U.S. Air Force Summer Faculty Fellowship Program

U.S. Air Force Summer Faculty Fellowship Program

U.S. Air Force Summer Faculty Fellowship Program

U.S. Air Force Summer Faculty Fellowship Program

U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado

SF.04.01.B0208: Advanced Air Breathing Propulsion

Wisniewski, C.F.

(719) 333-9387

The Advanced Propulsion Group at the Air Force Academy Aeronautics Research Center is developing the technology base for the design of future air breathing propulsion systems. Experimental programs are conducted in the Aeronautics Research Center's four jet engine test cells. Currently, the Center's operational and instrumented engines include the J-69 and J-85 turbojet, the F-109 turbofan, the T-63 turboshaft, and a Chevy 454 (internal combustion). Programs include an investigation of the dynamic response of fan and compressor blades (high cycle fatigue). A variety of advanced techniques are used including ultrahigh rate data sampling of temperature, pressure, and velocity inside the jet engine. In addition, efforts are ongoing to develop efficient propulsion systems with low noise signatures for use in small unmanned aerial vehicles. These efforts include experimental and computational investigations of low Reynolds number propellers and ducted fans. Sponsorship of these research programs includes the Air Force Research Laboratory, SOCOM and DARPA.

SF.04.01.B0209: High-Speed Vehicle Design

Cummings, R.M.

(719) 333-9223

We conduct basic and applied research that is relevant to a variety of national aerospace applications, including trans-atmospheric vehicles, hypersonic cruise missiles, high-speed vehicles powered by air-breathing propulsion systems, and theater missile defense systems. The research programs involve integration of experimental programs conducted in the Tri-Sonic Wind Tunnel (TWT) and Mach 6 Ludwieg Tube and computations using state-of-the-art numerical codes. Various data acquisition techniques are being developed to determine the pressure, temperature, and heat transfer distributions on models placed in the supersonic stream of the TWT and the hypersonic stream of the Ludwieg Tube.

SF.04.01.B4645: Gas Turbine Blade Flow Studies

Byerley, A.R.

(719) 333-2969

Research opportunities are available to perform experimental and computational investigations of internal and external flows associated with gas turbine engines. The goal is to understand the fluid physics that will lead to improvements in gas turbine component efficiencies, particularly at low Reynolds Number conditions where performance losses have been experienced. Current research involves measuring the presence of boundary layer separation on the suction side of 10x-scale gas turbine blades in a linear cascade wind tunnel using a variety of flow diagnostic techniques including liquid crystal thermography, hot-wire anemometry, surface pressure measurements, wake measurements, and thermal tuft surface flow visualization. We are interested in active and passive flow control techniques for eliminating the boundary layer separation. In addition, research is in progress on the flow and heat transfer within the internal blade passages, which are used for turbine blade cooling. Recently, experimental investigations have been complimented by in-house computational investigations using Fluent and Cobalt60.

SF.04.01.B4654: Computational Fluid Dynamics Analysis and Code Development Applied to Unsteady Aerodynamics

Cummings, R.M.

(719) 333-9223

This research is comprised of two phases: computational fluid dynamics (CFD) method improvements for unsteady aerodynamics and comparison of CFD simulations with experiments of unsteady aerodynamics. The CFD method improvements are in the areas of high order turbulence modeling such as detached-eddy simulation, pneumatic flow control method implementation, dynamic grid motion implementation to simulate fighter configurations experiencing enhanced maneuverability, and reduced-order modeling. In addition to code enhancements, this project involves providing CFD comparisons with experiments performed in the US Air Force Academy Aeronautics wind/water tunnels to support ongoing research in delta wing flow control, unmanned combat air vehicle dynamic lift, and massively separated flows of fighter configurations.

SF.04.01.B5429: Robust Flight Control of UAVs

York, G.W.

(719) 333-9193

The Academy Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (ACUASR) focuses on enabling technologies for UAS. With our available fleet of fixed wing UAV, we have developed and demonstrated technologies in cooperative autonomous control behaviors, cooperative sensor networks, and robust and reliable communication networks. Current research areas are: 1) UAV autonomy to sense and avoid air obstacles either with shared position information or integrated sensors, 2) embedded software architecture methods that support rapid deployment of new UAS technologies, and 3) cooperative autonomous behaviors to accomplish a variety of UAS missions using multiple UAVs in environments that include denied communication and global positioning system signals. All research will be verified through simulation and flight tests at USAFA.

SF.04.01.B5492: Closed Loop Flow Control

McLaughlin, T.E.

(719) 333-2613

This research effort investigates the efficacy of closed loop active flow control techniques in controlling flow behavior near aerodynamic bodies. The work takes a combined fluids/controls approach, identifying control approaches appropriate to the particular problem at hand, guided by detailed knowledge of the flow field, obtained through experimental and computational means. The work seeks to control the flow using a low-order model, based on Proper Orthogonal Decomposition (POD) which identifies the most dominant modes. Sensor information is used to estimate the amplitudes of the time-dependent coefficients of the POD modes. Based on this estimation, a closed loop controller commands the actuators that trigger actuators based on surface sensor information. Similar, non-POD methods could also be employed. A closely integrated dual path of experiment and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) methods is in use to make most of the advantages of both tools. The active manipulation of a flow field has been elusive for many decades. Recently, with the surge of new technologies in the areas of sensors, actuators, and real-time data processing, the dawn of the "closed-loop era" is breaking. The various pieces of a closed loop system have been investigated independently, but piecing them together has been achieved in only a limited number of flows. This area of research is multidisciplinary in nature merging the fields of fluid flow, controls, simulations, data processing, and structures. The results of the effort should be a robust, well-validated method of controlling flows where passive and open loop means are ineffective or impractical.

SF.04.01.B5635: The Physics of the Single Dielectric Barrier Discharge Aerodynamic Plasma Actuator

Enloe, C.L.

(719) 333-2240

Dielectric barrier discharges are a well-established technique for producing a stable plasma at atmospheric pressure. A highly asymmetric single barrier discharge has been shown to have a substantial, beneficial effect on the airflow around aerodynamic surfaces and is a candidate for efficient, no moving parts flow control. However, the morphology of the plasma actuator is not completely known and current explanations for the mechanism of the actuator's coupling of momentum are speculative. With the physics of the actuator not well established, it is impossible to optimize the system for practical applications. We are conducting a comprehensive series of experiments and a parallel series of numerical simulations to describe and predict the spatial and temporal development of the discharge, to parameterize its behavior, and to determine unambiguously the mechanism of momentum coupling to the surrounding air. This effort is applicable to both experimental and theoretical/numerical specialties.

SF.04.01.B5796: Space Object Optical Signatures Research

Chun, F.K.

(719) 333-2601

The Center for Space Situational Awareness Research (CSSAR) in the Department of Physics at the US Air Force Academy is interested in satellite tracking and characterization. CSSAR is actively working in the areas of (1) non-imaging photometry, spectroscopy, and polarimetry techniques leading to the identification and characterization of unresolved space objects; (2) modeling and simulation to understand the inverse problem associated with characterization of non-resolved space objects; and (3) orbit determination using angles-only optical measurements. CSSAR is developing a network of small aperture telescopes that will provide global coverage of the space catalog and the capability to observe satellites simultaneously from multiple telescope locations for data fusion research.

SF.04.01.B5798: Dynamics of Ionospheric and Mesospheric Optical Emissions

McHarg, M.G.

(719) 333-2460

We are interested in understanding how the dynamics of the mesosphere and ionosphere can be remotely measured using various optical techniques. We use both ground- and space-based observations of these regions, which are difficult study in situ. Our ground-based observations use a variety of high-speed camera and multi-anode photometers to investigate high-speed optical fluctuations associated with the aurora and sprites. Space-based observations of the aurora and airglow use data from the Global Ultra Violet Imager to establish the average energy and energy flux of incoming auroral precipitation, as well as to determine the plasma density in the equatorial ionosphere. We hope to gain a better understanding of the different time and spatial scales, which may be important in the understanding and ability to model the coupled ionosphere, mesosphere system.

SF.04.02.B0212: Laser Cooling and Nonlinear Optics

Knize, R.J.

(719) 333-4165

We conduct research on laser cooling and trapping of neutral atoms, and on the development and application of nonlinear optical materials. Laser cooling is used to produce cold atoms, which can be confined in a far off resonance optical trap. Current research focuses on producing and trapping cold molecules for frequency standards, and on achieving long atomic coherence times for measurement of small physical phenomena (e.g., an atomic electric dipole moment). We are also examining nonlinear optics of these cold trapped atoms, optical nonlinearities of doped polymers and ion implanted silica, and the use of holography for correction of optical elements.

SF.04.13.B0821: Mechanistic Basis for Biological Polymer Stability, Electron Transfer and Molecular Sensing in Extreme Environments

Veverka, D.V.

(719) 333-9670

One of the most critical factors in biosensor / MFC technologies is the efficient coupling of the biological material, enzyme or microbe, to the electrical interface. On the organismal level, microbes have been shown to interact with external electrodes or insoluble inorganic metallic compounds through three distinct mechanisms; one indirect and two direct [1]. Indirect interaction is carried out by secreted soluble mediator compounds that shuttle electrons between the cell and the electrode. This is less desirable as electron transfer can obviously be diffusion limited and, moreover, the mediators and microbes are not attached to the electrode and hence are easily lost. In direct transfer mechanisms, conductive proteins form a bridge between the microbe and the electrode. These can either be a complex set of periplasmic and extracellular cytochromes, as in the case of Geobacter sulfurreducens, where electrons are conducted through a series of physically close hemes, or a conductive pilus, formed by some Geobacter, where stacked aromatic rings of amino acids that form the helical structure of the pilin subunits permitting electron transfer through delocalized Π transfer. Since these last two depend upon complex protein structures it is doubtful that these would remain intact under harsh and extreme conditions. Hence, there is a need to isolate electrically active extremophilic organisms in order to understand how they are able to maintain robust electrical connectivity under extreme conditions. This could be through modified versions of what is already known, or perhaps via novel mechanisms. Thus, isolating and characterizing novel electrically active extremophiles could lead to the discovery of robust, and perhaps novel, mechanisms of electrical connectivity. This could be useful in establishing whole cell biosensors and/or MFCs, or, as detailed below, in effectively coupling redox active enzymes with electrodes.

[1] Lovley, D.R. Electromicrobiology. Annu. Rev. Microbiol. 2012. 66:391–409

Laboratory research facilities in the Life Sciences Research Center host a range of modern algae materials processing and characterization in addition to the standard suite of cultivation and analysis capability, to include: A 40 sq ft walk-in Environmental Growth Chamber, 30 cu ft Percival growth chamber, orbital shakers, and an incubator are dedicated for the growth of algae, BioFlo 115 New Brunswick 14L bioreactor for experimentation with carbon dioxide sparging on chemostat cultures, Accuri C6 flow cytometer for algal growth monitoring, two PCR thermal cyclers, Nanodrop, ABI 7900HT real time PCR system and lipid class analysis is performed using an Iatroscan MK6 TLC-FID system. We also have access to a Polaris GC-MS system and additional HPLC and LC-MS systems.

SF.04.16.B0001: Advanced Functional Polymers & Materials

Iacono, S.

(719) 333-6005

Our research team focuses on preparing functionalized polymer and hybrid polymer composites directed towards developing next-generation, high-performance materials to meet operational AF and mission partner needs. On-going projects include, but not limited to, processable, partially fluorinated poly(aryl ether)s, fluorosiloxane hybrid composites, chemical/biological detection, and extended poly(aromatic)s for organic electronics. Projects encompass organic/polymer synthesis, processing, and characterization. Our continued multi-invested collaborations include industry partners, Department of Energy, Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory, and many technical directorates within the Air Force Research Laboratory. Laboratory research facilities in the Department of Chemistry include a host of modern advanced materials processing and characterization (in addition to the standard suite of small molecule characterization): controlled atmosphere dryboxes, multi-solvent purification system, all hoods equipped with Schlenk lines, two NMR spectrometers (400 and 500 MHz), Gaussian, single crystal X-ray diffractometer, thermal analysis instrumentation (DSC, TGA, and DMA), surface characterization (powder XRD, MALDI, AFM, and SEM), UV-Vis/PL, GPC system, and processing equipment (twin extruder/injection molder, electrosprayer, spin coater, metal vapor deposition, ball mills, and sCO2 extractor).

SF.04.16.B0002: Cybersecurity, Formal Methods and Malware Analysis

Fagin, B.

719-333-7377

The Academy Center for Cyberspace Research is interested in AFOSR Summer Fellows with expertise in Cybersecurity, Formal Methods, Malware Analysis and related areas. Research efforts include but are not limited to securing SCADA and Industrial Control Systems (ICS), the use of Formal Methods to improve the security of open source software, malware detection and neutralization, forensics, and network security.

SF.04.16.B0003: Space Systems Research Center

Richie, D.

719-333-6734

The Space Systems Research Center has a strong reputation in teaching cadets to learn space by doing space. It has designed, built, tested, and flown five cadet-built, DoD-backed satellites while supporting national Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) educational objectives. Our graduates are educated, trained, and inspired to fly, fight, and win in air, space, and cyberspace. Current projects include final testing, integration, and launch of FalconSat-6 in Sept of 2016. Additionally, the SSRC houses the USAFA ground station, home of the Cadet Space Operations Squadron (CSOPS) where cadets train cadets to fly our satellites. Other ongoing efforts include the summer space program, which inspires sophomore cadets by building and launching high altitude science experiments via balloon. Finally, the EyasSAT classroom demonstration small satellite is used for teaching principals of space systems engineering in addition to advanced research into attitude sensors, actuators, and control methods to be used on future FalconSat missions.

SF.04.17.B0001: Human-Machine Teaming

Tossell, C.

832-341-1800

Brief Summary of Research Area: Fully autonomous systems are becoming a reality. From self-driving cars to self-flying aircraft, these systems are no longer stuck solely in science fiction. The USAF has begun a large series of activities associated with understanding how to maximize these systems as they work together with humans. Indeed, human-machine teaming (HMT) is a burgeoning area of research focus including a large program within the Department of Behavioral Sciences’ Warfighter Effectiveness Research Center (WERC) at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA). Summer faculty participants working on this program will interact with novel technologies, including autonomous robots, in order to more effectively design systems that interact well with humans. Summer researchers will also gain experience setting up experiments with human subjects, engaging with the top researchers in the field, and a number of other activities in this domain of research.

SF.04.17.B0002: Unresolved Satellite Characterization Research

Chun, F.K.

719-333-2601

Brief Summary of Research Area: Satellite characterization through non-imaging observational techniques such as photometry, spectroscopy, and polarimetry. Multi-modal (i.e. photometry, spectroscopy, and polarimetry) data fusion using satellite modeling and information theory concepts. ***Please note that all applicants are encouraged to be in contact with the advisor prior to submitting their applications so you can guide them through the proposal and address any questions regarding research criteria and expectations.

SF.04.17.B0003: Developing research-based approaches to improve student learning in STEM

De La Harpe, K.

719-333-3411

Since 1994, the United States Air Force Academy’s Center for Physics Education Research (CPER) has been developing active-learner instructional materials and incorporating technology into research-based pedagogies to enhance student learning. Just-in-Time Teaching (JiTT), developed at CPER in collaboration with other universities, has found its way into virtually all academic disciplines, nationally and internationally. Current research efforts include developing comprehensive flipped learning modules based on work-examples, creating mobile technology based tools to motivate and monitor student engagement, and connecting active learning paradigms with social psychological interventions that address both student and faculty mindsets to improve student learning and outcomes in the STEM disciplines

SF.04.17.B0004: Quantification of Environmental Toxoplasma Gondii

Hoisington, A.

719-333-9119

The United States Air Force Academy, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is interested in summer faculty to assist with a research study on the potential of Toxoplasma gondii in the environment. Specifically, we are working on methods to accurately quantify environmental T. gondii, computational modeling of particulates in the same size range, and effects of the built environment on the protozoan life cycle. Researchers specializing in the built environment, indoor microbiome, bioinformatics DNA extraction/sequencing methods, and quantitative PCR are encouraged to speak to Dr. Hoisington to develop a proposal. ***Please note that all applicants are encouraged to be in contact with the advisor prior to submitting their applications so you can guide them through the proposal and address any questions regarding research criteria and expectations.

SF.04.17.B0005: Field Engineering Readiness Laboratory

Hoisington, A.

719-333-9119

The United States Air Force Academy, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is interested in summer faculty to assist with research on our field engineering readiness laboratory (FERL). FERL is a three weeks hands on teaching course for students between their sophomore and junior year. We are interested in research including but not limited to engineering education, service learning, experiential learning, use of hands-on activities to improve learning outcomes, ground source heat pumps, building energy, and optimization in construction of temporary facilities. ***Please note that all applicants are encouraged to be in contact with the advisor prior to submitting their applications so you can guide them through the proposal and address any questions regarding research criteria and expectations.

SF.04.17.B0006: Microbiome of the Built Environment

Hoisington, A.

719-333-9119

The United States Air Force Academy, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is interested in summer faculty to assist with research on the microbiome of the built environment. Specifically, we are working on methods to assess biofingerprinting, interaction between built environment and human microbiome, and beneficial microbes that may be found in the built environment. Researcher specializing in the built environment, indoor microbiome, bioinformatics, DNA extraction/sequencing methods, and quantitative PCR are encouraged to speak to Dr. Hoisington to develop a proposal. ***Please note that all applicants are encouraged to be in contact with the advisor prior to submitting their applications so you can guide them through the proposal and address any questions regarding research criteria and expectations.

SF.04.17.B0007: Human-Machine Teaming

Tossell, C.

832-341-1800

Fully autonomous systems are becoming a reality. From self-driving cars to self-flying aircraft, these systems are no longer stuck solely in science fiction. The USAF has begun a large series of activities associated with understanding how to maximize these systems as they work together with humans. Indeed, human-machine teaming (HMT) is a burgeoning area of research focus including a large program within the Department of Behavioral Sciences’ Warfighter Effectiveness Research Center (WERC) at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA). Summer faculty participants working on this program will interact with novel technologies, including autonomous robots, in order to more effectively design systems that interact well with humans. Summer researchers will also gain experience setting up experiments with human subjects, engaging with the top researchers in the field, and a number of other activities in this domain of research. ***Please note that all applicants are encouraged to be in contact with the advisor prior to submitting their applications so you can guide them through the proposal and address any questions regarding research criteria and expectations.

U.S. Air Force Academy

Lt Col Don Rhymer, Associate Dean of Research
USAFA/DFRO
2354 Fairchild Drive, Suite 2H29
USAF Academy, Colorado 80840-6200
Telephone: 719-333-4195
E-mail: Donald.Rhymer@usafa.edu
Michelle Alvarez-Rea
Research Program Specialist
Office of Research, USAFA/DFRO
Telephone: (719) 333-3273
E-mail: Michelle.Alvarez-Rea.ctr@usafa.edu