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DIRECTORATES

Our passion goes beyond developing technologies. We develop people and give them the resources they need to succeed.

Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio

The 711th Human Performance Wing (711 HPW), is the first human-centric warfare wing to consolidate research, education and consultation under a single organization. Established in March 2008 under the Air Force Research Laboratory, the 711 HPW is comprised of the Airman Systems Directorate (RH), the United States Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine (USAFSAM) and the Human Performance Integration Directorate (HP). The Wing's primary mission areas are aerospace medicine, science and technology, and human systems integration.

  • "HATS" Off to AFRL SBIR Advance

    AFRL Small Business innovative research contractor Appareo Systems developed Head Attitude Tracking System (HATS) to provide warfighters with reliable heading reference in any outdoor environment.

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  • A New [Sense of] Direction for Battlefield Awareness

    An AFRL/academic team is experimenting with the use of audio cues for more quickly alerting battlefield troops as to the location of sniper fire.

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  • AFRL Unmasks Biodynamic Potential of New Pilot Protective Device

    AFRL performed a key biodynamic assessment of the Type II Joint Service Aircrew Mask (JSAM), an incrementally developed head/eye/respiratory sustainment system intended primarily to safeguard individual Airmen against chemical and biological (CB) warfare agents.

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  • I Am AFRL - Aaron Kirby

    United States Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine "Service Before Self"

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  • New Simulation Software Lights the Way to Better Antilaser Eyewear

    AFRL's recent deployment of commercially produced software for assessing antilaser eyewear performance will enable uniquely qualified approval or rejection of a given manufacturer's proposed design for military use. AFRL's decision to leverage the ...

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  • Newly Patented “ACCESs” to Better Hearing Protection

    The US Patent and Trademark Office recently assigned the Air Force Material Command-submitted patent application entitled "Vented Earpiece System" patent number 7,784,583. The new patent covers the lab's Attenuating Custom Communications Earpiece ....

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Arlington, VA

With a worldwide exchange program for scientists and engineers, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) is the basic research manager for AFRL. AFOSR invests in long-term, broad-based research into aerospace-related science and engineering. To accomplish this mission, AFOSR has formed a strong, productive alliance with other government agencies, U.S. industry and the academic community. Nearly 80 percent of the research is conducted in academia and industry and the remaining 20 percent is conducted within AFRL. AFOSR's investment in basic research programs is distributed to about 300 academic institutions, 145 contracts with industry and more than 150 internal AFRL research efforts.

  • Advanced Propulsion Technology to Benefit Nanosatellites

    A Lab-sponsored University of Michigan Professor is developing the NanoFET, a novel electric rocket thruster that enables spacecraft to travel faster and with less propellant that previous technology allowed.

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  • Chilling Results for MURI Effort

    Thanks to AFRL Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) funding, a team led by University of New Mexico (UNM) professor Dr. Mansoor Sheik-Bahea created the first solid-state cryocooler capable of airborne and spaceborne sensor application.

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  • Heat Resistant Ceramic Coatings Offer Thermal Protection for Hypersonic Flight

    AFOSR-supported research at the University of Arizona is investigating high-temperature resistant ceramic coatings that will provide thermal protection for Air Force ...

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  • Mini-Thrusters No Small Achievement in Satellite Propulsion

    Based on the in-progress development of miniature electric propulsion systems, or mini-thrusters, small satellites—including CubeSats, the Air Force's latest—may soon perform space maneuvers with greater ease and undertake increasingly formidable ...

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  • Mini-Thrusters No Small Achievement in Satellite Propulsion

    Funded in part by AFRL's Young Investigator Award, University of Nebraska researchers developed an algorithm and open source tool to address the issue of faulty software, a problem of urgency to deployed troops whose missions-and sometimes whose lives- depend ...

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  • WOW Technologies, Bio Inspired Flight for Micro Air Vehicles

    The animals fly and we take their video at very high speed so we can really see the detail. At the same time we shine a laser behind them so that we can see the motion of the air that the animals make as they fly.

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Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio (Aerospace Systems)

The Aerospace Systems Directorate brings together world-class facilities including a fuels research facility, structural testing labs, compressor research facility, rocket testing facilities, supersonic and subsonic wind tunnels, flight simulation lab, and many other cutting-edge research labs. Among the technologies in development in the Aerospace Systems Directorate are turbine engines, scramjet engines, alternative fuels, unmanned vehicles, hypersonic vehicles, collision avoidance and aircraft energy optimization.

  • HBCU Research Nets Double-or-Nothing Heat Transfer

    Addressing major challenges related to the high-heat-flux thermal management of current and future airborne tactical platforms (especially directed energy weapons), researchers funded through AFRL's Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) program ...

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  • I am AFRL, Dr. Jim Gord

    We shoot laser beams into jet engines, which sounds like an awful lot of fun, and the motivation for that is ...

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  • Laser-Induced Ignition Eliminates Need for Spark Plug

    AFRL researchers successfully demonstrated resonant laser-induced ignition of a propane-air flow mixture, a concept in an aircraft combustor that would eliminate the protruding spark plug.

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  • Lightweight Megawatt Generator Comes Through in Demonstration

    The Air Force Research Laboratory and Small Business Innovation research (SBIR) Phase III industry partner Electrodynamics Associates, Inc. demonstrated a multi-megawatt, high speed (15,000 rpm) generator to 25 members of industry and the Department of Defense.

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  • Navigating the Realm of Automated Aerial Refueling

    Moving another step closer in the direction of expanded Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) capabilities, AFRL completed the Precision RelNav Open-Loop Flight Test (PROFT) for the Automated Aerial Refueling Test (AAR) program, the purpose of which is to develop ...

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  • Singular Setup Joins Wings—and Future UAVs—to Aerodynamic Efficiency

    In completing key wind tunnel tests of a new unmanned air vehicle (UAV) design known as the Joint-Wing SensorCraft, AFRL engineers are a step closer to establishing the novel configuration as a cutting-edge ...

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Kirtland AFB, N.M.

The Directed Energy Directorate is the Air Force's center of expertise for directed energy and optical technologies. The Directed Energy Directorate focuses in four core technical competencies: Lasers Systems, High Power Electromagnetics, Weapons Modeling and Simulation, and Directed Energy and Electro-Optics for Space Superiority. AFRL pioneered the first and only megawatt class airborne laser and is a leader in ground-based space imagining using adaptive optics with our 3.5-meter telescope in New Mexico and a 3.6-meter telescope in Hawaii. The lab is transitioning game-changing counter-electronics weapon technologies that can degrade, damage or destroy electronic systems with minimum collateral damage.

  • Guidestar Laser Reaches, Surpasses Wattage Goal

    The Air Force Research Laboratory's experimental guidestar laser system has achieved its design goal of 50 watts, providing sufficient power to enable operation of the adaptive optics system. Laser guidestars are used to adapt a telescope's ...

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  • Maui Center Tailors Weather Forecast Data to Telescope Needs

    When you're dealing with highly sensitive telescope operations, just knowing if it's going to rain is not enough.

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  • SBIR Directs Energy Towards Laser-Based Target ID

    AFRL-sponsored Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) dedicated to improving target identification technology precipitated development of an Optical Target Identification system of benefit to directed energy weapons advancement, such as that facilitated ...

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Rome, N.Y.

The Information Directorate develops information technologies for aerospace command and control, and its transition to air, space and ground systems. Its focus areas include a broad spectrum of technologies including information fusion and exploitation, communications and networking, collaborative environments, modeling and simulation, defensive information warfare and intelligent information systems technologies. Directorate scientists and engineers develop systems, concepts and technologies to enhance the Air Force's capability to successfully meet the challenges of the information age. In addition to its primary mission, the directorate has partnered with other elements of the federal government, national intelligence agencies, numerous allied nations, state and local governments, and more than 50 major universities to work problems of common interest.

  • Condor Supercomputer, The Air Force Research Laboratory

    We ran over 2 miles of cable to connect the Condor cluster all together. That's composed on 1,716 Playstation 3's, 156 general purpose graphics processing units and 84 dual Xeon processors. We were able to compile a computer capable of 500 trillion ...

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  • Data Exchange Becomes “Go-To” Software for Theater Information

    Combined Information Data Network Exchange (CIDNE) is CENTCOM's answer to managing the complexities of theater-wide operational reporting, quality assurance and quality control.

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  • I am AFRL, Mike Muccio

    The coolest part of my job is being able to take what I learned, put it to use with my own hands, being able to actually fly these small aircraft and work on real wireless communications.

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  • Memristor-Based Neural Network Fabricated, Characterized

    AFRL's in-house Computational Intelligence research group, led by Dr. Robinson E. Pino, has achieved a critical milestone in the design, fabrication, and characterization of a 100-synapse memristor-based neural network. In collaboration with Boise ...

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  • Miniature Common Data Link Transitioned

    The Miniature Common Data Link (Mini-CDL) is a small, lightweight, low power, low cost CDL system for use on small RPAs (Remotely Piloted Vehicles) for dissemination of ISR data.

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Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.

The Space Vehicles Directorate serves as the Air Force's "Center of Excellence" for space research and development. The Directorate develops and transitions space technologies for more effective, more affordable warfighter missions. Primary mission thrusts include Space-Based Surveillance (space-to-space and space-to-ground) and Space Capability Protection (protecting space assets from man-made and natural effects). The Directorate also leverages commercial, civil and other government resources that ensure America's defense advantage. Primary focus areas include: radiation-hardened electronics, space power, space structures and control, space-based sensing, space environmental effects, autonomous maneuvering, and balloon and satellite flight experiments. The directorate also operates an additional research site near Gakona, Alaska. Leading the nation in space supremacy research and development, the Space Vehicles Directorate consists of an integrated team of 900-plus military, civilian, and on-site contractors.

  • AFRL Program to Enable Solar Cells

    The Air Force Research Laboratory, in cooperation with United Solar Ovonic LLC, established a program to build on technology developed under previous Air Force Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) projects.

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  • I Am AFRL - Amber Anderson

    The Air Force Research Laboratory. An accomplished Electro-optics engineer, team member Amber Anderson gives some insight into satellite technology.

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  • I Am AFRL - Karatholuvu Balasubramaniam "Bala"

    "The sun never goes to sleep"

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  • Student Satellites Successfully Separate

    Two satellites designed and constructed by students at the University of Texas' Cockrell School of Engineering successfully separated in space March 22, completing the crucial goal of the mission since its Nov. 19 launch and marking them the first ...

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  • TacSat-3 Celebrates Milestone, Surpasses Requirements

    AFRL's Tactical Satellite-3 (TacSat-3) celebrates its two-year anniversary on-orbit. The spacecraft was originally designed for six months of operation with a one-year goal.

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  • TacSat-3 Goes From Experiment to Asset

    AFRL's Tactical Satellite-3 (TacSat-3) made the leap from experimental to operational asset with the June 2010 official transfer of control from the lab to Air Force Space Command at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado.

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Eglin AFB, FL

The Munitions Directorate develops, demonstrates, and transitions science and technology for airlaunched munitions for defeating ground-fixed, mobile/relocatable, air, and space targets. The directorate works to assure preeminence of US air and space forces, conducting basic research, exploratory development, and advanced development and demonstrations. It also participates in programs focused on technology transfer, dual use technology, and small business development.

  • AFRL’s Munitions Directorate Stands Up New, Unique Capability

    The Air Force Research Laboratory's Munitions Directorate is standing up a brand new capability, the High Pressure Particulate Physics (HP3) Facility, to enhance the role of science and technology in smart munitions development.

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  • I am AFRL, Kit Neel

    I do shock and impact studies of materials that the Air Force is interested in. And the reason we do these is to understand how these materials are going to behave.

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  • I am AFRL, Matthew Spidell

    It's absolutely wonderful to see the team come together and to produce a product that will ultimately help the warfighter.

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  • Projecting a Better View of Urban Warfare

    Given that unconventional warfare, including combat in urban environments, has unorthodox challenges, AFRL munitions experts are researching a biologically inspired technology known as optical flow to help warfighters succeed in these cityscape battle scenarios.

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  • SBIR Results “Bragg” Entry Into Atomic Physics Mainstream

    AFRL Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) partner Photodigm, Inc., developed a new generation of miniature, embeddable, semiconductor lasers that can accurately probe the internal states of atoms, a groundbreaking capability that will enable ...

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Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio

The Materials and Manufacturing Directorate develops new materials, processes and manufacturing technologies for use in aerospace applications. This includes aircraft, spacecraft, missiles, rockets and ground-based systems and their structural, electronic and optical components. With a host of modern materials and analysis laboratories, the directorate also provides quick reaction support and real time solutions to Air Force weapon system acquisition offices, field organizations and maintenance depots to solve materials related concerns and problems. The Directorate plans, executes and integrates advanced manufacturing technology programs and affordability initiatives addressing manufacturing process technologies, computer integrated manufacturing and excellence through design for military needs. The directorate is also responsible for the Air Force technology programs that address environmental issues and provides materials expertise for airbase assets such as runways and infrastructures and technologies for aerospace expeditionary forces.

  • Butterfly Biology Inspires New Sensing Capability

    A collaboration of AFRL, General Electric (GE), and academic researchers are leveraging the chemical sensing properties of butterflies to develop nanostructured photonic sensors that, if implemented, would not only enable faster and more selective detection ...

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  • Ferroelectric Nanoparticle Discovery Greatly Enhances Optical Materials

    AFRL researchers have developed the world's smallest ferroelectric nanoparticles. Ferroelectricity refers to the property of certain materials possessing a spontaneous polarization in which the electric dipole ...

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  • I Am AFRL - Jennifer Fielding

    The most innovative and advanced manufacturing technologies in the world.

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  • Lab Gets It “Write” With Novel Manufacturing Methods

    In leveraging direct-write (DW) manufacturing methods-most recently, one known as Mesoscale Maskless Material Deposition (M3D)-AFRL materials experts are promoting advances in new metamaterial structures and multifunctional, hybrid materials.

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  • Nanocomposites May Allow Morphing Material Applications

    A team from the Air Force Research Laboratory is investigating a new series of stimuli-responsive nanocomposites, which change their mechanical properties when exposed to electric fields and electromagnetic radiation.

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  • Researchers Develop Groundbreaking Flexible Solar Cell Technique

    A groundbreaking research technique demonstrated by the Air Force Research Laboratory detects performance variability at a microscopic scale during ...

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Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio

The Sensors Directorate leads the discovery, development, and integration of affordable sensor and countermeasure technologies for our warfighters. In collaboration with other AFRL directorates and DoD organizations, the directorate develops sensors for air and space reconnaissance, surveillance, precision engagement and electronic warfare systems. The directorate's vision is to provide robust sensors and adaptive countermeasures that guarantee complete freedom of air, space, and cyber operations for our forces, and deny these capabilities to our adversaries. Its core technology areas include: radio frequency and electro-optical sensing, sensor fusion and exploitation, network enabled spectrum warfare, and revolutionary devices and components.

  • FALCON Fast, Far, and First

    Working with industry partner ITT Advanced Engineering & Sciences, AFRL Sensors scientists demonstrated FALCON, an operationally capable Fast Airborne Laser Communications Optical Node.

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  • Geolocation Goes Underground With Latest Advance

    Location-finding technology has descended to a new level low beneath the earth’s surface. AFRL Sensors scientist participated in a successful demonstration testing of subsurface navigation (SSN) technology, which provides navigational solutions for scenarios ...

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  • I am AFRL, Monica Allen

    Senior Electronics Engineer. I first get to work with real life problems that are facing the military today. And within that context, I have the freedom to explore my ideas that would provide unique solutions to these real world problems.

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  • Self-Healing Circuits Boost Performance, Cut Costs

    In supporting the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) pursuit of affordable high-performance electronics, AFRL sensors scientists are addressing the tendency of high-frequency integrated circuits to become increasingly smaller and ...

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  • Sensors Engineers Ever Vigilant in Warfighter Response

    AFRL fabricated and tested an innovative sensor for detecting the launch and flight of shoulder-fired heat seeking missiles.

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  • “RADICAL” Improvements to IED Detection

    The urgency of improvised explosive device (IED) threat mitigation for deployed troops warrants an immediate and sweeping response, and an AFRL/Electronic Systems Center (ESC) program aptly hailed as RADICAL-referenced more formally as the ...

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