AFWERX, the innovation arm of the Department of Air Force, has released a request for information for a new Prime program that seeks to accelerate the development and implementation of commercial autonomy technologies for military applications.
Autonomy Prime proposes a proving ground, which will include digital twins, testbed aircraft and modeling and simulation systems, to remove the barriers hindering the rapid testing of autonomy technologies in aircraft, spacecraft and ground vehicles.
“We recognize that many of the technical functions for autonomy apply across a large number of Air Force missions and commercial applications. Finding those overlaps and casting a wide net for solutions enables us to identify the most promising capabilities,” said Lt. Col. Tom Meagher, chief of the AFWERX Prime division.
The service branch said it is looking for sensors, communication technologies, software algorithms and other autonomy platforms ideal for testing and development.
Autonomy Prime builds on the framework of Agility Prime an existing program aimed at accelerating the development of the commercial electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft industry.
“We want to follow the philosophy in Agility Prime of forging new partnerships to accelerate development of dual use technologies and apply it to one of the primary focus areas of the department in the near future – autonomy,” Sterling Alley, technology transition lead of the Prime program.