Naval Air Warfare Center - Aircraft Division - Patuxent River, MD

Laboratory Coordinator:
Theresa C. Shafer, PhD
Director of Engineering Education and Research Partnerships
Strategic Education Office
Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division 
22347 Cedar Point Road
Building 2185 Room 2250
Patuxent River, MD


Naval Air Warfare Center - Aircraft Division

All participants must be US Citizens.

The Naval Air Warfare Center, Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) is the Warfare Center responsible for the full spectrum of research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E), engineering, and fleet support for air platforms. Product test areas include aircraft systems (manned and unmanned), airborne sensors, radar, propulsion and power, flight test and engineering, avionics design and production, human systems, aircraft-platform interface, and advanced launch and recovery equipment. 

The most important assets are the more than 8,600 scientists and engineers (S&E's), and technicians, and 15,000 acres of research, test and evaluation facilities, and 7,400 square miles of test ranges supporting the RDT&E capabilities. Our unique capabilities and state-of-the-art facilities are unmatched worldwide. NAWCAD is located in Patuxent River, Maryland, 65 miles south, southeast of Washington, DC. 

Technical expertise and collaboration/cooperation is needed in disciplines such as Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Electronics, Aerodynamics, Material Science & Engineering (software, hardware, processing, etc.). Various state-of-the-art technologies of NAWCAD are: 

Acoustic Science and Technology: 

Ocean acoustics, physical oceanography, active and passive sonar technology, sonar processing technology, acoustic and non-acoustic sensors, microwave radar, laser radar, and transduction material technology. 

Advanced Aircraft Materials:

Materials science and engineering include, but are not limited to, hybrid materials, light weight high strength alloys, processing science, fatigue and fracture, structure design optimization, polymer, metal and ceramic matrix-composites, inter metallics, refractory metal alloys and coatings, corrosion inhibitors, environmental/surface interactions in adhesives, sealants, elastomers, electronic materials, lubricants, non-destructive testing (for structural integrity and stealthiness), polymer chemistry, composite repair technologies, and smart skins and smart structures. 

Advanced Processors/Computer Systems Technology:

Reduced instruction set computer (RISC)and parallel computer architecture, data fusion, information storage (optical disks, semiconductor and ferroelectric memories, magnetic media, advanced recorders) Artificial Intelligence, Neural Network Systems, real-time telemetry processing, symbolic computer algebra/mathematics, tools for logistic planning, flight operations aircraft servicing and reporting systems, and object oriented systems. 

Aircraft Controls and Displays: 

Helmet mounted displays (HMDs), night vision devices (NVDs), digital sensors and displays, flat panel displays including light emitting diodes (LEDs), liquid crystal displays (LCDs), organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs), electroluminescent, plasma, field emission, and vacuum fluorescent, projection displays, etc. 

Aircraft Design and Performance:

Design, development and evaluation, vertical/short take-off and landing (V/STOL), remotely piloted vehicles (RPVs), computational fluid dynamics, flight vehicle systems, digital fly-by-wire, flying qualities criteria, etc. 

Avionic Systems: 

Systems engineering, technology management and application in avionics, advanced displays, concepts for avionics (developing requirements, conducting analyses), define and evaluate avionics architecture for new and upgraded aircraft (simulation and hot bench capabilities), etc. 

Environmental Sensing: 

Development and/or application of environmental and atmospheric sensors (wind, velocity, and direction) in support of aircraft operations. 

IR detection and imaging systems:

IR detection and imaging systems, signal and image processing, automatic target recognition, reconnaissance sensors, light detection and ranging(LIDAR) systems, hydrographic and atmospheric measurements, lasers and countermeasure systems.

Flight Control Design and Aerospace Test and Evaluation Engineering: 

Fluidic flight control, air frame dynamics and simulation, flight control system design and instrumentation, flying qualities analysis and simulation, fluidic control system design and test, conceptual design and evaluation of V/STOL, unmanned air vehicle (UAV), hypersonic, and tilt rotor, flight vehicle systems, flight testing techniques (instrumentation, simulation and support), aerodynamic and structural analysis, etc. 

Fiber Optics communication and network technology: 

High speed fiber optic components and networks, high speed links, optical switching and modulation techniques, and nonlinear optical materials and devices. 

High Strength Cables, Harnesses, and Arresting Gear:

Design and manufacture of cables and harnesses for aircraft flight operations and emergency landing operations at sea.

Life Support and Human Factors: 

In-flight crash protection and escape systems (crashworthiness), oxygen systems, survival and rescue equipment, emergency locator/beacon voice radios, advanced helmet mounted displays (HMDs), man-machine interface in cockpit/flight environment, acceleration/basic stress physiology, biochemistry, G protection techniques and devices, dynamic flight simulation, air crew visual performance, and human factor engineering. 

Design for Maintainer

Human systems integration (HSI) related limitations and constraints which challenge maintainers or impact their performance while executing maintenance tasks on naval aircraft. This includes the mitigation of in-service human performance degraders as well as addressing the design of systems early in the acquisition process. Technical solutions include new maintenance processes, training solutions, state of the art tools, work aids and protective clothing. 

Manufacturing Technology:

Leading edge in product design, manufacture, quality assurance through combined computer aided design (CAD), computer aided manufacturing (CAM), computer integrated manufacturing (CIM) functions, reverse engineering, electronics assembly, cable and harness fabrication, printed circuit board fabrication, hybrid microelectronics, and stereo lithography; and computer aided acquisition and logistics support. 

Microwave Technology: 

Solid state conformal radar, sea clutter, non-cooperative target recognition, MMIC, CAD/CIM/CAM and adaptive antennas and processing. 

Systems, Software, and Computer Technologies:

Neural networks, fuzzy logic, case based reasoning, genetic algorithms, visual reality, robotics, design error systems, intelligent control, parallel processing, software technologies for signal processing, operating system software for real-time Mission Critical Computer Resources (MCCR), AI and expert systems, high-level specification languages for automatic code generation, software engineering environments, interface standards and software frameworks for integrating Computer-Assisted Software Engineering (CASE) tolls, avionics architecture design and analysis, fault tolerant avionics design, etc. 

Weapons System Analysis, Design, Integration:

Operations analysis as applied to weapon system modeling, effectiveness and survivability, system design, optimization, filtering, design studies to meet reliability and maintainability and cost targets. 

Propulsion and Power: 

Full life cycle systems engineering and integration of all elements of air-breathing aircraft propulsion and power systems including: turbo-fan, turbo-jet, turbo-prop, and turbo shaft engines; reciprocating engines; propellers, secondary power and mechanical systems; helicopter drive system; fuel and fuel systems, lubricants, and chemical analysis; electrical power, wiring, EMI, and battery systems; controls, control system integration, prognostics and diagnostics; life management, reliability, and structural integrity; engine component design, analysis, and test; blade and vane repair and analysis; fleet health metrics; environmental stressors (e.g., dust, sand, etc.); altitude, accessory, noise and environmental tests; rotor spin test; electrical, fuels, battery, and dynamics laboratories, both development and testing; requirements definition, performance monitoring, and in-service engineering.