The Tennessee State University (TSU) has secured a multimillion dollar grant to study the discovery, development and integration of warfighting technologies to support the US Department of Defense’s (DoD) air, space and cyberspace forces.
Awarded by the US Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) Materials and Sensors Directorates, the $2m grant requires TSE’s College of Engineering to study power sources for air and space vehicles, and also the way communications and networks can be intelligently modified to provide friendly forces unfettered and reliable communications during joint forces operations.
The grant is scheduled to finance five separate research projects, including one material project, three sensor, and one cybersecurity project, across a five-year period.
College of Engineering dean Dr S Keith Hargrove said the college has conducted research in advanced sensors for military surveillance, aircraft avionics, and product reliability over the last ten years.
”We are targeting our research activities to relevant key strategic initiatives advocated by the National Academy of Engineering, and we want to collaborate with local industry to advance these technologies that will benefit the consumer and military within the next decade,” Hargrove said.
The materials project will study the lithium ion batteries used to power a wide range of aerospace platforms, including the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter (JSF) aircraft, satellites and remotely piloted vehicles (RPA).
Specifically, the researchers will develop analytical models for behaviour, performance, reliability and cost of the batteries.
In the sensors project, the scientists will conduct research on communication in congested electromagnetic environments, layered sensing exploitation and fusion in contested environments, cross layers decision-making and fusion models for automated sensor exploitation in layered sensing.
The cybersecurity project will study the adoption of a cloud-computing model for soldiers equipped with smartphones, and its effects on cybersecurity.
The College of Engineering is currently conducting research on automated surveillance systems, as part of a $334,000 grant awarded by the US Army Research Office, this year.
Image: USAF personnel update anti-virus software to assist units in the prevention of cyberspace hackers at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, US. Photo: courtesy of USAF Tech Sgt Cecilio Ricardo.