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Air Force Teams Partner with Academia and Industry to Forge Scientific Breakthroughs

Cutting-edge STEM initiatives are being pursued by Air Force teams thanks to a new program, the Defense Enterprise Science Initiative (DESI). Under the pilot program, administered by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research in conjunction with the Army Research Office, a handful of university-industry teams were selected for their promising ideas aimed at broadening and accelerating vital defense research capabilities. 

Expanding available energy sources through the use of laser power converters.

Creating a new antenna design that has improved aerodynamic properties and can enable multiple functions in a single device.

Improving radar technology to better detect thousands of objects and small pieces of debris floating in space.

These are a few of the cutting-edge STEM initiatives that are being pursued by Air Force teams thanks to a new program, the Defense Enterprise Science Initiative (DESI). Under the pilot program, administered by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research in conjunction with the Army Research Office, a handful of university-industry teams were selected for their promising ideas aimed at broadening and accelerating vital defense research capabilities. It is one of many opportunities that members of the Air Force Civilian Service have to make an impact—in their careers and the scientific world at large.

Each Air Force team will receive up to $1.5 million in funding over two years to pursue their research and further end-use applications. Though the topics are wide ranging, each has the potential to dramatically impact the future of our nation’s defense and the well-being of all Americans. The 2018 DESI research subject areas (and collaborating Air Force teams) include:

  • Increasing the efficiencies of power beaming, the wireless transfer of energy, to improve energy transmissions – The Boeing Company, Arizona State University and Syracuse University.  
  • Advancing the future of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles by studying design approaches found in nature (such as insects, bats and birds) – Stanford University and Skydio.
  • Using antennas made from metamaterials—a class of materials engineered to have unique properties not found in nature—to enhance traditional antennas and enable new capabilities – Duke University, University of Washington, and Northrop Grumman.
  • Developing a cost-effective radar technique that can provide high-resolution imagery for objects at low earth orbit and that can detect small space objects – Stanford University, University of California – Merced, and Visor Corporation.

Whether your passion is applying new discoveries, addressing technology gaps, or innovating new technologies through existing research, the Air Force Civilian Service has a multitude of exciting career opportunities. If you, like our DESI awardees, thrive on innovating and collaborating with industry leaders to forge scientific breakthroughs, a new career could be a click away. Learn more at afciviliancareers.com

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