FALCON and Blackswift
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency FALCON program is developing technologies for hypersonic boost-glide vehicles and reusable aircraft that will enable future system capabilities to support prompt global-reach and responsive surveillance missions. The technologies include thermal protection systems for long-duration hypersonic glide, precision guidance, navigation and control systems, and in-flight communications. In a follow-on activity, a propulsion system for a Mach 6+ aircraft will be built and tested. APL supplied flight instrumentation and is defining needed range assets for the hypersonic boost-glide demonstration tests to be conducted in 2009.
Next-Generation Strike: F-35 Lightning II
This program is the Department of Defense's focal point for defining affordable next-generation strike aircraft weapon systems for the Navy, Air Force, Marines, and our allies. APL leads the Models Assessment Team for the Modeling and Simulation Integrated Product Team. APL has been integral in defining the Generic Composite Scenario, the synthetic battlespace scenario against which aircraft requirements will be tested. The team also conducted independent testing and verification of simulations intended to implement the scenario, ensuring the ability to meet intended use. In addition, APL performed analyses evaluating F-35 anti-surface and electronic warfare capabilities.
APL led a multi-organizational study for the Tomahawk Weapon System Program to examine changes that could be made to the weapon system to enable a maritime interdiction capability against hostile warships. This analysis included targeting, engagement planning, and post-launch communications. The results led to identification of design trades inherent in attack of maritime targets by surface-launched missiles.
Airborne Electronic Attack
APL is working with the Air Force to derive requirements for the future Airborne Electronic Attack (AEA) system-of-systems that will enable survivable, global engagement. The team uses modeling and simulation to project the effectiveness of AEA components against next-generation air defense systems. These components include the Miniature Air Launched Decoy and its jammer variant, as well as the future Core Component Jammer. APL also assists the government with test and evaluation planning and execution and systems engineering. APL is working with both government and industry to help shape the future of Air Force electronic warfare.
Maritime Operations Center
APL is assisting the U.S. Navy in establishing a global network of Maritime Headquarters (MHQs) with Maritime Operations Centers (MOCs) that will deliver global maritime capabilities throughout the full range of military operations. MHQs with MOCs enhance the Navy's capability to command forces at the operational level of war with an effective, agile, networked, and scalable set of MHQs with MOCs that employ common doctrine, standardized processes, and common command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence (C4I) systems able to operate in diverse organizational constructs with diverse partners (joint, interagency, and combined) across the range of military operations. APL leads the Force Application Warfighting Functional Area team developing the methodology for measuring the effectiveness of improvements to the baseline strategy and for closing operational gaps preventing successful operations. APL is developing a dynamic model and simulation of the Joint Force Application workflow in support of strategic and operational objectives.
Unmanned Aerial Systems in Complex Urban Air Flows
APL is conducting an internal research and development project to demonstrate that small unmanned aerial systems (UASs) (those with a less than 60-inch wingspan) can provide detection, identification, tracking, and subsequent engagement of stationary or mobile threats in chaotic urban environments with minimal collateral damage and operator workload. As a result of this research, APL developed a real-time tool that uses terrain-dependent, urban airflow data based on computational fluid dynamics; vehicle flight dynamics models; a communications model; and mission-level autonomy logic.