AFRL launches MUSTER program

On January 26, the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) launched the Multi-Spectral Sensing Technologies Research and Development (MUSTER) program. Responses are due by 3:00 p.m. Eastern on April 26, according to SAM.

AFRL’s Multispectral Sensing and Detection Division (RYM) in the Sensors Directorate conducts basic and applied research, advanced technology development, as well as test and evaluation to meet U.S. Air Force (USAF) aerospace electro-optical (EO) and radio frequency (RF) sensor needs for air, space and C2 sensor systems. AFRL/RYM conducts programs in modeling, simulation, research, design, test and evaluation of RF and EO subsystems and sensors for use in offensive, defensive and integrated offensive/defensive systems.  AFRL/RYM ensures unequaled persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; time sensitive targeting; and battlespace access capabilities for America’s air and space forces by developing, demonstrating and transitioning advanced RF and EO sensors.  AFRL/RYM plans solicit innovative research proposals in the following fifteen research areas.

  1. Antenna Technologies and Electromagnetic (EM) Scattering: objective of this research is to advance the field of detection, tracking, and fusion of data of difficult targets in rapidly varying environments and contested electromagnetic spectrum utilizing broad and agile electromagnetic spectrum, advanced antenna and scattering theory as well as situational awareness methodologies and develop architectures and algorithms for ISR, navigation, communications.
  2. RF Sensor Systems Technology: objective of this research investigates evolutionary and revolutionary improvements to RF sensing systems for situational awareness and targeting applications.
  3. Waveform Phenomenology, Design and Applications: Waveform agility is the foundation of this research which takes advantage of all possible degrees of freedom, and explores noise-like waveforms, interference-tolerant waveforms, and low probability of intercept, low probability of detection, and low-probability of exploitation (LPI/LPD/LPE) waveforms.
  4. Ultra-Sensitive Receivers for Signals Intelligence: topic addresses comprehending the physics-based relationship between a receiver noise floor and sensitivity The long-term research goal is to enable a RF receiver capable of sequential search and analysis modes under dense/complex signal conditions to enable revolutionary sensor payloads
  5. Electro-optic and Infrared Sensor Technology (EO/IR): objective of this research is to promote novel sensors, sensor technologies and algorithms for target sensing in general, and detection, recognition and tracking in particular
  6. Novel EO/IR Hardware and Algorithms: topic addresses the development of innovative hardware and algorithms to detect low-signal targets in noisy and heavily cluttered environments using EO, IR, hyperspectral and multispectral sensors
  7. Hyperspectral Imaging Technology: objective of this research is to develop day/night hyperspectral technologies for enhanced material detection and identification with specific emphasis on challenges related to contested environments.
  8. Standoff High Resolution Imaging: objective of this research is to advance the field of long range multi-band imaging for significantly extending range and improving performance of passive EO/IR ISR/strike systems in highly contested environments.
  9. Infrared Search and Track Technology (IRST): objective is to develop an IRST conceptual design that supports the generation of fire control solutions at range along clear atmospheric paths and in cluttered air-to-air and air-to-ground environments with a low false alarm rate while staring over the entire system field of regard.
  10. Passive EO/IR Space-based Sensing: objective of this research is to develop novel passive EO/IR sensing technologies to reduce cost and SWaP and/or enhance capability of space-based ISR payloads.
  11. Laser Radar Imaging, Systems, Components, and Applications: objective of this research is to develop innovative laser radar based approaches for ISR, precision attack and air-to-air engagements.
  12. Sensor Information Processing and Integration: topic addresses new approaches to the integration and understanding of massive amounts of data coming from diverse sensor platforms with the goal of developing actionable intelligence and achieving autonomous or semi-autonomous situation awareness.
  13. Fully Adaptive Radar: concept of fully adaptive radar (FAR) seeks to exploit all available degrees-of-freedom on transmit and receive in order to maximize target detection, tracking and classification performance.
  14. Radar Communications co-existence for enabling 5G technologies and beyond: Research in this area will be devoted to exploiting promising techniques that facilitate co-existence of radar and communications in a given spectral band using a host of diversity mechanisms.
  15. Advanced Digital Multifunction Arrays: This research topic intends to develop sensors capable of performing digital beamforming while exploiting power, polarization, spatial, spectral, and temporal diversity to perform multiple, simultaneous tasks controlled through an intelligent sensor resource manager (ISRM). Intelligent resource management includes, but is not limited to, Passive Radar Illumination Selection Manager (PRISM), multi-mode resource allocation and scheduling coalescence.

Full information is available here.

Source: SAM