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Air Force Research Laboratory reaches first-ever tech pact with Coast Guard

U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Greg Rothrock, Coast Guard Research and Development Center commanding officer, and Air Force Maj. General William Cooley, Air Force Research Laboratory commander, shake hands April 12, 2018, on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, after they signed a memorandum of understand between their two organizations.

R.J. ORIEZ/U.S. AIR FORCE

By BARRIE BARBER | Dayton Daily News, Ohio | Published: May 3, 2018

DAYTON, Ohio (Tribune News Service) — The Air Force Research Laboratory has reached a first-ever agreement with the Coast Guard to work on a wide range of technologies, from future development of drones to artificial intelligence, officials said.

The nine-year memorandum of understanding was signed at Wright-Patterson between the leaders of AFRL and the Coast Guard Research and Development Center in New London, Conn.

The agreement opens the door to research and development between the two services in mutual areas of interest both would gain, officials said.

“The idea is we can bring our subject matter experts and their subject matter experts and discuss where it makes sense to work together or leverage technologies already there,” said Augustine Vu, AFRL’s chief of domestic partnering.

Determining additional areas of research interest are in “initial discussions,” he said.

“Ideally, out of this relationship we may be able to leverage technologies that we’re already developing in new ways,” he added.

AFRL directorates have similar agreements with the Navy and the Army, Vu said.

Joseph DiRenzo, director of research partnerships at the Coast Guard’s research center in New London, said AFRL was on the “cutting edge” of research and development.

“They have some projects they are working on that are a near perfect fit for our portfolio,” he said in a telephone interview.

Protecting pilots from laser strikes, additive manufacturing, aerial sensors, cube satellites, and modeling and simulation are among the technologies the Coast Guard wants to explore with the Air Force, he said.

The maritime service plans to send researchers on regular visits to AFRL, he said.

AFRL is headquartered at Wright-Patterson and home to four of nine of directorates: Aerospace Systems, Materials & Manufacturing, Sensors and the 711th Human Performance Wing.

©2018 the Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio)
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