An Air Force Office of Scientific Research-funded “GameChanger” project is exploring new types of antennas for micro air vehicles. Due to the diminutive size of MAVs, traditional antenna approaches are not possible. “We are therefore seeking revolutionary new materials that will enable efficient antennas for these vehicles,” said Richard James, a professor from the University of Minnesota, who is leading the effort. James is applying his discovery of a systematic approach to nanotechnology to the challenge. It is based on the concept of objective structures: atoms with identical molecules existing in the same atomic environment. Using these structures, James is designing new materials that look like carbon nanotubes. (AFOSR report by Maria Callier)
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.