Air Force Chief Scientist Werner Dahm on Wednesday rolled out the much-anticipated Technology Horizons report that lays out the service’s science and technology priorities for the next decade and beyond. It comes after the service conducted a year-long, comprehensive review. Far from a list of “pie-in-the-sky” technologies, Dahm told reporters during a Pentagon roundtable, the report identifies efforts that will be “disproportionately valuable” to the Air Force, and could create a force that looks significantly different by 2030 than the one operating today. “This is not science fiction,” he said. Indeed, concepts in the report had to be “credibly visionary,” and many are based on efforts that have already had a significant amount of basic research done, he said. “Generation-after-next” technology efforts discussed in the report include the expansion of adaptable autonomous systems in remotely piloted vehicles, closer human-machine coupling, and building “cyber-resilient” networks capable of morphing and anticipating threats, said Dahm. Public release of the 150-page report is scheduled for next week.
Unlike nearly every other innovative technology throughout history, Maj. Gen. DeAnna M. Burt believes the space enterprise emerged backward. “Every other domain started with an entrepreneur who built something,” Burt, the special assistant to the Chief of Space Operations, told an audience at AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference.