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New USRA Program to Connect Space Force, Air Force With University Researchers

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The Universities Space Research Association has partnered with the U.S. Space Force and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory to support eight scientific and technical studies by academic researchers.

USRA said Monday the University Consortium Research Opportunity program allows the Space Force and AFRL to connect with the academe and inspire potential members of the future military workforce.

Selected research will tackle aerodynamic optimization for rocket cargo delivery, effects of vibration on the crystallization of fluoride-based optical fiber glass, in-space training for proximity and rendezvous operations, on-orbit and in-situ spacecraft inspection, quantum sensing nanoparticles, detection and tracking for in-orbit demonstration, and machine learning analysis of spectra-temporal signatures. 

Amanda Smith Hackler, director of education at USRA, explained that UCRO will support the missions of the two military organizations and promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers in academia.

UCRO represents an incredibly unique opportunity for USRA to support the research efforts of an array of institutions, that will effectively advance the scientific and technical prowess of both USSF and AFRL,” noted Bernard Seery, the association’s senior vice president for technology research and development.

The participating researchers and their studies are:

  • University of Florida’s Michael Kinzel.
  • Texas State University’s Anthony Torres
  • University of Michigan’s Anouck Girard
  • University of Akron’s Siamak Farhad
  • University of New Mexico’s Marek Osinski
  • University of Texas at Austin’s Brandon Jones
  • University of Texas at El Paso’s Miguel Velez-Reyes