Staff Sgt. Melissa Koskovich, Air Force Link, 26 July 2005

Developing smarter technology for warfighters on the front lines is the focus of the Air Warfare Battlelab. The 25-person think tank tackles problems by combining off-the-shelf technology with innovative ideas, in hopes of finding a lighter, leaner and more lethal way of accomplishing the mission.

The battlelab here is one of seven, Air Force wide. Since their creation in 1997, they have pushed to move ideas into the field quicker than traditional research and development programs allow.

Battlelab technicians from different Air Force specialties tackle problems, both large and small, with the goal of developing ideas or solutions within 18 months. Their diverse career backgrounds afford a creative environment giving them the ability to envision projects such as the stabilized portable optical target receiver.

“(The receiver), developed in an attempt to ensure weapons were truly hitting their mark, combines existing technology into a pair of binocular-like goggles. They allow ground forces to see laser signatures and ensure the correct targets are being painted by aircrews,” Colonel Parrott said. “After calling in air support to a target location, troops on scene can look through (the target receiver) and ensure the correct target is being engaged.”

Inventions like this are invaluable in preventing friendly fire incidents and ensuring the highest degree of accuracy in military strike operations, he said.  (more)