Air Force kicks off ACE project to build advanced components for tomorrow's electronic warfare

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio, 7 Sept. 2012. U.S. Air Force researchers are ready to launch a pivotal initiative similar to the Microwave and Millimeter Wave Monolithic Integrated Circuit (MIMIC) program decades ago to develop some of the world's most advanced and capable electronic and photonic components for tomorrow's electronic warfare (EW) systems.

The Air Force Research Laboratory Sensors Directorate at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio., issued a broad agency announcement this week (BAA-RQKS-2013-0001) that outlines the Advanced Components for Electronic Warfare (ACE) Phase 0 program.

Scientists at the Air Force Research Lab will brief industry on details of the ACE Phase 0 program during an industry day on 26 Sept. 2012 at the AFRL/RY Auditorium at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. Briefings start at 9 a.m.

ACE Phase 0, like the MIMIC program before it, seeks to establish capabilities, infrastructure, and knowledge necessary to design and produce advanced electronic and photonic components for advanced EW applications at low costs and high yields.

The MIMIC program back in the 1980s -- a major microelectronics initiative -- established the capabilities, infrastructure, and knowledge necessary to design and produce gallium arsenide (GaAs) monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMICs), for nearly any application, with high yields, low costs, and performance and reliability for advanced military and commercial applications.

The ACE Phase 0 program will focus on developing integrated photonic circuits (IPC); millimeter-wave source and receiver components for EW (MMW); reconfigurable and adaptive RF electronics (RARE); and heterogeneous integration for photonic sources (HIPS).

Next-generation cognitive and distributed EW systems will require leap-ahead component technologies to keep-up with emerging threats, Air Force researchers say.

No foreign participants will be allowed at the ACE Phase 0 industry day briefings, and security on the program will be extremely tight to reduce program vulnerability from adversary collection and exploitation of critical information. Industry briefings also will involve export-control information governed by the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).

Companies interested in attending the ACE Phase 0 industry briefings must register no later than 20 Sept. 2012. Those seeking to register must submit certified Military Critical Technical Data Agreements per federal DD Form 2345 to attend.

The event will be limited to interested representatives of U.S. government agencies and U.S. contractors only.

To register for the ACE Phase 0 industry day, and to submit DD Form 2345 forms, contact the program's technical point of contact, Stephen Hary, by e-mail at Stephen.Hary@wpafb.af.mil, or by phone at 937-528-8727.

Also contract the program's contracting points of contact Ruth Farmer at Ruth.Farmer@wpafb.af.mil or Ella Himes at EllaHimes@wpafb.af.mil.

More information is online at https://www.fbo.gov/spg/USAF/AFMC/AFRLWRS/BAA-RQKS-2013-0001/listing.html.

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