Air Force Research Laboratory
Overview
 
The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is a scientific research organization operated by the United States Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

 Materiel Command
Air Force Materiel Command
Air Force Materiel Command is a major command of the United States Air Force. AFMC was created July 1, 1992 through the reorganization of Air Force Logistics Command and Air Force Systems Command....

 dedicated to leading the discovery, development, and integration of affordable aerospace warfighting technologies; planning and executing the Air Force science and technology program; and provide warfighting capabilities to United States air, space, and cyberspace forces. It controls the entire Air Force science and technology research budget which was $2.4 billion in 2006.

The Laboratory was formed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base in Greene and Montgomery counties in the state of Ohio. It includes both Wright and Patterson Fields, which were originally Wilbur Wright Field and Fairfield Aviation General Supply Depot. Patterson Field is located approximately...

, Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

 on 31 October 1997 as a consolidation of four Air Force laboratory facilities (Wright, Phillips, Rome, and Armstrong) and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research under a unified command.
Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is a scientific research organization operated by the United States Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

 Materiel Command
Air Force Materiel Command
Air Force Materiel Command is a major command of the United States Air Force. AFMC was created July 1, 1992 through the reorganization of Air Force Logistics Command and Air Force Systems Command....

 dedicated to leading the discovery, development, and integration of affordable aerospace warfighting technologies; planning and executing the Air Force science and technology program; and provide warfighting capabilities to United States air, space, and cyberspace forces. It controls the entire Air Force science and technology research budget which was $2.4 billion in 2006.

The Laboratory was formed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base in Greene and Montgomery counties in the state of Ohio. It includes both Wright and Patterson Fields, which were originally Wilbur Wright Field and Fairfield Aviation General Supply Depot. Patterson Field is located approximately...

, Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

 on 31 October 1997 as a consolidation of four Air Force laboratory facilities (Wright, Phillips, Rome, and Armstrong) and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research under a unified command. The Laboratory is composed of 8 technical directorates, 1 wing, and the Office of Scientific Research. Each technical directorate emphasizes a particular area of research within the AFRL mission which it specializes in performing experiments in conjunction with universities and contractors.

Since the Laboratory's formation in 1997, it has conducted numerous experiments and technical demonstrators in conjunction with NASA
NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

, Department of Energy
United States Department of Energy
The United States Department of Energy is a Cabinet-level department of the United States government concerned with the United States' policies regarding energy and safety in handling nuclear material...

 National Laboratories
United States Department of Energy National Laboratories
The United States Department of Energy National Laboratories and Technology Centers are a system of facilities and laboratories overseen by the United States Department of Energy for the purpose of advancing science and helping promote the economic and defensive national interests of the United...

, DARPA, and other research organizations within the Department of Defense
United States Department of Defense
The United States Department of Defense is the U.S...

. Notable projects include the X-37
Boeing X-37
The Boeing X-37 is an American unmanned vertical-takeoff, horizontal-landing spaceplane. The X-37 is operated by the United States Air Force for orbital spaceflight missions intended to demonstrate reusable space technologies...

, X-40
Boeing X-40
-See also:-External links:* * * * *...

, X-53, HTV-3X, YAL-1A
Boeing YAL-1
The Boeing YAL-1 Airborne Laser Testbed, weapons system is a megawatt-class chemical oxygen iodine laser mounted inside a modified Boeing 747-400F. It is primarily designed as a missile defense system to destroy tactical ballistic missiles , while in boost phase. The aircraft was designated...

, Advanced Tactical Laser
Advanced tactical laser
The Advanced Tactical Laser program is a US military program to mount a high energy laser weapon on an aircraft, initially the AC-130 gunship, for use against ground targets in urban or other areas where minimizing collateral damage is important. The laser will be a 100 kilowatt-class chemical...

, and the Tactical Satellite Program
Tactical Satellite Program
During the second half of 2002, the Naval Research Laboratory studied the tactical application of space assets. Relatively new technologies and processes in the areas of micro-satellites, affordable and quick-response launch vehicles, and the classified SIPRNET made tactical use of space assets...

.

The Laboratory may face problems in the future as 40 percent of its workers are slated to retire over the next two decades while since 1980 the United States has not produced enough science and engineering degrees to keep up with demand.

History

The path to a consolidated Air Force Research Laboratory began with the passage of the Goldwater-Nichols Act
Goldwater-Nichols Act
The Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986 , , made the most sweeping changes to the United States Department of Defense since the department was established in the National Security Act of 1947 by reworking the command structure of the United States military...

 which was designed to streamline the use of resources by the Department of Defense
United States Department of Defense
The United States Department of Defense is the U.S...

. In addition to this Act, the end of the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 began a period of budgetary and personnel reductions within the armed forces in preparation for a "stand-down" transition out of readiness for a global war with the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

. Prior to 1990, the Air Force laboratory system spread research out into 13 different laboratories and the Rome Air Development Center which each reported up two separate chains of command: a product center for personnel, and the Air Force Systems Command
Air Force Systems Command
Air Force Systems Command is a former United States Air Force command. Its headquarters was located at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland...

 Director of Science & Technology for budgetary purposes. Bowing to the constraints of a reduced budget and personnel, the Air Force merged the existing research laboratories into four "superlabs" in December 1990. During this same time period, the Air Force Systems Command and Air Force Logistics Command
Air Force Logistics Command
Air Force Logistics Command was a United States Air Force command. Its headquarters was located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio...

 merged to form Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC) in July 1992.
Air Force Laboratories Before and After Merger
Pre-Merger Post-Merger
Weapons Laboratory, Kirtland AFB, NM Phillips Laboratory
Phillips Laboratory
Phillips Laboratory was a research and development organization operated by the United States Air Force Materiel Command. In 1997, the Laboratory was merged into the Air Force Research Laboratory as the Space Vehicles and Directed Energy Directorates. It was located at Kirtland Air Force Base in...


Kirtland AFB
Geophysics Laboratory, Hanscom AFB, MA
Astronautics Laboratory, Edwards AFB, CA
Avionics Laboratory, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH Wright Laboratory
Wright Laboratory
Wright Laboratory was a research and development organization operated by the United States Air Force Materiel Command. In 1997, the Laboratory was merged into the Air Force Research Laboratory....


Wright-Patterson AFB
Electronics Technology Laboratory, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH
Flight Dynamics Laboratory, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH
Material Laboratory, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH
Aero Propulsion and Power Laboratory
Wright-Patterson AFB, OH
Armament Laboratory, Eglin AFB, FL
Rome Air Development Center
Griffiss AFB, NY
Rome Laboratory
Rome Laboratory
The Rome Laboratory, formerly known as the Rome Air Development Center, is one of eight research and development labs run by the US Air Force located at Griffiss AFB in Rome, NY. One of four superlabs run by the Air Force, the Rome Lab is tasked with generic research, as opposed to having a...


Griffiss AFB, NY
Human Resources Laboratory, Brooks AFB, TX Armstrong Laboratory
Armstrong Laboratory
Armstrong Laboratory was a research and development organization operated by the United States Air Force Materiel Command. In 1997, the Laboratory was merged into the Air Force Research Laboratory....


Brooks AFB, TX
Harry G. Armstrong Aerospace
Medical Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH
Drug Testing Laboratory, Brooks AFB, TX
Occupational and Environmental
Health Laboratory, Brooks AFB, TX


While the initial consolidation of Air Force laboratories reduced overhead and budgetary pressure, another push towards a unified laboratory structure came in the form of the National Defense Authorization Act
National Defense Authorization Act
The National Defense Authorization Act is the name of a United States federal law that has been enacted for each of the past 48 fiscal years to specify the budget and expenditures of the United States Department of Defense.-See also:...

 for Fiscal Year 1996, Section 277. This section instructed the Department of Defense to produce a five-year plan for consolidation and restructuring of all defense laboratories. The currently existing laboratory structure was created in October 1997 through the consolidation of Phillips Laboratory headquartered in Albuquerque, New Mexico
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Albuquerque is the largest city in the state of New Mexico, United States. It is the county seat of Bernalillo County and is situated in the central part of the state, straddling the Rio Grande. The city population was 545,852 as of the 2010 Census and ranks as the 32nd-largest city in the U.S. As...

, Wright Laboratory in Dayton, Ohio
Dayton, Ohio
Dayton is the 6th largest city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the county seat of Montgomery County, the fifth most populous county in the state. The population was 141,527 at the 2010 census. The Dayton Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 841,502 in the 2010 census...

, Rome Laboratory (formerly Rome Air Development Center) in Rome, New York
Rome, New York
Rome is a city in Oneida County, New York, United States. It is located in north-central or "upstate" New York. The population was 44,797 at the 2010 census. It is in New York's 24th congressional district. In 1758, British forces began construction of Fort Stanwix at this strategic location, but...

, and Armstrong Laboratory in San Antonio, Texas and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR). The single laboratory concept was developed and championed by Maj Gen Richard Paul, who was Director of Science & Technology for AFMC and Gen Henry Viccellio Jr, and then became the first Commander of AFRL.

With the merger of the laboratories into a single entity, the history offices at each site ceased to maintain independent histories and all history functions were transferred to a central History Office located at AFRL HQ at Wright-Patterson AFB. In homage to the predecessor laboratories, the new organization named four of the research sites after the laboratories and assured that each laboratories' history would be preserved as inactivated units.

Organization

The laboratory is divided into 8 Technical Directorates, one wing, and the Office of Scientific Research based on different areas of research. AFOSR is primarily a funding body for external research while the other directorates perform research in-house or under contract to external entities.

A directorate is roughly equivalent to a military wing
Wing (air force unit)
Wing is a term used by different military aviation forces for a unit of command. The terms wing, group or Staffel are used for different-sized units from one country or service to another....

. Each directorate is composed of a number of division
Division (military)
A division is a large military unit or formation usually consisting of between 10,000 and 20,000 soldiers. In most armies, a division is composed of several regiments or brigades, and in turn several divisions typically make up a corps...

s and typically has at least three support divisions in addition to its research divisions. The Operations and Integration Division provides the directorate with well-conceived and executed business computing, human resource management, and business development services while the Financial Management Division manages the financial resources and the Procurement Division provides an in-house contracting capability. The support divisions at any given location frequently work together to minimize overhead at any given research site. Each division is then further broken down into branches, roughly equivalent to a military squadron.

Superimposed on the overall AFRL structure are the eight detachments. Each detachment
Detachment (military)
A detachment is a military unit. It can either be detached from a larger unit for a specific function or be a permanent unit smaller than a battalion. The term is often used to refer to a unit that is assigned to a different base from the parent unit...

 is composed of the AFRL military personnel at any given geographical location. For example, the personnel at Wright-Patterson AFB are all part of Detachment 1. Each detachment will typically also have a unit commander separate from the directorate and division structure.

Headquarters AFRL

Located at Wright-Patterson AFB, OH, AFRL Headquarters houses the commanders and staff for the laboratories (q.v.). Its primary responsibilities are leadership, policy and guidance; unifying the common objectives of the eight Technical Directorates, the 711th wing, and AFOSR. The staff functions include Public Relations, Strategic Communication, Business Outreach, Planning, Programming, Budgeting and Execution (PPBE), Technology Transition, Transformation, Contracting and a High-Performance Computing Center. Though primarily responsible for leadership, AFRL Headquarters produced the state of the art in Military Acquisition
Military acquisition
Military acquisition is the bureaucratic management and procurement process dealing with a nation's investments in the technologies, programs, and product support necessary to achieve its national security strategy and support its armed forces...

 and risk management
Risk management
Risk management is the identification, assessment, and prioritization of risks followed by coordinated and economical application of resources to minimize, monitor, and control the probability and/or impact of unfortunate events or to maximize the realization of opportunities...

 technology, RiskAoA
RiskAoA
RiskAoA is a United States Department of Defense project Risk Management tool, allowing the instantaneous review of portfolio , proposal or alternatives Risk. It was designed by Air Force Research Laboratory Headquarters to perform predictive risk analysis for the Analysis of Alternatives ...

.

Air Force Office of Scientific Research

The Office of Scientific Research, located in Arlington, Virginia, invests in basic research efforts for the Air Force by funding investigation in areas relevant scientific areas. This work is performed in cooperation with private industry, academia, and other organizations in the Department of Defense
United States Department of Defense
The United States Department of Defense is the U.S...

 and AFRL Directorates. The current Director of AFOSR is Dr Thomas P Russell.

AFOSR's research is organized into three scientific directorates: the Aerospace, Chemical, and Material Sciences Directorate; the Mathematics, Information, and Life Sciences Directorate; and the Physics and Electronics Directorate. Each directorate funds research activities which it believes will enable the technological superiority of the Air Force.

AFOSR also maintains three foreign technology offices located in London, UK
(the European Office of Aerospace Research & Development http://www.london.af.mil/), Tokyo, Japan, and Santiago, Chile
Santiago, Chile
Santiago , also known as Santiago de Chile, is the capital and largest city of Chile, and the center of its largest conurbation . It is located in the country's central valley, at an elevation of above mean sea level...

. These overseas offices coordinate with the international scientific and engineering community to allow for better collaboration between the community and Air Force personnel.

AFOSR is one of the sponsors of the University Nanosatellite Program
University Nanosatellite Program
The University Nanosat Program, a satellite design and fabrication competition for universities jointly administered by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research , the Air Force Research Laboratory , the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics , and the Space Development and Test Wing,...

.

Air Vehicles Directorate

The Air Vehicles Directorate, located at Wright-Patterson AFB, has the mission of developing technologies that support cost-effective and survivable aerospace vehicles capable of accurate and quick delivery of a variety of future weapons or cargo anywhere. The current Director is Col Michael Hatfield.

The Directorate has previously collaborated with NASA
NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

 in the X-24 project to research concepts associated with lifting body
Lifting body
A lifting body is a fixed-wing aircraft configuration in which the body itself produces lift. In contrast to a flying wing, which is a wing with minimal or no conventional fuselage, a lifting body can be thought of as a fuselage with little or no conventional wing...

 type aircraft. The X-24 was one of a series of experimental aircraft, including the M2-F1
NASA M2-F1
The NASA M2-F1 was a lightweight, unpowered prototype aircraft, developed to flight test the wingless lifting body concept. It looked like a "flying bathtub," and was designated the M2-F1, the "M" referring to "manned" and "F" referring to "flight" version. In 1962, NASA Dryden management approved...

, M2-F2, HL-10, and HL-20, by NASA and Air Force programs to develop the lifting body concept into maturity. The tests conducted during these programs led to the choice of an unpowered landing for the Space Shuttle
Space Shuttle Orbiter
The Space Shuttle orbiter was the orbital spacecraft of the Space Shuttle program operated by NASA, the space agency of the United States. The orbiter was a reusable winged "space-plane", a mixture of rockets, spacecraft, and aircraft...

 program.

In 2002, the Directorate initiated the X-53 Active Aeroelastic Wing program in cooperation with NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center
Dryden Flight Research Center
The Dryden Flight Research Center , located inside Edwards Air Force Base, is an aeronautical research center operated by NASA. On March 26, 1976 it was named in honor of the late Hugh L. Dryden, a prominent aeronautical engineer who at the time of his death in 1965 was NASA's deputy administrator...

 and Boeing Phantom Works
Boeing Phantom Works
The Phantom Works division is the advanced prototyping arm of the Defense and Security side of The Boeing Company. Its primary focus is developing advanced military products and technologies, many of them highly classified, and has produced breakthroughs in defense, space and security.Founded by...

 to research ways to make more efficient use of the wing's planform
Planform
In aviation, a planform is the shape and layout of a fixed-wing aircraft's fuselage and wing. Of all the myriad planforms used, they can typically be grouped into those used for low-speed flight, found on general aviation aircraft, and those used for high-speed flight, found on many military...

 during high-speed maneuvers.

The Directorate is also a collaborator with DARPA, the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center
Space and Missile Systems Center
The Space and Missile Systems Center is a part of Air Force Space Command of the United States Air Force. SMC is the Air Force’s product center for the development and acquisition of space and missile systems...

, Sandia National Laboratories
Sandia National Laboratories
The Sandia National Laboratories, managed and operated by the Sandia Corporation , are two major United States Department of Energy research and development national laboratories....

 and AFRL's Space Vehicles Directorate on the FALCON
Force Application and Launch from Continental United States
The DARPA Falcon Project is a two-part joint project between the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the United States Air Force and is part of Prompt Global Strike...

 program, which includes the HTV-3X Blackswift hypersonic
Hypersonic
In aerodynamics, a hypersonic speed is one that is highly supersonic. Since the 1970s, the term has generally been assumed to refer to speeds of Mach 5 and above...

 flight demonstration vehicle. The Air Vehicles Directorate also collaborated with NASA and Boeing
Boeing
The Boeing Company is an American multinational aerospace and defense corporation, founded in 1916 by William E. Boeing in Seattle, Washington. Boeing has expanded over the years, merging with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Boeing Corporate headquarters has been in Chicago, Illinois since 2001...

 on the initial work for the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle
Boeing X-37
The Boeing X-37 is an American unmanned vertical-takeoff, horizontal-landing spaceplane. The X-37 is operated by the United States Air Force for orbital spaceflight missions intended to demonstrate reusable space technologies...

 and the 80% scaled version, X-40A Space Maneuver Vehicle
Boeing X-40
-See also:-External links:* * * * *...

, prior to the classification of the program and its transfer from NASA to DARPA in late 2004. The X-37 program is now managed by the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office.

Another recent project managed by the Air Vehicles Directorate is the Advanced Composite Cargo Aircraft program begun in 2007. This is an experimental, composite aircraft program with a goal of demonstrating the feasibility of the development of a cargo airframe constructed primary of light-weight composite materials. AFRL intends to gain X-plane designation for the program once flight tests begin.

The VTHL Reusable Booster System
Reusable Booster System
The Reusable Booster System is a United States Air Force circa-2010 program to develop a new vertical-takeoff, horizontal-landing reusable booster and a new expendable second stage to replace the existing Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicles after 2025.-Program description:Program funding is set...

 program was initiated by the USAF in 2010.

Directed Energy Directorate

In addition to serving as the Air Force's Center of Excellence for high power microwave technology, the Directed Energy Directorate is also the Department of Defense's Center of Expertise for laser development of all types. The current Director is Susan Thornton.

The Starfire Optical Range
Starfire Optical Range
Starfire Optical Range is a United States Air Force research laboratory on the Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico...

 at Kirtland AFB, North Oscura Peak
North Oscura Peak
North Oscura Peak is an Air Force Research Laboratory site in the northern portion of the White Sands Missile Range. The facility is designed to assemble and evaluate advanced sensor, tracking and atmospheric compensation systems...

 on White Sands Missile Range
White Sands Missile Range
White Sands Missile Range is a rocket range of almost in parts of five counties in southern New Mexico. The largest military installation in the United States, WSMR includes the and the WSMR Otera Mesa bombing range...

, and the Air Force Maui Optical and Supercomputing observatory
Air Force Maui Optical and Supercomputing observatory
The Air Force Maui Optical and Supercomputing observatory is an Air Force Research Laboratory operating location on Maui with a twofold mission. First, it conducts the research and development mission on the Maui Space Surveillance System at the Maui Space Surveillance Complex...

 (AMOS) are also operated by divisions of the Directed Energy Directorate in addition to their facilities at the Directorate's headquarters at Kirtland AFB. The Starfire Optical Range is used to research various topics of advanced tracking using lasers as well as studies of atmospheric physics which examines atmospheric effects which can distort laser beams. North Oscura Peak is used to research the various technologies necessary to facilitate successful tracking and destruction of an incoming missile via a laser and is used frequently for laser-based missile defense tests. AMOS provides space observation capabilities and computational resources to AFRL, the Department of Defense and other agencies of the US Government.

Directed Energy projects typically fall into two categories: laser
Laser
A laser is a device that emits light through a process of optical amplification based on the stimulated emission of photons. The term "laser" originated as an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation...

 and microwave
Microwave
Microwaves, a subset of radio waves, have wavelengths ranging from as long as one meter to as short as one millimeter, or equivalently, with frequencies between 300 MHz and 300 GHz. This broad definition includes both UHF and EHF , and various sources use different boundaries...

. Laser projects range from completely non-lethal targeting lasers to dazzler
Dazzler (weapon)
A dazzler is a directed-energy weapon intended to temporarily blind or disorient its target with intense directed radiation. Targets can include sensors or human vision. Dazzlers emit infrared or visible light against various electronic sensors, and visible light against humans, when they are...

s, such as the Saber 203 used by US forces during the Somali Civil War
Somali Civil War
The Somali Civil War is an ongoing civil war taking place in Somalia. The conflict, which began in 1991, has caused destabilisation throughout the country, with the current phase of the conflict seeing the Somali government losing substantial control of the state to rebel forces...

 and the more recent PHaSR
Personnel Halting and Stimulation Response rifle
The Personnel Halting and Stimulation Response rifle is a prototype non-lethal laser dazzler developed by the U.S. Department of Defense. Its purpose is to temporarily disorient and blind a target. Blinding laser weapons have been tested in the past, but were banned under the 1995 UN Protocol on...

 dazzler, to powerful missile defense lasers such as the chemical oxygen iodine laser
Chemical oxygen iodine laser
Chemical oxygen iodine laser, or COIL, is an infrared chemical laser. As the beam is infrared, it cannot be seen with the naked eye. It is capable of output power scaling up to megawatts in continuous mode...

 (COIL) used in the YAL-1A
Boeing YAL-1
The Boeing YAL-1 Airborne Laser Testbed, weapons system is a megawatt-class chemical oxygen iodine laser mounted inside a modified Boeing 747-400F. It is primarily designed as a missile defense system to destroy tactical ballistic missiles , while in boost phase. The aircraft was designated...

 project now led by the Missile Defense Agency
Missile Defense Agency
The Missile Defense Agency is the section of the United States government's Department of Defense responsible for developing a layered defense against ballistic missiles. The agency has its origins in the Strategic Defense Initiative, which was established in 1983 and was headed by Lt...

. A continuation of the Airborne Laser experiment is also being conducted in the form of the Advanced Tactical Laser
Advanced tactical laser
The Advanced Tactical Laser program is a US military program to mount a high energy laser weapon on an aircraft, initially the AC-130 gunship, for use against ground targets in urban or other areas where minimizing collateral damage is important. The laser will be a 100 kilowatt-class chemical...

, which is a Special Forces
Air Force Special Operations Command
Air Force Special Operations Command is the Special Operations component of the United States Air Force and the US Air Force component command to the United States Special Operations Command , a unified command located at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida...

 demonstrator project to mount a COIL system in a tactical AC-130
Lockheed AC-130
The Lockheed AC-130 gunship is a heavily-armed ground-attack aircraft variant of the C-130 Hercules transport plane. The basic airframe is manufactured by Lockheed, while Boeing is responsible for the conversion into a gunship and for aircraft support...

 gunship. Microwave technologies are being advanced for use against both electronics and personnel. One example of an anti-personnel microwave project is the "less-than-lethal" Active Denial System
Active Denial System
The Active Denial System is a non-lethal, directed-energy weapon developed by the U.S. military. It is a strong millimeter-wave transmitter primarily used for crowd control . Some ADS such as HPEM ADS are also used to disable vehicles. Informally, the weapon is also called the heat ray...

 which uses high powered microwaves to penetrate less than a millimeter into the target's skin where the nerve endings are located.

Going back as far as 1995, there were arguments that laser dazzlers could potentially cause permanent blindness in targets and these same concerns were revived with the announcement of the PHaSR project which is claimed to be a non-blinding laser weapon. Due to concerns that even low-powered lasers could cause blindness, the Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. Its headquarters are in New York City and it has offices in Berlin, Beirut, Brussels, Chicago, Geneva, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo,...

 proposed that all tactical laser weapons should be scrapped and research stopped by all interested governments. The Active Denial System has also been the target of Amnesty International
Amnesty International
Amnesty International is an international non-governmental organisation whose stated mission is "to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated."Following a publication of Peter Benenson's...

 as well as, less directly, a United Nations special rapporteur as being a potential weapon of torture.

711th Human Performance Wing

In March 2008, AFRL's Human Effectiveness Directorate located at Wright-Patterson AFB was merged with the Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine and the Human Performance Integration Directorate from the 311th Human Systems Wing
311th Human Systems Wing
The 311th Air Base Group was a group of the United States Air Force based out of the now-closed Brooks City-Base in San Antonio, Texas.Its mission was to enhance and sustain human performance for dominant air and space power.-History:...

 both located at Brooks City-Base
Brooks City-Base
Brooks City-Base was a United States Air Force facility located in San Antonio, Texas, southeast of Downtown San Antonio.In 2002 Brooks Air Force Base was renamed Brooks City-Base when the property was conveyed to the Brooks Development Authority as part of a unique project between local, state,...

, Texas to form the 711th Human Performance Wing
711th Human Performance Wing
The 711th Human Performance Wing is a wing of the United States Air Force based out of the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio....

. In its vision statement, the wing includes the goals of improving aerospace medicine, science and technology, and human systems integration. The current Director of the 711th is Thomas S. Wells.

One practical application of its work is ensuring and advancing the safety of ejection systems for pilots. With the increasing number of females in the Air Force ranks, anthropometry is of greater import now than ever, and 711th's WB4 'whole-body scanner' enables swift and accurate acquisition of anthropometric data which may be used to design pilot equipment with a better fit for comfort and safety.

Information Directorate

The mission of the Information Directorate, located at the Rome Research Site on the Griffiss Business and Technology Park in Rome, New York
Rome, New York
Rome is a city in Oneida County, New York, United States. It is located in north-central or "upstate" New York. The population was 44,797 at the 2010 census. It is in New York's 24th congressional district. In 1758, British forces began construction of Fort Stanwix at this strategic location, but...

, is to lead the discovery, development, and integration of affordable warfighting information technologies for air, space, and cyberspace forces. The current Director of the Information Directorate is Dr. Davy Belk.

The Information Directorate has contributed research to a number of technologies which have been deployed in the field. These projects include collaboration with other agencies in the development of ARPANET
ARPANET
The Advanced Research Projects Agency Network , was the world's first operational packet switching network and the core network of a set that came to compose the global Internet...

, the predecessor of the Internet, as well as technologies used in the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System
E-8 Joint STARS
The Northrop Grumman E-8 Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System is a battle management and command and control aircraft of the United States Air Force...

 which is a key aspect of theater command and control for combat commanders. The Directorate also collaborated with the Department of Justice
United States Department of Justice
The United States Department of Justice , is the United States federal executive department responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries.The Department is led by the Attorney General, who is nominated...

 performing research on voice stress analysis
Voice stress analysis
Voice Stress Analysis technology is said to record psychophysiological stress responses that are present in human voice, when a person suffers psychological stress in response to a stimulus and where the consequences may be dire for the subject being 'tested'.In the Detection Of Deception ...

 technologies.

Materials and Manufacturing Directorate

The Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, located at Wright-Patterson AFB and Tyndall AFB, develops materials, processes, and advanced manufacturing technologies for aerospace
Aerospace engineering
Aerospace engineering is the primary branch of engineering concerned with the design, construction and science of aircraft and spacecraft. It is divided into two major and overlapping branches: aeronautical engineering and astronautical engineering...

 systems and their components to improve Air Force capabilities in these areas. The current Director is Dr. Katherine Stevens.

In 2003, the Directorate announced a new manufacturing method for use producing the turbine exhaust casing for the F119 jet engine
Pratt & Whitney F119
|-See also:-External links:* *...

 used on the F-22 Raptor
F-22 Raptor
The Lockheed Martin/Boeing F-22 Raptor is a single-seat, twin-engine fifth-generation supermaneuverable fighter aircraft that uses stealth technology. It was designed primarily as an air superiority fighter, but has additional capabilities that include ground attack, electronic warfare, and signals...

 stealth fighter which will result in an estimated savings of 35% of the cost while also improving the durability. In collaboration with Lockheed Martin Aeronautics
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company is a major unit of Lockheed Martin with headquarters at Fort Worth, Texas.Lockheed Martin Aeronautics is also based in Marietta, Georgia and Palmdale, California. Palmdale is home to the Advanced Development Programs , informally known as the "Skunk Works"...

, the Directorate helped develop a new laser-based ultrasonic scanner to inspect composite parts also for use on the F-22. The Directorate also developed an advanced thermoplastic
Thermoplastic
Thermoplastic, also known as a thermosoftening plastic, is a polymer that turns to a liquid when heated and freezes to a very glassy state when cooled sufficiently...

 composite material for use in the landing gear
Landing Gear
Landing Gear is Devin the Dude's fifth studio album. It was released on October 7, 2008. It was his first studio album since signing with the label Razor & Tie. It features a high-profile guest appearance from Snoop Dogg. As of October 30, 2008, the album has sold 18,906 copies.-Track...

 doors on the F-22. In 2008, the Air Force announced that the Directorate had developed a method of using fabric made of fiber optic material in a friend or foe identification system
Identification friend or foe
In telecommunications, identification, friend or foe is an identification system designed for command and control. It is a system that enables military and national interrogation systems to identify aircraft, vehicles, or forces as friendly and to determine their bearing and range from the...

.

Munitions Directorate

The mission of the Munitions Directorate, located at Eglin AFB, Florida, is to "develop, demonstrate and transition science and technology for air-launched munitions for defeating ground fixed, mobile/relocatable, air and space targets to assure pre-eminence of U.S. air and space forces." The current Director of the Munitions Directorate is Col Kenneth L. Echternacht, Jr.

Notable projects which have been made public include the GBU-28
GBU-28
The Guided Bomb Unit 28 is a 5,000 pound laser-guided "bunker busting" bomb nicknamed "Deep Throat" produced originally by the Watervliet Arsenal, Watervliet, New York. It was designed, manufactured, and deployed in less than three weeks due to an urgent need during Operation Desert Storm to...

 "bunker-buster" bomb which debuted during the 1991 Persian Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

 in Iraq and took only 17 days from concept to first deployment. The Directorate also developed the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb
GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb
The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb is a large-yield conventional bomb developed for the United States military by Albert L. Weimorts, Jr. At the time of development, it was touted as the most powerful non-nuclear weapon ever designed...

 which was deployed during the 2003 invasion of Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom and was the largest non-nuclear air-delivered munitions at that time.

Propulsion Directorate

The mission of the Propulsion Directorate, located at Wright-Patterson AFB and Edwards AFB, is "to create and transition propulsion and power technology for military dominance of air and space." The current Director of the Propulsion Directorate is Douglas L. Bowers.

Research areas range from experimental rocket propulsion to developing the first ever lithium-ion main aircraft battery for use in the B-2
B-2 Spirit
The Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit is an American heavy bomber with low observable stealth technology designed to penetrate dense anti-aircraft defenses and deploy both conventional and nuclear weapons. The bomber has a crew of two and can drop up to eighty -class JDAM GPS-guided bombs, or sixteen ...

 stealth
Stealth technology
Stealth technology also termed LO technology is a sub-discipline of military tactics and passive electronic countermeasures, which cover a range of techniques used with personnel, aircraft, ships, submarines, and missiles, to make them less visible to radar, infrared, sonar and other detection...

 bomber. At Edwards AFB, the Directorate's test area is located east of Rogers Lake.

The Propulsion Directorate was formed through the merger of the aerospace propulsion section at Wright Laboratory and the space propulsion section at Phillips Laboratory. Each section, both before and after the merger, has played a significant role in past and present propulsion systems. Prior to the development of Project Apollo by NASA, the Air Force worked on the development and testing of the F-1 rocket engine
F-1 (rocket engine)
The F-1 is a rocket engine developed by Rocketdyne and used in the Saturn V. Five F-1 engines were used in the S-IC first stage of each Saturn V, which served as the main launch vehicle in the Apollo program. The F-1 is still the most powerful single-chamber liquid-fueled rocket engine ever...

 used to power the Saturn V
Saturn V
The Saturn V was an American human-rated expendable rocket used by NASA's Apollo and Skylab programs from 1967 until 1973. A multistage liquid-fueled launch vehicle, NASA launched 13 Saturn Vs from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida with no loss of crew or payload...

 rocket. The facilities for testing rockets are frequently used for testing new rocket engines including the RS-68 rocket engine developed for use on the Delta IV launch vehicle. The space propulsion area also develops technologies for use in satellites on-orbit to alter their orbits. An AFRL-developed experimental Electric Propulsion Space Experiment (ESEX) arcjet
Arcjet rocket
Arcjets are a form of electric propulsion for spacecraft, whereby an electrical discharge is created in a flow of propellant . This imparts additional energy to the propellant, so that one can extract more work out of each kilogram of propellant, at theexpense of increased power consumption and ...

 was flown on the ARGOS
P91-1 ARGOS
The Advanced Research and Global Observation Satellite was launched on 23 Feb 1999 from SLC-2W, Vandenberg AFB, CA, atop a Boeing Delta II . Construction of the spacecraft bus and integration of the satellite's nine payloads was accomplished by Boeing at their Seal Beach, CA facility...

 satellite in 1999 as part of the Air Force Space Test Program
Space Test Program
The Space Test Program is the primary provider of spaceflight for the United States Department of Defense space science and technology community. STP is conducted by the Space Development and Test Wing of the United States Air Force...

.

The Directorate currently manages the X-51A
Boeing X-51
The Boeing X-51 is an unmanned scramjet demonstration aircraft for hypersonic flight testing. It successfully completed its first free-flight on 26 May 2010 and also achieved the longest duration flight at speeds over Mach 5.The X-51 Waverider program is run as a cooperative effort of the United...

 program, which is developing a scramjet
Scramjet
A scramjet is a variant of a ramjet airbreathing jet engine in which combustion takes place in supersonic airflow...

 demonstration vehicle. The X-51 program is working to develop a flight demonstrator for a hypersonic
Hypersonic
In aerodynamics, a hypersonic speed is one that is highly supersonic. Since the 1970s, the term has generally been assumed to refer to speeds of Mach 5 and above...

 cruise missile
Cruise missile
A cruise missile is a guided missile that carries an explosive payload and is propelled, usually by a jet engine, towards a land-based or sea-based target. Cruise missiles are designed to deliver a large warhead over long distances with high accuracy...

 which could reach anywhere on the globe in an hour. In January 2008, the Directorate used a modified Scaled Composites
Scaled Composites
Scaled Composites is an aerospace company founded by Burt Rutan and currently owned by Northrop Grumman that is located at the Mojave Spaceport, Mojave, California, United States...

 Long-EZ
Rutan Long-EZ
-See also:-External links:****...

 aircraft to demonstrate that a pulse detonation engine
Pulse detonation engine
A pulse detonation engine, or "PDE", is a type of propulsion system that uses detonation waves to combust the fuel and oxidizer mixture. The engine is pulsed because the mixture must be renewed in the combustion chamber between each detonation wave initiated by an ignition source. Theoretically, a...

 could successfully power flight. That aircraft has now been transferred to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB for display.

Sensors Directorate

The mission of the Sensors Directorate, located at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, Hanscom AFB, Massachusetts, and Rome Research Site, New York, is to provide a full range of air and space sensors, networked to the warfighter, providing a complete and timely picture of the battlespace enabling precision targeting of the enemy and protection friendly air and space assets and its core technology areas include: radar
Radar
Radar is an object-detection system which uses radio waves to determine the range, altitude, direction, or speed of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor vehicles, weather formations, and terrain. The radar dish or antenna transmits pulses of radio...

, active and passive electro-optical targeting systems, navigation aids, automatic target recognition, sensor fusion, threat warning and threat countermeasures. The current Director is Wendell Banks.

The divisions currently located at Hanscom AFB and Rome Research Site are scheduled to move to Wright-Patterson AFB under the Defense Base Realignment and Closure, 2005
Base Realignment and Closure, 2005
The preliminary 2005 Base Realignment and Closure list was released by the United States Department of Defense on May 13, 2005. It is the fifth Base Realignment and Closure proposal generated since the process was created in 1988. It recommends closing 33 major United States military bases and...

 Commission.

The Directorate has contributed significantly to the Integrated Sensor is Structure
Integrated Sensor is Structure
The Integrated Sensor is Structure, sometimes called Integrated Sensor is the Structure, , is a program managed by the United States Air Force to research the feasibility of using an unmanned airship as a high-altitude reconnaissance and surveillence platform...

 (ISIS) project managed by DARPA which is a project to develop a missile tracking airship. In June 2008, the Air Force announced that scientists working for the Sensors Directorate had demonstrated transparent transistor
Transistor
A transistor is a semiconductor device used to amplify and switch electronic signals and power. It is composed of a semiconductor material with at least three terminals for connection to an external circuit. A voltage or current applied to one pair of the transistor's terminals changes the current...

s. These could eventually be used to develop technologies such as "video image displays and coatings for windows, visors and windshields; electrical interconnects for future integrated multi-mode, remote sensing, focal plane arrays; high-speed microwave devices and circuits for telecommunications and radar transceivers; and semi-transparent, touch-sensitive screens for emerging multi-touch interface technologies."

Space Vehicles Directorate

The mission of the Space Vehicles Directorate is to develop and transition space technologies for more effective, more affordable warfighter missions. In addition to the Directorate headquarters at Kirtland AFB, New Mexico and an additional research facility at Hanscom AFB, Massachusetts, the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program
High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program
The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program is an ionospheric research program jointly funded by the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Navy, the University of Alaska, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency ....

 (HAARP) located near Gakona, Alaska
Gakona, Alaska
Gakona is a census-designated place in the Valdez-Cordova Census Area in the U.S. state of Alaska. As of the 2000 census, the population of the CDP was 215.-Geography and climate:...

 is also jointly operated by the Space Vehicles Directorate as well as DARPA, the Office of Naval Research
Office of Naval Research
The Office of Naval Research , headquartered in Arlington, Virginia , is the office within the United States Department of the Navy that coordinates, executes, and promotes the science and technology programs of the U.S...

 (ONR), the Naval Research Laboratory
United States Naval Research Laboratory
The United States Naval Research Laboratory is the corporate research laboratory for the United States Navy and the United States Marine Corps and conducts a program of scientific research and development. NRL opened in 1923 at the instigation of Thomas Edison...

 (NRL) and universities to conduct ionospheric research. The current Director is Col William Cooley. The Battlespace Environment Division currently located at Hanscom AFB is scheduled to move to Kirtland AFB under the Defense Base Realignment and Closure, 2005
Base Realignment and Closure, 2005
The preliminary 2005 Base Realignment and Closure list was released by the United States Department of Defense on May 13, 2005. It is the fifth Base Realignment and Closure proposal generated since the process was created in 1988. It recommends closing 33 major United States military bases and...

 Commission.

The IBM RAD6000 radiation hardened single board computer, now produced by BAE Systems
BAE Systems
BAE Systems plc is a British multinational defence, security and aerospace company headquartered in London, United Kingdom, that has global interests, particularly in North America through its subsidiary BAE Systems Inc. BAE is among the world's largest military contractors; in 2009 it was the...

, was initially developed in a collaboration with the Space Electronics and Protection Branch and IBM
IBM
International Business Machines Corporation or IBM is an American multinational technology and consulting corporation headquartered in Armonk, New York, United States. IBM manufactures and sells computer hardware and software, and it offers infrastructure, hosting and consulting services in areas...

 Federal Systems and is now used on nearly 200 satellites and robotic spacecraft, including on the twin Mars Exploration Rover
Mars Exploration Rover
NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Mission is an ongoing robotic space mission involving two rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, exploring the planet Mars...

s—Spirit
Spirit rover
Spirit, MER-A , is a robotic rover on Mars, active from 2004 to 2010. It was one of two rovers of NASA's ongoing Mars Exploration Rover Mission. It landed successfully on Mars at 04:35 Ground UTC on January 4, 2004, three weeks before its twin, Opportunity , landed on the other side of the planet...

and Opportunity
Opportunity rover
Opportunity, MER-B , is a robotic rover on the planet Mars, active since 2004. It is the remaining rover in NASA's ongoing Mars Exploration Rover Mission...

. In November 2005, the AFRL XSS-11
XSS 11
USA-165 or XSS-11 is a small, washing-machine-sized, low-cost spacecraft developed by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory’s Space Vehicles Directorate to test technology for proximity operations...

 satellite demonstrator received Popular Science
Popular Science
Popular Science is an American monthly magazine founded in 1872 carrying articles for the general reader on science and technology subjects. Popular Science has won over 58 awards, including the ASME awards for its journalistic excellence in both 2003 and 2004...

's "Best of What's New" award in the Aviation and Space category. The Space Vehicles Directorate is also a leading collaborator in the Department of Defense Operationally Responsive Space Office
Operationally Responsive Space Office
The Operationally Responsive Space Office is a joint initiative of several agencies within the United States Department of Defense . The "stand up" of the office took place 2007-05-21 at Kirtland Air Force Base. The first director of the ORS Office is Col. Kevin McLaughlin, who is also commander...

's Tactical Satellite Program
Tactical Satellite Program
During the second half of 2002, the Naval Research Laboratory studied the tactical application of space assets. Relatively new technologies and processes in the areas of micro-satellites, affordable and quick-response launch vehicles, and the classified SIPRNET made tactical use of space assets...

 and served as program manager for the development of TacSat-2
TacSat-2
TacSat-2 is an experimental satellite built by the USAF's Air Force Research Laboratory with an operational life expected to be not more than one year as part of the 'Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration' program.-Purpose:The TacSat series of experimental spacecraft are designed to allow...

, TacSat-3
TacSat-3
TacSat-3 is the third in a series of U.S. military reconnaissance satellites. It was assembled in an Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate facility at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. The TacSat satellites are all designed to demonstrate the ability to provide real-time data...

, and is current program manager for the development of TacSat-5
TacSat-5
TacSat-5 is a planned fifth satellite in a series of U.S. military reconnaissance satellites. The project will be managed by the Air Force Research Laboratory in cooperation with the Operationally Responsive Space Office of the Department of Defense...

. They also have contributed experimental sensors to TacSat-4
TacSat-4
TacSat-4 is the fourth in a series of U.S. military experimental reconnaissance and communication satellites. The Naval Research Laboratory is the program manager. The Office of Naval Research sponsored the development of the payload and funded the first year of operations...

 which is managed by the NRL's Center for Space Technology.


The University Nanosatellite Program
University Nanosatellite Program
The University Nanosat Program, a satellite design and fabrication competition for universities jointly administered by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research , the Air Force Research Laboratory , the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics , and the Space Development and Test Wing,...

, a satellite design and fabrication competition for universities jointly administered by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics is the professional society for the field of aerospace engineering. The AIAA was founded in 1963 from the merger of two earlier societies: the American Rocket Society , founded in 1930 as the American Interplanetary Society , and the Institute...

 (AIAA), AFOSR, AFRL, and the Space Development and Test Wing
Space Development and Test Wing
The Space Development and Test Wing is a unit of the Space Command of the United States Air Force. The wing is located at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico.-Mission:...

, is also managed by the Space Vehicles Directorate's Spacecraft Technology division. The fourth iteration of the competition was completed in March 2007 with the selection of Cornell University
Cornell University
Cornell University is an Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York, United States. It is a private land-grant university, receiving annual funding from the State of New York for certain educational missions...

's CUSat
Cornell University Satellite
The Cornell University Satellite project is a multi-year effort to design, build, and launch an end-to-end autonomous on orbit inspection system...

 as the winner. Previous winners of the competition were University of Texas at Austin
University of Texas at Austin
The University of Texas at Austin is a state research university located in Austin, Texas, USA, and is the flagship institution of the The University of Texas System. Founded in 1883, its campus is located approximately from the Texas State Capitol in Austin...

's Formation Autonomy Spacecraft with Thrust, Relnav, Attitude, and Crosslink
Formation Autonomy Spacecraft with Thrust, Relnav, Attitude, and Crosslink
Formation Autonomy Spacecraft with Thrust, Relnav, Attitude and Crosslink is a pair of nanosatellites developed and built by students at The University of Texas at Austin. The project is part of a program sponsored by the Air Force Research Laboratory , whose goal is to lead the development of...

 (FASTRAC) for Nanosat-3 and the joint 3 Corner Satellite
3 Corner Satellite
Three Corner Satellite consists of three student-built microsatellites flying in formation. Primary mission objectives were to demonstrate formation flying, provide stereoscopic imaging of cloud formations, and demonstrate distributed and autonomous operations.A pair of spacecraft, Ralphie and...

 (3CS) project by the University of Colorado at Boulder
University of Colorado at Boulder
The University of Colorado Boulder is a public research university located in Boulder, Colorado...

, Arizona State University
Arizona State University
Arizona State University is a public research university located in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area of the State of Arizona...

 and New Mexico State University
New Mexico State University
New Mexico State University at Las Cruces , is a major land-grant university in Las Cruces, New Mexico, United States...

 for Nanosat-2. , only the 3CS spacecraft has launched, however FASTRAC has a launch tentatively scheduled for December 2009.

The Directorate has indirectly faced significant controversy over the HAARP project. While the project claims to be developed only for studying the effects of ionospheric disruption on communications, navigation, and power systems, many suspect it of being developed as a prototype for a "Star Wars"
Strategic Defense Initiative
The Strategic Defense Initiative was proposed by U.S. President Ronald Reagan on March 23, 1983 to use ground and space-based systems to protect the United States from attack by strategic nuclear ballistic missiles. The initiative focused on strategic defense rather than the prior strategic...

type of weapon system. Still others are more concerned with the environmental impact to migratory birds of beaming thousands of watts of power into the atmosphere.

External links

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