Defense

July 31, 2013

Air Force looks to collaborate with public

For the first time in its history, the U.S. Air Force is seeking input from the public to help solve three real-world, unclassified projects.

Known as “The Air Force Collaboratory,” the Air Force’s newest STEM initiative goes live Thursday on www.airforce.com/collaboratory. The educational online platform will offer the public an opportunity to engage with Airmen.

“We are excited to showcase this newest initiative for open collaboration with the public,” said Col. Marcus Johnson, Strategic Marketing Division chief. “The goal of this project is to inspire STEM-inclined students and educators to engage, collaborate and solve real-world challenges faced by our Airmen today.”

This experience will also highlight the breadth and variety of technologies the Air Force works with.
“These real world projects will highlight current and future Air Force technologies,” said Johnson. “Technology changes the way we fly, fight and win. We want to illustrate the high-tech nature of the Air Force through this project.”

The Air Force Collaboratory features three projects that will challenge participants to be creative and inventive as they work to find solutions.

The first project, “Search and Rescue 2.0,” which will be active for collaboration from Aug. 1 to Sept. 30, solicits participants to develop new technologies through rapid prototyping for search and rescue operations to help save lives trapped in collapsed structures.

The second project, “Mind of a Quadrotor,” which will be active for collaboration from Sept. 1 to Oct. 31, challenges participants to help build a system that allows a quadrotor to navigate its surroundings with minimal human interaction.

The third and final project, “Launch of GPS IIF,” which will be active for collaboration from Oct. 1 to Nov. 30, tests participants to determine the most effective location within the GPS satellite constellation to launch the Air Force’s newest GPS satellite.

“We seek the best and brightest to help the Air Force develop innovative and unique ideas that will enhance our Airmen’s capabilities to accomplish their missions,” said Johnson. “Through collaboration, we can create solutions using creative thinking and problem solving skills. There are no bad ideas, so we ask those involved to voice them. Your ideas can help save lives.”

To be a part of “The Air Force Collaboratory,” sign up at www.airforce.com/collaboratory.




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