Transforming the Art of the Possible

The Air Force Research Lab helps Air Force leaders use technology to transform what is conceptually possible into “near-state-of-the-art” technology that can address the needs of airmen and troops in combat, said Steven Walker, lead for science, technology, and engineering issues in the Air Force Secretariat, Tuesday. Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee’s emerging threats panel, Walker said AFRL scientists and engineers are working with agencies throughout the federal government as well as in industry and academia to advance basic science. “These long-term efforts have led to promising opportunities such as cold atoms, which may enable development of an inertial navigation system on a chip that is jam-proof and highly accurate,” he stated in his prepared testimony. They have also made possible “self-healing structures, which may lead to more durable and longer lasting aircraft structures, and bio-energy, which may lead to renewable bio-hydrogen techniques to propel vehicles,” he wrote.