638 ......................5
LaCroix Optical Co.....................637 ....................14
AFRL Tech Connect....................650 ............COV 3
Mikron Infrared, Inc. ................646 ....................38
Digi-Key Corporation..................632 ......................3
Network Analysis, Inc. ................636 ....................12
Diversified Technical Systems ....647 ....................41
Omega Engineering ................................................1
Dynetic Systems ..........................642 ....................28
Ophir RF......................................648 ....................45
Electro Optical Industries ..........635 ....................11
OptoSigma ..................................643 ....................31
Endevco ......................................641 ....................25
Schott Fiber Optics, Inc. ............640 ....................21
Engineering Synthesis Design ....645 ....................37
Veridian Engineering ........633, 644 ................4, 35
Equipto Electronics Corp. ..........639 ....................19
Watlow Electric Manufacturing..649 ............COV 4
HD Systems..................................634 ....................39
Xtreme Energy ............................631 ............COV 2
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manufacture & test of
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For more info & to order online: www.nasatech.com/store
48
AFRL Technology Horizons, December 2002
AFRL Tech Connect Ad 1202.qxd
11/19/2002
4:39 PM
Page 2
Dramatic changes in the world's defense environment now
allow the US Air Force the opportunity to offer business
and industry unprecedented access to a
treasure chest of 21st century
technology and scientific expertise
used to develop the most
technologically advanced Air
Force in the world. The process is
called Technology Transfer. Simply
Many solutions for
business and industry stated, it offers advanced technology
don't require starting
with a "blank sheet of developed for Air Force requirements
paper"…the technology
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cooperative research and development (R&D) agreements.
Technology Transfer offers business and industry a
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businesses to commercialize their work.
PRODUCTS, SOLUTIONS…PARTNERING
Already, companies in automotive
design, medical research, environmental sciences, and electronics,
to name just a few, are taking
advantage of the numerous
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To enhance your company’s
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give us a call at our TECH CONNECT
hotline and discover Air Force
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ideas fly.
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Proven technologies in military applications are increasingly
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For Free Info Enter No. 650 at www.afrlhorizons.com/rs
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