Open Challenges

Open Challenges

There are currently two Open Challenges that AFWERX is running. These challenges are open to industry, academia, startups, and individuals with innovative solutions to address the challenge topic.

USAF New Helmet System Open Challenge

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The USAF has allocated  up to $20 million to redesign and replace the Fixed Wing (plane) helmet used by pilots and aircrew. Whether you make or design entire helmet systems or just components that are, or might be related, we’re challenging you to help us create the helmet of the future. 

This challenge is a new initiative for USAF and uses the AFWERX team and process to find people with the ideas, components, materials and technologies to improve the Fixed Wing Aircrew Helmet. Even if you aren’t sure your technology could be used in a USAF helmet still submit your ideas so we can engage with you.

The helmet of tomorrow needs to be lightweight, comfortable, stable, improved noise protection, have better thermal management and the ability to tailor the helmet for different needs.

Ultimately, our goal is to enhance aircrew performance, safety and satisfaction.

Join the Challenge!

Revolutionizing Pilot Training Open Challenge

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Whether you are an aircraft enthusiast, learning expert, or tech industry specialist, we want to hear from you as we continue to refine the Air Force’s Pilot Training program.

This challenge is the next phase for the Air Force to uncover new ideas and improvements to the “Pilot Training Next” program. Your technology could be used to assist in an Air Force aviation training program, please submit your ideas and we will then be able to engage with you!

Join the Challenge!

Advanced Microelectronics Autonomous Challenge

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Advanced microelectronics autonomous open challenge

Air Force Research Labs in partnership with AFWERX are launching the Advanced Microelectronics Autonomous Challenge in October 2018. The challenge will be open for submissions from 22 October through until 15 January 2019. The Challenge will be seeking solutions using advanced microelectronics in autonomous vehicles, e.g. drone or other vehicle relevant for both commercial and military applications, to secure and advance autonomy, communication, on board sensing, processing, localization, telemetry, and navigation.

This is part of a $2B government initiative with $10M+ that has been budgeted to this challenge for prototyping support.

We are seeking to rapidly increase capability, but also provide the needed levels of assurance to use them in operational environments.

  • Capability: We are wanting to leverage the specialization of advanced 14/16nm microelectronics to improve Size, Weight, Assurance, Power (SWAP) and performance.
  • Assurance: assurance is very important for military applications and is also becoming increasingly important for commercial applications. The Assurance area should include security aspects of authentication, trusted communications, provenance, and mitigation of vulnerabilities.

The Air Force wants to support through this process by providing a cloud based development environment, design and verification tools, intellectual property, a simulation prototype environment, design expertise support, and fabrication access.