The Air Force is Looking for Innovative Tech Solutions

By Holly Jordan
AFRL Materials and Manufacturing Directorate


Through a recently-announced Advanced Research Announcement, AFRL’s Advanced Power Technology Office is reaching out to innovators for ideas to enhance energy security and readiness for Air Force installations and military operations. Pictured here, Air Force personnel participate in a recent APTO effort to devise an improved method for dropping humanitarian aid and supplies. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Victoria Porto)

The Air Force Research Laboratory Advanced Power Technology Office, known as APTO, is reaching out to innovative entrepreneurs to help build the future of energy resiliency.

Through an Advanced Research Announcement, published May 4, 2018, on the Federal Business Opportunities website, APTO is looking to tap into new and fresh ideas to enhance energy security and readiness for Air Force installations and military operations. According to APTO Project Engineer Capt. Harold Gotwald, innovative thinking, with an eye toward efficiency and environmental impact, is critical to meeting future energy goals for the Air Force.

“What we are looking for are new and emerging ideas for advanced power generation and energy efficient technologies that can be further developed and transitioned to meet military needs,” said Gotwald. “These products should maintain a focus on energy resiliency, efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and environmental sustainability with a demonstration and evaluation to further enhance the Technology Readiness Levels of those systems.”

An Advanced Research Announcement such as this differs from Broad Agency Announcements in that it provides for more advanced types of research and development. ARAs may involve special factors or requirements such as higher budget activities of R&D appropriations, non-R&D appropriations, prototyping, or system- or hardware-specific work.

This ARA, which remains open until May 2, 2023, calls for the development of “alternative energy and energy efficiency technologies to provide increased capabilities and benefits to Air Force installations, equipment, and aircraft.”

“The parameters of this announcement are broadly-defined because we want to explore a wide range of advanced solutions for a wide range of situations,” said Gotwald.

APTO’s mission is to guide the development and execution of numerous advanced technology demonstrations supporting a comprehensive framework for energy assurance projects that can be replicated across the Air Force.

The ARA, titled “Government Requirement for Advanced Power and Energy (GRAPE),” (FA8650-18-S-5008), may be found at the Federal Business Opportunities website.

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