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Calling for Aussie innovations to solve US Air Force challenges

The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science’s Centre for Defence Industry Capability (CDIC) has invited the Australian industry to participate in two technology challenges, put forth by the AFWERX in the US.

AFWERX is a US Air Force program with the goal of fostering a culture of innovation within the service. Encompassing a number of programs supported with relatively small amounts of funding, the initiative is intended to circumvent bureaucracy and engage new entrepreneurs in Air force programs.

The two challenges proposed by AFWERX include a new helmet system for the US Air Force as well as a pilot training program.

The US Air Force has allocated up to USD$20 million ($27.5 million)  to redesign and replace the fixed wing (plane) helmet used by pilots and aircrew. The challenge is a new initiative for the US Air Force and uses the AFWERX team and process to find people with the ideas, components, materials and technologies to improve the fixed wing aircrew helmet.

The helmet needs to be lightweight, comfortable, stable, and have improved noise protection, better thermal management and the ability to be tailored for different needs. The challenge is open until 8 October 2018.

Another challenge faced by the US Air Force  is to train the next generation of pilots with emerging technologies and learning methods. The aim is to see who can assist in providing new ideas and improvements to the “Pilot Training Next” v2.0 program, which will begin in January 2019.

The goal is to leverage next generation technology, along with an individualised training flow, to increase the rate and quality of learning for student pilots in the T-6 Texan. The challenge is open until 5 October 2018.

More information on both these challenges is available at AFWERX challenge.

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