Air Force Research Lab sets sights on improved manufacturing of advanced military communications technology

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio, 15 June 2010. U.S. Air Force researchers are asking industry to find less expensive ways of manufacturing advanced military communications systems to speed the latest communications technology to fighting forces in the field.

Jun 15th, 2010

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio, 15 June 2010. U.S. Air Force researchers are asking industry to find less expensive ways of manufacturing advanced military communications systems to speed the latest communications technology to fighting forces in the field.

The Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, released a broad agency announcement (BAA-10-05-PKM) Monday for the Advanced Communication Affordability (ACA) program to identify the manufacturing challenges of producing militarized communications hardware, and move this technology quickly to the warfighter.

Specific areas of interest include interoperable networks of systems; capability based transformation; intelligence superiority; and rapid battlefield decisions and responsiveness to asymmetric threats. The idea is to come up with a global end-to-end seamless system using optical and radio frequency technologies to connect people and systems with high reliability, redundancy and responsiveness, Air Force officials say.

Air Force researchers are looking for capabilities that include bandwidth-efficient communications, miniaturized interoperable links, directive airborne antennas that are inexpensive to build and install, communications using dynamic spectrum awareness (DSA), low latency mobile ad hoc networks for airborne systems, inexpensive manpack satellite communications systems for special operations forces, and gallium nitride monolithic microwave integrated circuit technology for V-band and W-band high-altitude satellite- and unmanned aerial vehicle-based communications for airborne systems.

Proposals should address how manufacturing improvements could be incorporated into current and future Air Force weapons programs. Proposed efforts should focus on improving system performance; reduced size, weight, power and cost (SWAP C); and anticipated technology insertions into Air Force weapon systems over the next five years.

In charge of this program are scientists at the manufacturing technology division of the Air Force Research Lab's materials and manufacturing directorate.

Companies interested should respond by 29 July 2010. To send proposals, or to ask technical questions, contact the Air Force's Dilip Punatar by phone at 937-904-4355, by e-mail at dilip.punatar@wpafb.af.mil, or by post to AFRL/RXMT, Bldg. 653, Room 201, 2977 Hobson Way, WPAFB OH 45433-7739.

More information is online at https://www.fbo.gov/spg/USAF/AFMC/AFRLWRS/BAA-10-05-PKM/listing.html.

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