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  • Air Force and university scientists share their vision for unconventional computing

    Conventional computing hardware represents information as ones and zeros, depending on the state of electronic transistors. This creates artificial bottlenecks in the flow of information processing by first requiring that environmental loads be converted into an electronic state and second by routing the information to centralized computers for processing. Researchers from Wright-Patterson’s Air Force Research Lab, along with collaborators from the University of Pennsylvania, University of York and Northwestern University, argue in a recently published Nature perspective paper that new and unconventional ways of representing information in materials could be the key to removing these bottlenecks and redistributing this computing burden.
  • AFRL interns showcase their work in annual poster session at Wright-Patterson

    After canceling 2020’s event because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Materials and Manufacturing Directorate’s annual student poster session was back on again for 2021. In previous years, as many as 70 student researchers have participated; however, this year’s event was considerably smaller. Because COVID-19 is still with us, this year’s event was a “hybrid” one to ensure safe social distancing, with 27 students distributed over two in-person sessions, and 11 presenting virtually.
  • First Guardians from AFRL’s Materials and Manufacturing Directorate inducted into Space Force

    Two Air Force Research Laboratory Company Grade Officers were recently inducted into the U.S. Space Force, the nation’s newest branch of the military. On July 23, Capts. Kenneth Ehrenberg and Cristian Hernández-Rivera became Guardians in the Space Force during a swearing-in ceremony at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
  • AFRL staff gives departing deputy director a special surprise

    On Friday, June 18, as a going-away surprise for departing AFRL Materials and Manufacturing (AFRL/RX) Deputy Director Col. Michael Warner, staff members treated him to an exclusive visit to the Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument in Wilberforce, Ohio. At the end of his visit, Warner was able to add yet another stamp to his National Park Passport. Warner “collects” National Parks, in a manner of speaking, having visited 362 of the 411 he has on his bucket list.
  • AFRL Materials Characterization Facility pushes state of the art

    The Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base has recently renovated their materials characterization facility (MCF) to meet the ever-advancing needs of materials research. By renovating 3,700 square feet of existing laboratory space, the facility has been designed to keep pace with analytical research technology, thereby “future-proofing” it for the next generation of instrumentation, according to program manager Dr. Todd Butler. A ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 26 officially opened the new facility.
  • Washington State Patrol pilots successfully test special laser eye protection developed at Wright-Patterson Lab

    Aiming a laser at an aircraft is a federal crime that can net offenders up to five years in jail or cost them a $250,000 fine. Even with this heavy potential penalty, laser strikes have become increasingly more common. According to the FAA, 6,852 such incidents were reported in 2020, compared with 385 in 2006, and so far this year, incidents of “joy lasing” are up 20 percent over last year. Cheap and easily obtained, hand-held lasers used as pointers and cat toys are certainly harmless when used as intended. But when they are aimed at the cockpit of an aircraft, they can temporarily blind the pilot — with possibly deadly consequences.
  • AFRL Materials scientist receives NextFlex 2021 Fellow Award

    Dr. Jeremy Ward, a scientist at Wright-Patterson’s Air Force Research Laboratory, has received a 2021 Fellow Award from NextFlex, America’s Flexible Hybrid Electronics (FHE) Manufacturing Institute. Ward was one of four recipients.
  • Testing done at AFRL made Perseverance and the search for life on Mars possible

    On February 18, 2021, NASA’s rover Perseverance touched down on the surface of Mars to begin searching for evidence of past life. The success of this touchdown would not have been possible without the work of a team of researchers who operate unique erosion testing equipment in a windowless bunker at Wright-Patterson’s Air Force Research Lab. And this is not the only Dayton connection to this particular Mars mission.
  • AFRL partners with Cornell to use micro-beam scanning technology for inspecting composite materials

    The Air Force research Laboratory, in partnership with the Materials Solutions Network at the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS) of Cornell University, has developed a tool that can look directly inside of and instantaneously inspect the structure of composite components while they are being manufactured. This new technology uses a combination of phase contrast imaging and micro-beam scanning to produce real-time X-ray scattering images of the component during and post production. The process is expected to save the Air Force millions of dollars in qualification and certification of composite parts used in advanced unmanned aerial vehicles and satellite systems.
  • Hybrid nanomaterials hold promise for improved ceramic composites

    Researchers at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base are seeking to patent a novel process for manufacturing a type of material called preceramic polymer-grafted nanoparticles, or “hairy nanoparticles” (HNP).
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