AFWERX Prime and the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Architecture and Integration Weather office have signed a memorandum of agreement allowing them to collaborate on efforts to reduce the impact of low-altitude weather on Advanced Air Mobility platforms.
“The three-year agreement outlines roles and responsibilities for AFWERX Prime and AFLCMC in providing the services and funding needed to support efforts to mitigate the effects of low-altitude weather on AAM while also preserving a combat-credible force increasingly impacted by the dynamic weather found at altitudes up to 12,000 feet mean sea level,” according to a joint press release.
“This agreement marks a crucial step forward in the rapid fielding of AAM technology,” said Darshan Divakaran, AFWERX head of Airspace Innovation and Prime Partnerships. “AIPP and AFLCMC Architecture and Integration Weather will bring their respective expertise and resources to bear on addressing the challenges AAM platforms face as they navigate low altitude weather environments. This collaboration will drive the improvements in AAM operational capability and resiliency necessary for the Department of the Air Force to meet its national security obligations and maintain air and space dominance.”
Ensuring the safe integration and routine operation of AAM will require available, accurate low-terrestrial weather information that can be used for flight planning and scheduling as well as real-time operations, Divakaran said.
“We need to understand the sensor requirements as well as the specifications to inform policies. This means providing validated data for actionable intelligence. We are setting up the airspace proving grounds at Eglin Air Force Base and other key sites across the nation for both military and civil efforts. A key focus of the proving grounds is to work with AFLCMC Architecture and Integration Weather to understand AAM weather requirements and help validate weather standards for Department of Defense AAM integration efforts. By the end of 2023, we will have actual electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft and other AAM vehicles testing at bases. This also will include surrogate aircraft such as uncrewed aircraft systems,” Divakaran added.
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