Research Area 1: Weapon Airframe Systems Technology Research

Advances in weapon airframe system technologies are required to take advantage of emerging developments in weapon guidance and navigation systems, networked communication systems, and precision effect ordnance and fuzing systems. The goal of this work is to perform research on technologies for development of agile weapon airframes that are capable of being deployed or dispensed from unmanned and manned platforms (e.g., 5th/6th-generation fighters) and which can deliver precision-controlled effects against fixed and mobile ground targets and air targets in highly contested engagement scenarios (i.e., Anti-Access/Area Denial). Enabling technologies in the following research areas are of interest: agile weapon airframes for high-speed flight regimes (e.g., air-launched unitary subsonic to supersonic guided weapons, air-launched supersonic to low hypersonic air-intercept, and long-range hypersonic strike weapons); high-agility airframes capable of aggressive flight maneuvers for terminal target intercept; networked collaboration; compressed carriage munitions and release mechanisms; robust, low-cost, compact control and actuation systems (aero and propulsive) for small weapons; compact power for small weapons; and small weapon design, carriage, and dispensing technology. Proposed research should have a sound basis in credible theories, principles, and methodologies of dynamical systems, aerodynamics, structural dynamics, machine learning, material sciences, propulsion, thermodynamics, aeroelasticity, aerothermoelasticity, and aeromechanics. Efforts should also exploit advances in other weapon subsystem technologies (e.g., advanced sensors and seekers, guidance and control algorithms, networked enabled weapons and information architectures, controlled effects ordnance, divert and attitude control systems, flexible or morphing bodies), be amenable to further development through sound principles of systems engineering, and offer the potential for significantly improving affordable weapon aerial systems capabilities, effectiveness and manufacturability. In the context of this research area, innovative and novel concepts based upon emerging science and technology are encouraged; incremental evolutionary capability of existing technologies are of low interest.


Keywords: Advanced Seekers; Sensors; Guidance and Control Algorithms; Network Collaborative Enabled Weapons; Controlled Effects Ordnance; Systems Engineering; Flexible or Morphing Bodies.


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