Air Force


Germany could have WON the Battle of Britain if they started earlier, study finds

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A mathematical study claims to have proven the long-held belief that the Battle of Britain could have easily been won by the Germans if not for tactical ineptitude. University of York researchers have created a computer model that uses a statistical technique called'weighted bootstrapping' to re-imagine the 1940 battle under different circumstances. It identifies two enormous blunders by notorious Nazi commander Hermann Goering - a trained fighter pilot - who led the assault that crippled the Nazi effort and helped Britain win. The researchers say it provides statistical backing to many historians' belief that if Germany had launched an attack immediately after Winston Churchill's famous'Battle of Britain' speech on June 18, rather than three weeks later on July 10, and targeted airfields rather than cities and populated areas, the Nazis would probably have been victorious. This would have crippled the British response by decimating the number of fighter pilots and destroying vital radar systems used to track German planes, paving the way for a naval and land invasion.


France deploys armed drones in Sahel anti-jihadi fight

The Japan Times

PARIS – France has officially deployed its first armed drones, three American-built Reapers fitted with laser-guided missiles, in its fight against a jihadi insurrection in Africa's Sahel region, Defense Minister Florence Parly announced Thursday. The drones, which have already since 2014 provided surveillance support to the French anti-jihadi Barkhane mission in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso, will from now on also be able to strike targets, she said. France joins a small club of countries, including the United States, Britain and Israel, that use armed, distance-piloted aircraft in combat. The Reapers will each carry two 250-kg (550-pound) laser-guided bombs, and are entering service after a series of operational tests carried out from the airbase in the Niger capital Niamey. "Their main missions remain surveillance and intelligence … but these can be extended to strikes," Parly said.


Air Force partnership to fuse AI and materials research

#artificialintelligence

Sitting at the nexus of data science, computer vision, and machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI) has the promise to provide insights from large, high-dimensional datasets that can stay otherwise hidden from traditional data analysis approaches. However, its application in materials science has been comparatively slower than some fields due to the specialized knowledge required to apply AI to physical systems, as well as the wide variety of problems and data types encountered. In an effort to push forward the state-of-the-art in materials science research, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) are establishing a collaborative Center of Excellence. The center will leverage the strengths of the two institutions to develop next-generation aerospace materials, establish a pipeline of research talent with both AI and materials science expertise, and advance the materials science field by integrating AI into materials research and design. The 5-year, $7.5M joint Center of Excellence, named Data-Driven Discovery Of Optimized Multifunctional Material Systems (D3OM2S), is supported by an award from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) and the AFRL Materials and Manufacturing Directorate.


Turkey acquires new military drone with a machine gun mount that can fire bursts of 15 bullets

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Turkey will be the first customer for a new military drone with a machine gun mount that can fire single shots or 15-round bursts and carry a total of 200 rounds. Developed by the Asisguard, a technology firm in Ankara that specializes in military technology, the drone will use a laser sighting system to deliver a high degree of accuracy. The drone will also use a set of robotic braces to offset weapon recoil and ensure the drone's flight path isn't thrown off by firing. According to a report in the New Scientist, the drone will be able to hit targets as small as six inches from a distance of up to 650 feet. The 55-pound drone, called Songar, will be able to travel up to six miles at heights of up to 1.7 miles above ground.


Turkey is getting military drones armed with machine guns

New Scientist

A drone with a machine gun attached can hit targets with high precision, according to its makers. Turkey is set to become the first country to have the drone, when it gets a delivery this month. The 25-kilogram drone has eight rotating blades to get it in the air. Its machine gun carries 200 rounds of ammunition and can fire single shots or 15-round bursts. Many countries and groups already use small military drones that can drop grenades or fly into a target to detonate an explosive.


Air Force boosts funding for digital technology using artificial intelligence for 3D manufacturing

#artificialintelligence

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – 3D manufacturing technology from a Purdue University-affiliated company may soon play an even bigger part in helping the Department of Defense manage its digital assets to protect the United States. Imaginestics LLC, a software company headquartered in the Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette, has received a $1.5 million SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) Phase II grant through the U.S. Air Force. The award comes after the company was hired in 2017 to create a new system for the Air Force to better manage additive manufacturing (AM). "Imaginestics' mission is to build artificial intelligence-powered solutions for managing digital assets, which aligns perfectly with the needs of the Air Force," said Jamie Tan, CEO and co-founder of Imaginestics. Jason Mann, additive manufacturing technical lead for the 76th CMXG Reverse Engineering and Critical Tooling (REACT) lab at Tinker Air Force Base, said, "Imaginestics is building an Additive Manufacturing Advisory System (AMAS) that will provide the Air Force with a method of effectively storing, manipulating and presenting AM data in a form useful to AM engineers. It will provide provenance for AM parts, the ability to see trends in AM equipment performance, and manage the workflow for AM and reverse engineering tasks. Hosting the software on the AWS GovCloud will allow other depots to utilize the software to share AM data between all organizations involved in AM, while also supporting downstream processes that go with AM to minimize depot maintenance cost."


Air Force boosts funding for technology using artificial intelligence for 3D manufacturing

#artificialintelligence

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - 3D manufacturing technology from a Purdue University-affiliated company may soon play an even bigger part in helping the Department of Defense manage its digital assets to protect the United States. Imaginestics LLC, a software company headquartered in the Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette, has received a $1.5 million SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) Phase II grant through the U.S. Air Force. The award comes after the company was hired in 2017 to create a new system for the Air Force to better manage additive manufacturing (AM). "Imaginestics' mission is to build artificial intelligence-powered solutions for managing digital assets, which aligns perfectly with the needs of the Air Force," said Jamie Tan, CEO and co-founder of Imaginestics. Jason Mann, additive manufacturing technical lead for the 76th CMXG Reverse Engineering and Critical Tooling (REACT) lab at Tinker Air Force Base, said, "Imaginestics is building an Additive Manufacturing Advisory System (AMAS) that will provide the Air Force with a method of effectively storing, manipulating and presenting AM data in a form useful to AM engineers. It will provide provenance for AM parts, the ability to see trends in AM equipment performance, and manage the workflow for AM and reverse engineering tasks. Hosting the software on the AWS GovCloud will allow other depots to utilize the software to share AM data between all organizations involved in AM, while also supporting downstream processes that go with AM to minimize depot maintenance cost."


Developing a digital twin

#artificialintelligence

In the not too distant future, we can expect to see our skies filled with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) delivering packages, maybe even people, from location to location. In such a world, there will also be a digital twin for each UAV in the fleet: a virtual model that will follow the UAV through its existence, evolving with time. "It's essential that UAVs monitor their structural health," said Karen Willcox, director of the Oden Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) and an expert in computational aerospace engineering. "And it's essential that they make good decisions that result in good behavior." An invited speaker at the 2019 International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis (SC19), Willcox shared the details of a project--supported primarily by the U.S. Air Force program in Dynamic Data-Driven Application Systems (DDDAS)--to develop a predictive digital twin for a custom-built UAV.


Artificial Intelligence in Flight Test: A Limited Survey

#artificialintelligence

This year, SFTE's Annual Symposium featured two other papers on very closely related topics. At press time, these authors were not available to share these papers herein.


Feds Moving Cautiously on AI/ML Apps for Cybersecurity, Panelists Say – MeriTalk

#artificialintelligence

While many – if not most – Federal agencies are taking at least preliminary steps towards embracing advanced technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), they are moving with a degree of justifiable caution when it comes to relying on those technologies as part of their cybersecurity defenses, government tech officials said today at an event presented by Fortinet. The measured pace of AI and ML for security purposes is tied to the crucial nature of the cybersecurity mission, panelists said. Frank Konieczny, Chief Technology Officer at the U.S. Air Force, said that ML tech in particular requires establishing baselines for access and security to be sure that adversaries are not already impacting relevant data. And, he said, resulting data outputs from ML applications can still be somewhat opaque, and need to be examined more closely by human operators. "You ask, 'how did it figure that one out,'" he said, adding that process results in "a lot of time … by a human looking at [the result] again, which we don't want to do."