U.S. Air Force Research Lab Summer Faculty Fellowship Program

U.S. Air Force Research Lab Summer Faculty Fellowship Program

U.S. Air Force Research Lab Summer Faculty Fellowship Program

AFRL/RH 711TH HPW (Fort Sam, Texas )

SF.15.19.B0006: Mathematical Methods in Biophysics

Wharmby, Andrew - 210-539-8284

Research has shown that biophysical processes, such as laser-tissue interaction, deviate from the predictions given by traditional mathematical models for short laser exposure times. In general, it was found that the shorter the exposure time is, the stronger the deviation will be. However, generalizing these models by recasting them as fractional order differential equations have resulted in models that show high agreement with experimental observation regardless of exposure duration. This effort aims to analyze these new equations that employ elements of the fractional calculus (and other non-local operators) and apply them to other biophysical phenomena such as thermal diffusion resulting from laser heating and fluorescence from UV lasers. The development of these novel mathematical models will quantify and enhance safety standards for newly developed protective materials and directed energy devices. Candidates with demonstrated knowledge of the fractional calculus and its implications in both analytical and numerical models are desired. Selected applicants should expect to work with USAF staff, collaborating university faculty and students, and contract support staff to develop models.

SF.15.19.B0005: Charged Particle Risk Assesment

Boone, Goldie - 999-999-9999

AFRL/RHD is investigating the bioeffects of Charged Particle Beam (CPB) systems. Little is known about the bioeffects and risks associated with multi-domain military application of CPB systems. The energy levels and pulse format are unique. Significant dose and/or dose-rates are possible. Projects of interest will conduct an initial health risk assessment of charged particle beams. This preliminary risk assessment will foster policy and treaty reviews for fielding a charged particle beam capability. Reviewing modeling and simulations of CPB sytems, dosimetric measurements taken at the Idaho Accelerator Center and existing literature are also of interest to support this assessment. A major effort will involve the investigation of radiobiological quality factors (QF) which predict biological damage per unit dose. The use of ionizing radiation sources poses some unique challenges based on the risk of non-stochastic and stochastic health effects to operators and individuals in or near exposure areas.

SF.15.12.B0906: Modeling the Effects of Laser Eye Protection (LEP) on Vision, Cognition and Human Performance

Goettl, Barry - 210-539-7885

Development of new technologies to protect against flash blindness and retinal damage from lasers and nuclear events requires an understanding of how material solutions for protecting the eyes interact with vision and human performance. These filters must block enough light to protect the eyes yet pass enough for aircrew members to perform their mission. This is particularly challenging at night when there is less ambient light, flash blindness is easier to induce, and operations may require disciplined display illumination levels to protect operations. Over the years, the US Air Force has developed a number of Laser Eye Protection (LEP) devices and conducted many laboratory, ground, and flight tests to certify LEP safe for use in cockpits. Although many LEP have been fielded, aircrew often report problems with color and visibility resulting in low acceptance and use of LEP, even when the risk of laser exposure is high. Experimentation is needed to develop models of how visual glare and protective filters effect vision, cognition, attention and human performance. Desired candidates have demonstrated laboratory experience in vision science, cognition, attention, human factors and/or human performance modeling. Selected applicants should expect to work with USAF staff, collaborating university faculty, and summer students at the graduate and undergraduate level. Summer projects will develop and integrate models of vision, cognition, attention or human performance for predicting the effects of filters on visual dazzle and human performance.

SF.15.10.B6041: Modeling Behavioral Responses to Non-Lethal Weapons

Ashworth, Alan - 210-536-1963

Researchers will assist in the development of models to describe the relationship between the physical effect of non-lethal weapons and the behavioral response. Modeling efforts range from process models describing qualitative relations between factors, to computational models for generating quantitative predictions based upon real time data collection. To be considered are: 1) individual psychological factors such as motivation, experience with and knowledge of the weapon, tolerance for pain and discomfort, observation of weapon use on a third party, gender, and age; 2) social factors such as cultural background, religion, group size, conformity, impressions of authority; 3) environmental factors such as ambient levels of temperature, light, and sound; and 4) type of non-lethal weapon such as blunt impact, riot control agents, malodorants, directed energy, flashbang, blast overpressure, and electromuscular stimulation. Candidates with demonstrated experience in the field or applicable associated research are desired. Selected applicants should expect to work with USAF staff, collaborating university faculty, and contract support staff to develop models and draft guidance to inform policy decisions and security classification guides.

SF.15.10.B3743: High-Power Radiofrequency Bioeffects Research

Payne, Jason - 210-539-7905

Selected projects will assist in the development of new theoretical approaches along with computational solutions to the physics, biochemistry, and biology of radiofrequency interactions with biological systems. Modeling high-power RF interactions are of particular interest. Areas of work include theoretical approaches and numerical simulations relating to (1) the dosimetry and thermodynamics of biological systems or bio-materials exposed to RF energy, (2) propagation of RF energy in living tissues subject to linear and non-linear mechanisms, (3) mechanisms for damage at the cellular level along with associated rate-process or metabolic models, (4) interplay between the damage mechanisms, mechanical, thermodynamics, and propagation effects, and (5) molecular dynamics associated with cellular processes. Candidates with demonstrated experience in the fields described or possessing applicable related methods are desired. Selected applicants should expect to work with USAF staff, collaborating university faculty, and summer students at the graduate and undergraduate level. Summer projects will develop and integrate modeling components and increase the functionality of larger code bases.

SF.15.10.B3740: Laser-Tissue Interaction

Denton, Michael - 210-539-8069

The goal of this research is to determine the effect of laser exposure on human tissues and to study the resulting mission impact. The analysis includes quantification of tissue parameters, response of tissues to optical irradiation, and modeling of the interaction. We study photoacoustic, photothermal, cellular insult, photochemical, and photomechanical processes and their effect on tissues. Understanding laser tissue interaction is the first step toward optimizing military application of laser radiation. Our work emphasizes the occupational and environmental health aspects of laser tissue interaction, with experiments coupled with modeling efforts, which result in suggestions to the laser safety community where safety standards either do not exist, or where deficiencies in biological data has made the criteria for setting standards ambiguous. In addition, we seek to understand and monitor changes in tissue optical properties and function as a result of laser exposure. The laboratory offers extensive laser facilities and support equipment (including retinal and skin imaging) to investigate effects across the pulse-duration and wavelength spectrum.

AFRL-Airman Systems

Dr. Zelik, Daniel
Assistant Chief Scientist
711th Human Performance Wing (711 HPW/CL)
Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio 45433
Telephone:
Email: daniel.zelik@us.af.mil

Dr. Sharma, Gaurav
Chief Scientist (Acting)
711th Human Performance Wing (711 HPW/CL)
Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio 45433
Telephone:
Email: gaurav.sharma@us.af.mil

Dr. Pryor, Nina
Assistant to the Chief Scientist
711th Human Performance Wing
Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio 45433
Telephone:
Email: nina.pryor.ctr@us.af.mil