Mark your calendars!

Don’t miss the opportunity to meet with Air Force’s team of NDO experts in May 2020!

During the week of 18-22 May 2020, the Air Force (AF) Nuclear Deterrence Operations (NDO) Service Core Function (SCF) community of experts are sponsoring the 2020 NDO Independent Research and Development (IR&D) Technology Interchange Meeting (TIM) at Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque, NM. The invitation is open to all industry IR&D participants, including large and small businesses, as well as academia.

The 2020 AF NDO IR&D TIM will include AFGSC’s three main mission areas as well as crosscutting topics that may be applicable to more than one area or future applications not specific to the currently defined sub-mission areas. The following are the currently defined sub-mission areas and some examples of potential crosscutting areas of significant interest: (note, refer to the electronic library for some specific topics stakeholder interest)

Supporting crosscutting topic areas that also are areas of interest as they apply to current and future systems include (but not limited to): cyber security, base and asset defense (to include convoy operations), Modeling and Simulation (M&S) capabilities (physics and engineering models for extreme environments, and mission and campaign level applications supporting system-of-system analytics supporting architectural trades), test and evaluation methods/alternatives, strategic grade radiation hardened electronics or resilience methods.

The electronic library contains documents detailing nuclear enterprise stakeholder areas of interest that may be useful in nominating IR&D projects.

  • Nuclear Command, Control and Communications (NC3): concerned with assured, secure, and timely communications connectivity between national command authorities and executing strategic systems.
  • Strategic Deterrence – Air (SDA): encompasses all aspects of the development and sustainment of air delivery platforms and the air delivered strategic systems (standoff and tactical systems).
  • Strategic Deterrence – Ground (SDG): encompasses all aspects development and sustainment of ground based strategic systems (currently MM III and GBSD). This includes technologies supporting maneuvering reentry systems, and penetration aids (PENAID) and countermeasures (CM). (Note: refer to electronic library for topic and classification guidance)

AF Science and Technology Strategy 2030

With respect to shaping strategic futures, our interchange will focus on the first of the three objectives: Develop and Deliver Transformational Strategic Capabilities. The strategic capabilities are defined as: Global Persistent Awareness

    1. Resilient Information Sharing
    2. Rapid, Effective Decision-Making
    3. Complexity, Unpredictability, and Mass
    4. Speed and Reach of Disruption and Lethality

Though in this context “Strategic” does not exclusively refer to nuclear systems, to achieve strategic deterrence across the continuum of conflict through escalation and achieve de-escalation will require applying these concepts to strategic systems while exploiting advanced conventional systems to enhance strategic operational effectiveness (Conventional Nuclear Integration – CNI).

Strategic Capability Goals:

  1. Global Persistent Awareness:
    • Support continuous and timely knowledge of adversaries throughout the operating environment via distributed sensing across all domains.
  2. Resilient Information Sharing:
    • Coordinate across all Joint Force assets through assured communications and precise positioning, navigation, and timing information resilient to any denial methods.
  3. Rapid, Effective Decision-Making:
    • Increase the speed of battlespace understanding and decision- making to act faster than any adversary.
  4. Complexity, Unpredictability, and Mass:
    • Overwhelm adversaries with complexity, unpredictability, and numbers through a collaborative and autonomous network of systems and effects.
  5. Speed and Reach of Disruption and Lethality:
    • Rapidly disrupt and neutralize dynamic and mobile targets using new methods to attack with speed and global reach.

Five Strategic Capabilities

Table 1 depicts opportunities and challenges within each of the capability areas. Though all may not be applicable, future strategic systems may need to incorporate some of these concepts to ensure an enduring solid foundation of strategic deterrence. The NDO S&T community would be interested in technologies that would enable these concepts to be applied in a strategic systems context.

  • Distributed, multimodal sensing
  • New sensing modalities: laser and multistatic radar, hyperspectral sensing, and quantum field sensing
  • Small satellites and low-cost launch
  • Cyberintelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance
  • Enabling microelectronics, photonics, and materials
  • Persistence and access through distributed concepts
  • Expanding the modalities of sensing to capture all observables
  • Integrated multidomain sensing and information exploitation
  • Software-defined, agile systems with real-time spectrum awareness
  • Mesh networking and topology management
  • Distributed ledgers and robust encryption
  • Alternative navigation: vision- based, celestial, and magnetic
  • Quantum science: cold-atom accelerometers, atomic clocks, and quantum entanglement
  • Backbone of collaborative autonomous systems
  • Move from platform-centric data links to resilient, networked communications architecture
  • Provide self-contained, precise positioning, navigation, and timing resilient to any jamming
  • Artificial intelligence: machine learning and machine-based reasoning
  • Predictive data analytics
  • Data fusion and visualization
  • Autonomous electronic and cyberwarfare agents
  • Cognitive integration and human- machine teaming
  • Increased autonomy in tactical-to- strategic environments
  • High level of trust required for lethal combat application
  • Overcoming unpredictability and uncertainty in combat
  • Organic, artificial intelligence platform for broad application
  • Low-cost air and space platforms
  • Agile digital and additive manufacturing
  • Collaborative autonomy and swarming
  • Risk-based certification
  • Multidomain command and control
  • Shift to large numbers of collaborative systems providing synergistic, multidomain effects
  • Need heterogeneous mix of capable, trustworthy, autonomous systems
  • Hypersonic flight: scramjet propulsion, high-temperature materials, controls, and experimentation
  • Low-cost, networked cruise missiles and smart munitions
  • Microwave and laser-directed energy
  • Cyberwarfare
  • Mature, affordable hypersonics into a pervasive capability
  • Penetrating weapons with long range, numbers, stealth, and maneuver
  • Integrated cyberoperations, electronic warfare, and artificial intelligence
  • Sustained experimentation

If you are interested in participating

Please send expression of interest to the following email address: Once we receive your expression of interest, we will send additional instructional data on how to nominate IR&D projects. If you do not hear back from the IR&D planning team within one week, please resend the original email.

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