AFA Air, Space, Cyber Conference set for Sept. 19-21, AFRL celebrates 75 years of research

  • Published
  • By Aleah M. Castrejon
  • Air Force Research Laboratory Public Affairs
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFRL) – The Air Force Research Laboratory will highlight some of its newest technologies during the Air Force Association's Air, Space and Cyber Conference Sept. 19-21, 2022, at the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. To register and view COVID-19 requirements visit  
This year’s theme is “America’s Air and Space Forces – Yesterday, today and tomorrow (75 years in the defense of our nation).” Attendees can expect to see AFRL displays about WARTECH, Bio-Cement Plant, Robotics, Tactically Responsive Space Access, Small Sats, QUICKSINK, Golden Horde, Ultra, Variable In-Flight Stability Aircraft, Hack-A-Sat, EDGE Connect and AFWERX, as well as a historical timeline to celebrate 75 years of research.
The U.S. Air Force 75th Anniversary on Sept. 18, 2022, provides a unique opportunity to highlight the contributions of the total force Airmen, both past and present, who have fought and defended the nation in air and space.
AFRL Commander Maj. Gen. Heather Pringle and Air Force Test Center Commander Maj. Gen. Evan Dertien, will host a media roundtable discussing “AFRL and AFTC Partnership to Accelerate New Technology to the Warfighter” Sept. 20, 2022, at 7:30 a.m.
Pringle will also moderate a future of propulsion panel discussion Sept. 21, 2022, from 1:50-2:30 p.m. at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center with the Director of AFRL’s Aerospace Systems Directorate, Dr. Michael Gregg; Chief of AFRL’s Rocket Propulsion Division, Dr. Shawn Phillips; and the Director of Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Propulsion Directorate John Sneden.
AFRL programs and technologies 
WARTECH is a process established as a result of the Air Force Science & Technology Strategy for 2030. It brings warfighters and technologists together to identify future force requirements and develop and deliver transformational operational capabilities to meet them. WARTECH also captures singular Department of the Air Force-wide demand signals for advanced technology demonstration programs, represents collaboration between warfighters and technologists as they ideate and mature proposals to address future force requirements.
Bio-Cement Plant will use bio-manufacturing to build runways, including ramp space or any hardened surfaces. The plant is a way to get into various locations to rapidly create landing zones for aircraft where none exist.
The Adaptive Radome Diagnostic System, or ARDS, is a fully autonomous mobile collaborative robotic system that maps the local electromagnetic response of JSTARS radomes. Measuring radomes is important, as Air Force depots must continually repair and refurbish aircraft radomes over its lifetime. As radomes age, defects are difficult to detect, and current diagnostic methods only provide qualitative information. ARDS looks promising for many challenging radome inspections.
Tactically responsive space access, or TRSA, will highlight the lab's cutting-edge rocket propulsion capabilities, enabling the delivery of tomorrow's payloads in safer, more efficient ways. Scientists and engineers are maturing and demonstrating advanced rocket propulsion and space access technologies with commercial and government partners to enable tactically responsive space access, or TRSA. The goal is to facilitate U.S. Space Force space access that is resilient, survivable, rapid and responsive while ensuring relevant timelines and supporting a vibrant and stable launch market.
AFRL Space Vehicles Directorate’s Small Satellite Portfolio, or SSP, is developing, testing and transitioning small satellite technologies to support the Hybrid Architecture vision for the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force. The DAF is faced with a contested, congested and competitive space environment where the landscape is changing much faster than the current acquisition cycle can match. The SSP has developed a Hybrid Architecture consisting of a mix of legacy systems complemented with new DOD-owned systems, Allied space capabilities and commercial space capabilities. Through the SSP, AFRL Is developing, testing and transitioning automation and autonomy tools needed to seamlessly wage all-domain warfare. These tools will enable the warfighter to use disparate assets distributed across the all-domain battlefield to provide coordinated effects while under attack.
QUICKSINK answers the need to neutralize maritime threats. With QUICKSINK, AFRL is working with the U.S. Navy on air-delivered weapons that sink capital ships.
AAAx-VISTA, or Variable In-flight Stability Aircraft, is a modified Air Force Test Pilot School F-16 redesignated the X-62 and includes software that allows it to mimic the performance characteristics of other platforms. It can also host a variety of autonomy behaviors, including those from the Skyborg Autonomy Control System and other autonomy software packages.
The Ultra Long Endurance Unmanned Aerial System, or ULTRA UAS, is GPS-hardened intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platform with full global operational access with long endurance. The ULTRA UAS’ key features include its low cost, more than 80 hours of operational endurance with payload, more than 40,000 operational hours with DOD units, operator friendly “point and click” system, to name a few.
AFRL will highlight Hack-A-Sat, an event that brings together the world's top cybersecurity talent, challenging them to help reduce vulnerabilities and build more secure space systems. The competition is building a non-traditional community of security researchers, government, industry and academia that works together to develop novel approaches for securing the space cyber domain.
EDGE Connect provides several key capabilities including the establishment of a Software-Defined Wide Area Network, or SD-WAN, increasing resiliency over existing communications systems by stitching together multiple pathways, such as satellite communication, cellular, radio frequency, etc. and automating management of network traffic versus status quo use of a single pathway.
AFWERX is a program office at AFRL, which connects innovators across government, industry and academia. Through innovation and collaboration with our nation’s top subject-matter experts and harnessing the power of ingenuity of internal talent, by expanding technology, talent and transition partnerships for rapid and affordable commercial and military capability.
For more information about AFRLs programs and technologies, visit, and to register, visit
About AFRL
The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is the primary scientific research and development center for the Department of the Air Force. AFRL plays an integral role in leading the discovery, development, and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for our air, space, and cyberspace force. With a workforce of more than 11,500 across nine technology areas and 40 other operations across the globe, AFRL provides a diverse portfolio of science and technology ranging from fundamental to advanced research and technology development. For more information, visit: