Air Force tests industry waters for covert nighttime lighting on refueling tanker aircraft

McGUIRE AFB, N.J., 29 Aug. 2005. Air Force officials are asking industry for ideas on how to apply mature lighting technology to refueling tanker aircraft.

McGUIRE AFB, N.J., 29 Aug. 2005. Air Force officials are asking industry for ideas on how to apply mature lighting technology to refueling tanker aircraft.

The idea is to render lighting on tankers such as the KC-135 Stratotanker visible only to night-vision imaging systems such as the AN/AVS-9 and AN/AVS-10 night-vision goggles.

This industry request for information for the Aerial Refueling Tanker Aircraft Night Vision Imaging System Compatible & Covert Lighting project comes from the Air Mobility Command at McGuire Air Force Base, N.J. The project's reference number is NVISL082605.

Scientists at the Air Force Air Mobility Battlelab at nearby Fort Dix, N.J., say they will demonstrate a covert capability that enables in-flight operations in a night-vision environment.

To explore this concept, battlelab scientists are looking for innovative, low cost, commercial- or government-off-the-shelf lighting technology that can be temporarily installed on a KC 135 aircraft to make its exterior and boom pod interior lighting not only compatible with night-vision devices, but also undetectable to the unaided eye.

The demonstration system must be able to operate in all in-flight profiles and comply with Federal Aviation Administration regulations. The exterior lighting must be night-vision friendly, covert, and must not the vision of any aircrew members wearing night-vision goggles during night air-to-air refueling, close wing formation, in-flight rendezvous, or other phases of in-flight operations.

Industry representatives who are interested should outline their ideas -- including cost estimates -- in five-page white papers and submit them by 21 Sept. 2005.

Send papers to Mike Gehosky of Concurrent Technologies Corp. by e-mail at gehoskym@ctc.com, or by post to 100 CTC Drive, Johnstown, Pa. 15904-1935. For questions, contact Gehosky by phone at 814-269-2565.

More information on this program is online at http://www.fbodaily.com/archive/2005/08-August/28-Aug-2005/FBO-00880643.htm.

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