Air Force reaches out to industry for high-power microwaves, sensors, testing for electromagnetic warfare

April 19, 2022
HPEM Empirical Effects seeks to find a waveform for an effective electromagnetic weapon that is small size, weight, and power consumption (SWaP).

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. – U.S. Air Force electromagnetic warfare experts are asking industry to perform vulnerability testing on several electronic systems to help determine the effectiveness of potential high-power electromagnetic (HPEM) weapons.

Officials of the Air Force Research Laboratory Directed Energy Directorate at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., issued a broad agency announcement on Friday (FA9451-22-S-0001-CALL-002) for the High Power Electromagnetics (HPEM) Empirical Effects project.

HPEM Empirical Effects seeks to find a waveform for an effective electromagnetic weapon that is small size, weight, and power consumption (SWaP). This weapon is to help validate modeling tools and techniques.

This testing will involve a plan that describes appropriate instrumentation and sensors, best practices and industry standards, test and measurement approaches, cables, and sensors for the project.

Related: Wanted: simulations for high-power electromagnetic weapons

This work will include capturing effects and waveform data, identifying new targets, developing surrogate electronic systems for testing, purchasing representative electronic subsystems, developing fault trees, building probability of effect curves for the electronic subsystems, and planning outdoor effects tests to characterize electromagnetic weapon effectiveness.

Electromagnetic weapons involve high-power microwaves and electromagnetic pulse (EMP) systems that are designed to destroy enemy electronics. The High Power Electromagnetics (HPEM) Empirical Effects project is part of the Air Force's High Power Electromagnetics Modeling and Effects program.

To a lesser degree, the HPEM Empirical Effects project will include research and tools that can help predict the effectiveness of HPEM waveforms by developing and testing of emerging technologies and state-of-the-art HPEM technologies to collect vulnerability data.

Work will include performing effectiveness modeling, including developing, executing, and validating computational models, to assess the effectiveness and military utility of an HPEM weapon, characterizing collateral damage, developing recuperation time models, and performing trade studies to compare different HPEM weapons.

Related: Wanted: high-power amplifiers for electronics-killing EW

This work will provide information to develop, identify, and integrate new and existing software and hardware for battle damage assessment and recuperation time, and battle damage indicators for an HPEM engagement. The Air Force will choose one company for this project, which could be worth as much as $20 million over the next five years.

Companies interested should upload proposals no later than 16 May 2022 to the DOD SAFE website at Companies should email their intents to submit proposals to the Air Force's Adan Dominguez at [email protected], or Julian Landavazo at [email protected].

Email questions or concerns to the Air Force Research Lab at [email protected]. More information is online at

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