Wright-Patterson AFB, OH, United States

Air Force Institute of Technology

www.afit.edu/
Wright-Patterson AFB, OH, United States

The Air Force Institute of Technology is a graduate school and provider of professional and continuing education for the United States Armed Forces and is part of the United States Air Force. It is located in Ohio at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, near Dayton. Wikipedia.

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This question originally appeared on Quora. Answer by Robert Frost. Yes. There have been quite a few astronauts that have come from very poor beginnings. I know one that grew up in McAllen, Texas, an extremely poor city on the Mexican border with Texas. In fact, the last census declared McAllen to be the poorest metropolitan area in the United States, with 33.4% of residents living below the poverty level. His grandparents were sharecroppers. He joined the Air Force. Through the Air Force, he managed to get a scholarship to attend Texas A&M University where he majored in Mechanical Engineering, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree. He then went to the Air Force Institute of Technology where he got his first Master of Science degree. He then was selected for the Air Force Test Pilot School where he flew 34 different types of aircraft. He left active duty in 1992 and became an engineer at NASA. While there he got a second Masters in science and repeatedly applied to be an astronaut. In 1998 he was selected. I know another that was the child of Mexican migrant farm workers. He spent his childhood constantly on the move, living in the barrio, and his summers working in the fields. Fortunately for him, his mother was insistent on the children not remaining stuck in that circle of poverty. As they moved from town to town and school to school, and back and forth from La Piedad, Mexico to the United States, she provided them additional homeschooling to ensure they stayed ahead of their classmates. Fortunately for him, there was a Federal TRIO program called Upward Bound that provides assistance to disadvantaged students (incidentally, the President has suggested a 10% funding cut to TRIO) and a California program called MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement). Those programs helped him get into and through college at The University of the Pacific, where he got a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering. He followed that with a Master of Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara, in electrical and computer engineering. He then worked for Lawrence Livermore Laboratory while he repeatedly applied to be an astronaut, being turned down eleven times before being selected in 2004. A third, and the coolest astronaut I ever taught (he walked on the Moon!), was a small child during the great depression. His father lost his job and the family had to move around, trying to find work to stay alive, working at gas stations, pumping gas. That astronaut grew up wearing whatever clothing survived other kids. He was saved by a Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarship to Georgia Tech. In all of these cases, kids that could never have afforded the education needed were assisted by government programs, whether that be military, federal, or state. With that help and working very, very hard, they got educated and got good jobs where they were able to show their capabilities in a way that impressed the astronaut selection committee. Sometimes determination needs a helping hand.


SANTA ANA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--First American Financial Corporation (NYSE: FAF), a leading global provider of title insurance, settlement services and risk solutions for real estate transactions, announced today that Reginald “Reggie” H. Gilyard has been appointed to the company’s board of directors. Gilyard currently serves as the dean of the Argyros School of Business and Economics at Chapman University. Under his leadership, the school increased its ranking on prominent national lists of leading business schools for both undergraduate and graduate programs. Earlier in his career, he was a partner and managing director in the Los Angeles office of The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) – a $5 billion global management consulting company, which advises the world's largest companies and public institutions. Gilyard spearheaded the company’s education practice in the U.S., focused on not-for-profit institutions, and also served private sector clients in the retail, consumer goods, media and technology sectors. “I’m very pleased to welcome Reggie to the First American board,” said Parker S. Kennedy, chairman of First American Financial Corporation. “His in-depth knowledge and understanding of the complexities of large businesses, keen grasp of customer needs in a variety of industry sectors, and background in technology will make him an important contributor.” Gilyard also serves on the boards of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International, Pacific Charter School Development, and OCTANe, Orange County’s technology and life sciences accelerator organization. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics/operations research from the U.S. Air Force Academy, a master’s degree in computer systems from the Air Force Institute of Technology, and a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard Business School. First American Financial Corporation (NYSE: FAF) is a leading provider of title insurance, settlement services and risk solutions for real estate transactions that traces its heritage back to 1889. First American also provides title plant management services; title and other real property records and images; valuation products and services; home warranty products; property and casualty insurance; and banking, trust and investment advisory services. With total revenue of $5.6 billion in 2016, the company offers its products and services directly and through its agents throughout the United States and abroad. In 2016 and again in 2017, First American was named to the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® list. More information about the company can be found at www.firstam.com.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 749.96K | Year: 2014

ABSTRACT: Given the results obtained in the Phase I effort, we are now in a position to advance to the next generation of High Power Phased Array Transceiver Systems. The new approach proposed here is to use enough elements in the phased array to ensure that significant wavefront compensation performance can be obtained with only piston commands. A system of this nature can be developed in two ways, using advanced target-based phasing technology, or by using conventional wavefront sensing technology to determine the relative piston commands in an array of fiber lasers. Both approaches result in system simplicity while eliminating the legacy difficulties associated with a single high power laser and high power deformable mirrors. Both of these new concepts will be evaluated in detail and compared with conventional AO transmitter systems, resulting in one or two conceptual designs that show promise. To ensure practical realizability, both the optical and electronic subsystem detailed designs, as well as the conceptual design for a well instrumented field testbed, will be developed. AFIT will provide analytical and laboratory testing of concepts of interest. Building and field-testing a full-up system will be reserved for Phase II enhancements or Phase III activities. BENEFIT: The proposed effort will develop validated conceptual designs that will serve as the next generation of light-weight laser weapons technology. The methodology for testing these and other concepts will also be developed and applied at our university partner (AFIT) facility.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.99K | Year: 2013

ABSTRACT: The proposed research will develop a method of compensating atmospheric disturbances in the transmitting subapertures of a phased array transceiver operating in the infrared. The aero-optical boundary layer and atmospheric turbulence create phase variations within each subaperture. To compensate these variations, an adaptive optical system will be used in each subaperture. The proposed wavefront sensor is a self-referencing interferometer, and the corrective element is a liquid crystal adaptive optic or other device suitable for use in phased arrays. The beacon for the wavefront sensor is the coherent high energy spot reflected from the target of the phased array. The main innovation in the proposed research consists of techniques to mitigate the corruption in the beacon phase caused by speckle, and other related difficulties associated with using the reflected spot as a beacon. The speckle phase that the phasing system estimates will be used to compensate the speckle phase in the adaptive optics system. BENEFIT: The primary product of this research will be the conceptual design of an adaptive optical (AO) system suited for use in phased array transceivers. This system will be available in future phased array design work to improve the performance of phased arrays as needed. The adaptive optical system will not depend on a particular phased array architecture, but will be available for use with a wide variety of architectures. The primary capability of the AO system will be in correcting the aero-optical boundary layer for airborne phased arrays. The use of the AO system also allows for more efficient configurations of the beam phasing system.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Missile Defense Agency | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 874.42K | Year: 2014

Proper design of Diode-Pumped Alkali Laser Systems (DPALS) is challenging because many interrelated processes impact their performance and critical kinetic rate coefficients are not well known. In response, our team is developing a comprehensive physics-based analysis/design tool, and experimentally determining key kinetic rate coefficients. The resulting product will be a user-friendly, high-fidelity, coupled Fluid-Thermal-Mechanical-Optical software package with accurate rate constants. During Phase I, we developed initial versions of the analysis tools, performed experiments to determine key rate constants, and performed parametric sensitivity analyses. In Phase II, we will develop a user-friendly, fully coupled, software package with a comprehensive set of experimentally determined rate constants. Approved for Public Release 14-MDA-7739 (18 March 14).


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 124.95K | Year: 2014

The key innovation in this project is the implementation of an Imaging Fourier Transform Spectrometer (IFTS) for in situ metal additive manufacturing process monitoring. In this Phase I STTR project, Mound Laser & Photonics Center, a developer of laser based additive manufacturing processing, will collaborate with the Air Force Institute of Technology, with expertise and innovative hardware for spectroscopy, to implement the IFTS in a Selective Laser Melting (SLM) R&D test bed to demonstrate advanced strategies for process control and in situ quality assurance such as: (1) automatic detection of the molten area in various layers, (2) in situ release of stresses induced by temperature gradients, and (3) real-time control of alloy composition and minimization of contaminants. These capabilities with facilitate the manufacture of parts with complex geometries with improved microstructures and properties. In Phase I we intend to: (1) prove the utility of the IFTS for monitoring SLM processing of metals and alloys, (2) determine surface temperatures with a statistical accuracy of better than 4 oC, systematic accuracy of better than 10 oC and a dynamic range of up to 2000 oC, and provide rapid (1 kHz), automatic identification of the molten area, (3) track changes in chemical composition due to evaporation, oxidation, and melt expulsion, (4) reduce data dimensionality and correlate these IFTS sensor features with manufacture quality metrics, and (5) design the concept for a Phase II prototype sensor suite that focuses on key aspects of the IFTS datascape to inexpensively emulate the IFTS. In Phase II, a prototype optical sensor will be developed for process control of metallic additive manufacture of lightweight, reliable, low cost structures.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 748.82K | Year: 2012

ABSTRACT: The proposal outlines work and time tables associated with finalizing the development of wear model concepts developed in Phase I work to predict the wear of two materials sliding with respect to each other while being subjected to high velocities and/or high pressures. In parallel with this, a severe wear bench test fixture design will be finalized, built, and utilized to validate the severe wear model, which will be further developed to a state where it can be easily utilized to predict wear for a range of materials and material systems. The final result will represent a significant expansion of the capability to model, validate, and utilize technology to select material for severe wear applications. BENEFIT: Severe wear applications exist in a range of components within various mechanical systems utilized in commercial devices. A few examples of these from the many existing are valve seats and valve faces in internal combustion engines, railroad wheels and track surfaces, and sliding surfaces in various lawn and cutting devices. Presently the selection and application of materials for severe wear applications is based on experience (which may not result in the use of an optimum material system) and/or trial and error. Both methods result in significant cost. An effective severe wear model and validating bench test fixture would result in substantial cost savings in the development of such products.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 749.99K | Year: 2012

ABSTRACT: Building on Phase I research that demonstrated the feasibility of target-based phasing for phased array beam control, the proposed Phase II research consists of analysis and a laboratory experiment. The four key topics of the research are phasing at the target, correcting stair mode (also known as array tilt), imaging the target with high resolution, and correcting beam overlap errors on the target. The Phase II experiment is designed to address these four issues in the laboratory, validating the research performed in Phase I and Phase II. The phasing approach, combined with a technique for array tilt correction, can correct all beam piston errors at the target. Moreover, the phase calculations also estimate the speckle field due to reflection of the high energy lasers off the target, allowing for high-resolution speckle imaging of the target in the area of the aim point. The research will also determine if the phasing measurements contain information about beam overlap errors on the target that can be used to correct such errors. This effort is performed in conjunction with AFIT, and will enhance their work in the area and provide partial support to at least one Ph.D. candidate. BENEFIT: The anticipated benefit from this research is the experimental validation of beam control techniques for phased array transceivers. The technology developed in this research will allow phased arrays to achieve their primary design goal of phasing an array of laser beams at a target. As such, the technology is critical in the development of phased arrays. The primary commercial application of this technology will be in high energy laser (HEL) phased array weapons, in which it will be a central component. The technology also produces image data that are useful in HEL beam control as well as active imaging applications. A secondary commercial application exists in active imaging.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Interagency Agreement | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 1.30M | Year: 2012

None


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.77K | Year: 2015

ABSTRACT: The next-generation Global Positioning System (GPS) in congested and contested environments is expected to exploit Spectrum Holes (SH) in order to provide uninterrupted Position Navigation and Timing (PNT) service worldwide. Innoflight has teamed with the Air Force Institute of Technologys (AFITs) Autonomy and Navigation Technology (ANT) Center to develop a system based on cognitive radio (CR) that uses spectrum monitoring stations to instrument L- through C-Bands for temporal and spatial SH. Once the desired frequencies of operation are identified, they are passed to the operational tasking function in order to provide the appropriate plan for the GPS space and user equipment segments. Future generations of spectrum monitoring receivers incorporated into Military GPS User Equipment (MGUE) will be able to form a spectrum monitoring ad hoc network in deployed operations.; BENEFIT: Military applications include advanced GPS systems and operations, communication systems and electronic warfare systems. Civilian applications include PNT systems and communication systems.

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