The Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division participated in the third annual Multi-Use Technology Symposium May 24 in Ridgecrest, Calif.
Rear Adm. Mat Winter, NAWCWD commander, kicked off the symposium and referred to the event as an “idea day.” He encouraged attendees to connect with others of similar vision and mission who are focused on designing and creating innovative technologies to meet future war fighting needs.
“Today is about pulling those ideas out of your heads and bringing them together,” Winter said. “It’s those ideas, thoughts and opportunities that are going to germinate and produce the next-generation capabilities that our war fighters need.”
The China Lake High Tech Consortium organized the symposium. CLHTC is a collaborative partnership of academia, industry and government aimed at finding common ground and opportunities to advance technologies that have multi-use capabilities for both the war fighter and commercial ventures. It is a nationwide group with more than 100 participants from 87 different organizations and 14 states. About 200 people attended the symposium in Ridgecrest.
Dr. Bill Hogan, an advisor to the consortium, described the event as a platform for bringing folks together and compared CLHTC to a popular online dating service.
“Our goal is to introduce people who might have some common interests and goals, and then let them go forward,” Hogan said. “If they kiss or if they fight, it’s up to them.”
The CLHTC’s focus area for 2012 is bi-directional technology transfer – both into and out of Navy labs. The theme of this year’s symposium was unmanned systems.
“I hope these folks leave here today thinking about what else their technology can do,” Hogan said. “We want to open the door to the possibility that there may be other application areas for technology and products that neither the military nor industry may have thought about yet.”
The one-day symposium featured speakers from NAWCWD, industry and universities. Scott O’Neil, NAWCWD executive director, gave an overview of the command and talked about some of the technology that the Weapons Division is working on and how that technology gets applied to war fighting systems.
“WD’s mission it to be innovative in developing integrated and dominant war fighting effects,” O’Neil said. “We want our warfighters to have an unfair advantage in combat.”
Two other NAWCWD employees also spoke at the event. Elijah Soto talked about UxS programs at NAWCWD. Dr. Ben Harvey gave a presentation on the importance of biofuels in UxS technology.
“Unmanned systems is an incredible area to be working in right now,” Soto said. “We are advancing at an incredible pace. The demands on us are to think differently and to take technology in a different direction. That’s what innovation is.”
NAWCWD personnel hosted exhibits, static displays and live demonstrations. Other presentations centered on the latest technologies in the UxS field and included computer vision applications for UxS, multi-use technology transfer and development models, and collaborations in UxS research.
“This is an incredible interconnected base and community that’s not really separated by a fence line,” Winter said. “It really showcases the DNA of what this high desert community brings to the table for collaborative efforts like this high technology consortium.”