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5. Theoretical Chemistry

The major objective of the theoretical chemistry program is to develop new methods that can be utilized as predictive tools for designing new materials and improving processes important to the Air Force. These new methods can be applied to areas of interest to the Air Force including the structure and stability of molecular systems that can be used as advanced propellants; molecular reaction dynamics; and the structure and properties nanostructures and interfaces. We seek new theoretical and computational tools to identify novel energetic molecules, investigate the interactions that control or limit the stability of these systems, and help identify the most promising synthetic reaction pathways and predict the effects of condensed media on synthesis.


Particular interests in reaction dynamics include developing methods to seamlessly link electronic structure calculations with reaction dynamics, understanding the mechanism of catalytic processes and proton-coupled electron transfer related to storage and utilization of energy, and using theory to describe and predict the details of ion-molecule reactions and electron-ion dissociative recombination processes relevant to ionospheric and space effects on Air Force systems. Interest in nanostructures and materials includes work on catalysis and surface-enhanced processes mediated by plasmon resonances.

This program also encourages the development of new methods to stimulate and predict properties with chemical accuracy for systems having a very large number of atoms that span multiple time and length scales.


Dr. Michael R. Berman AFOSR/RSA (703) 696-7781

DSN 426-7781 FAX (703) 696-7320

E-mail: michael.berman@afosr.af.mil



6. Molecular Dynamics

The objectives of the molecular dynamics program are to understand, predict, and control the reactivity and flow of energy in molecules. This program seeks experimental and joint theory-experiment studies that address key, fundamental questions in these areas that can lead to important advances in these fields. A major area of interest includes understanding processes related to the efficient storage and utilization of energy. For example, we seek to understand the fundamental reaction mechanisms of catalysis in these systems.


Thus, we have interest in studying the structure, dynamics, and reactivity of molecular clusters and nanoscale systems in which the number of atoms or specific arrangement of atoms in a cluster has dramatic effects on its reactivity or properties.


The ability to promote and probe these reactions and processes using surface-enhanced methods mediated by plasmon resonances is of interest, as are other novel sensitive diagnostic methods for detecting individual molecules and probing nanostructures and processes on nanostructures. Utilizing catalysts to produce storable fuels from sustainable inputs and to improve propulsion processes are

topics of interest.

Fundamental studies aimed at developing basic understanding and predictive capabilities for chemical reactivity, bonding, and energy transfer processes are also encouraged.

Work in this program also addresses areas in which control of chemical reactivity and energy flow at a detailed molecular level is of importance. These areas include hyperthermal and ion-chemistry in the upper atmosphere and space environment, the identification of novel energetic materials for propulsion systems, and the discovery of new high-energy laser systems. The coupling of chemistry and fluid dynamics in high speed reactive flows, and in particular, dynamics at gas-surface interfaces, is also of interest.

Dr. Michael R. Berman AFOSR/RSA (703) 696-7781

DSN 426-7781 FAX (703) 696-7320

E-mail: michael.berman@afosr.af.mil

7. High Temperature Aerospace Materials

The objective of basic research in High Temperature Aerospace Materials is to provide the fundamental knowledge required to enable revolutionary advances in future Air Force technologies through the discovery and characterization of high temperature materials (nominally temperatures above 1000ºC) including: ceramics, metals, hybrid systems including composites.


Specifically, the program seeks innovative and high risk proposals that advance the field of high temperature materials research through the discovery and characterization of new materials that exhibit superior structural and/or functional performance at temperatures above 1000ºC. Representative scientific topics include the development and experimental verification of theoretical and/or computational tools that aid in the discovery of new materials and in situ characterization methods for probing microstructural evolution at elevated temperatures. There is special interest in fundamental research of high temperature materials focused on understanding combined mechanical behaviors; e.g. strength and toughness as a function of thermal and acoustic loads. This focus area will require the development of new experimental and computational tools to address the complexity of thermal, acoustic, chemistry, shear or pressure loads as they relate back to the performance of the material.
Researchers are highly encouraged to submit short (max 2 pages) white papers by email prior to developing full proposals. White papers should briefly describe the proposed effort and describe how it will advance the current state-of-the-art; an approximate yearly cost for a three to five year effort should also be included. Researchers with white papers of significant interest will be invited to submit full proposals.

Dr. Joan Fuller, AFOSR/RSA (703) 696-7236

DSN 426-7236 FAX (703) 696-7320

E-Mail: joan.fuller@afosr.af.mil




8. Low Density Materials

The Low Density Materials portfolio supports transformative, basic research in materials design and processing to enable radical reductions in system weight with concurrent enhancements in performance and function. One route to achieving game-changing improvements in low density materials is through the creation of hierarchical architectures that combine materials of different classes, scales, and properties to provide optimized, synergistic and tailorable performance. Such materials can transform the design of future Air Force aerospace and cyber systems for applications which include airframes, satellites, adaptive vehicles, and stealth structures.

Proposals are sought that advance our understanding of hierarchical materials and our ability to design, model and fabricate multi-material, multi-scale, multi-functional material systems with a high degree of precision and efficiency. Material classes may be polymeric, ceramic, and metallic, possibly combining synthetic and biological species to engender multifuctionality or autonomic responses. Since the interfacial region is critical to the durability of any hybrid construct of dissimilar materials, a current focus of the program is aimed at understanding the mechanics of interfaces, with the goal of developing design tools and processes to guide the synthesis of fail-proof interfaces. The development of novel processing routes to engineer complexity and multifunctionality in materials is also a keen program interest.

The program welcomes proposals seeking to probe pervasive, fundamental challenges such as: how to design interfaces that do not fail; how to create materials that demonstrate property/performance improvements in response to adverse impacts; how to creatively exploit voids and other defects in materials; how to controllably and reliably fabricate multi-scale, hierarchical materials with multiple constituents; how to develop physics-based, design tools to guide the synthesis and understanding of hierarchical low density materials.


Researchers are highly encouraged to submit short (max 2 pages) white papers by email prior to developing full proposals. White papers should briefly describe the proposed effort and describe how it will advance the current state-of-the-art; an approximate yearly cost for a three to five year effort should also be included. Researchers with white papers of significant interest will be invited to submit full proposals.
Dr. Joycelyn Harrison, AFOSR/RSA (703) 696-6225

DSN 426-6225 FAX (703) 696-7320

E-Mail: joycelyn.harrison@afosr.af.mil

9. Hypersonics and Turbulence

The objective of the hypersonics and turbulence portfolio is to develop the fundamental fluid physics knowledge base required for revolutionary advancements in Air Force capabilities including, but not limited to, Long-Range Strike, Prompt Global Strike and Responsive Space Access. Research supported by this portfolio seeks to characterize, model and exploit/control critical fluid dynamic phenomena through a balanced mixture of experimental, numerical and theoretical approaches.


Innovative research is sought in all aspects of turbulent and hypersonic flows with particular interest in the following areas:


• Characterization and modeling of the impact of realistic surface conditions on transitional and turbulent flows in all speed regimes.
• Shock/Boundary Layer and Shock-Shock Interactions
• Laminar-turbulent stability, transition and turbulence in high-Mach number boundary layers, especially approaches leading to greater insight into surface heat transfer.

• Characterization and modeling of the coupled dynamics, thermodynamics and chemistry of nonequilibrium high temperature, hypersonics flows. Including fundamental processes in high-temperature gas-surface interactions.

The behavior of the boundary layer impacts the aerodynamic performance of systems across all speed regimes of interest to the Air Force. The development of accurate methods for predicting the behavior of transitional and turbulent boundary layers across a wide range of flow conditions will facilitate the design of future systems with optimized performance and fuel-economy. To help accomplish this goal, research is solicited that will provide critical insight into the fundamental physical processes of laminar-turbulent transition and turbulent flows. Improved turbulence modeling approaches are sought for the prediction of flow and heat transfer in highly strained turbulent flows. In this context, original ideas for modeling turbulent transport, especially ideas for incorporating the physics of turbulence into predictive models are sought.

Hypersonic aerodynamics research is critical to the Air Force’s interest in long-range and space operations. The size and weight of a hypersonic vehicle, and thus its flight trajectory and required propulsion system, are largely determined by aerothermodynamic considerations. Research areas of interest emphasize the characterization, prediction and control of high-speed fluid dynamic phenomena including boundary layer transition, shock/boundary layer, and shock/shock interactions, and other phenomena associated with airframe-propulsion integration. High-temperature gas kinetics, aerothermodynamics and interactions between the hypersonic flow and thermal protection system materials are of particular interest.

Researchers are highly encouraged to submit short (max 6 pages) white papers prior to developing full proposals. White papers are a valuable initial exercise prior to proposal development and submission. White papers should briefly describe the proposed effort and illustrate how it will advance the current state-of-the-art; an approximate yearly cost for a three year effort should also be included. Researchers with white papers of significant interest will be invited to submit full proposals.

Dr. John Schmisseur AFOSR/RSA (703) 696-6962

DSN 426-6962 FAX (703) 696-7320

E-mail: john.schmisseur@afosr.af.mil



10. Flow Interactions and Control

The Flow Interactions and Control portfolio is interested in basic research problems associated with the motion and control of laminar, transitional and turbulent flows, including the interactions of these flows with rigid and flexible surfaces. The portfolio is interested in aerodynamic interactions arising in both internal and external flows and extending over a wide range of Reynolds numbers, length scales, and speeds. Research in this portfolio is motivated by, but not limited to, applications including unique fluid-structure interactions, vortex and shear layer flows, and micro-air vehicle flows.


The portfolio seeks to advance fundamental understanding of complex time-dependent flow interactions by integrating theoretical/analytical, numerical, and experimental approaches. The focus on the understanding of the fundamental flow physics is motivated by an interest in developing physically-based predictive models and innovative control concepts for these flows.

Research in the portfolio emphasizes the characterization, modeling/prediction, and control of flow instabilities, turbulent fluid motions, and fluid-structure interactions for both bounded and free-shear flows with application to aero-optics, surfaces in actuated motion, flexible and compliant aerodynamic surfaces, vortical flows, and flows with novel geometric configurations. The portfolio is also interested in novel sensing and actuation approaches that enable flow control with application to fluidic thrust vectoring, internal duct flow tailoring, enhanced mixing, gust alleviation, rapid maneuvering, enhanced lift and reduced drag, and novel approaches for extracting flow energy. The portfolio maintains an interest in novel studies examining the synergistic benefits of the dynamic interaction between unsteady aerodynamics, nonlinear structural deformations, and aerodynamic control effectors over a wide range of flight regimes from micro-air vehicles through to hypersonic systems.

Studies integrating modeling, control theory, and advanced sensor and/or actuator technology for application to a flow of interest are encouraged. Flow control

studies are expected to involve a feedback approach. Although the portfolio has a strong emphasis in flow control, studies examining underlying flow physics with a clear and explicit path to enabling control of the flow will also be considered.

Researchers are strongly encouraged to submit short (max 6 pages) white papers to the program manager prior to developing full proposals. White papers are viewed as a valuable first step in the proposal development and submission process. White papers should briefly describe the proposed effort, illustrate how it will advance the current state-of-the-art, and address the relevance to Air Force interests. Note, however, that basic research of the variety typically funded by the portfolio may not yet have a clear transition map to an application. The integration of theoretical, numerical, and experimental tools to improve understanding is encouraged. An approximate yearly cost for a three year effort should also be included. Researchers with white papers of significant interest will be invited to submit full proposals.
Dr. Douglas Smith AFOSR/RSA (703) 696-6219

DSN 426-6219 FAX (703) 696-7320

E-mail: douglas.smith@afosr.af.mil

11. Space Power and Propulsion

Research activities fall into three areas: non-chemical launch and in-space propulsion, chemical propulsion, and plume signatures/contamination resulting from both chemical and non-chemical propulsion. Research in the first area is directed primarily at advanced space propulsion, and is stimulated by the need to transfer payloads between orbits, station-keeping, and pointing, including macro- and nano-satellite propulsion. It includes studies of the sources of physical (non-chemical) energy and the mechanisms of release. Emphasis is on understanding electrically conductive flowing propellants (plasmas or charged particles) that serve to convert beamed or electrical energy into kinetic form.


Theoretical and experimental investigations focus on the phenomenon of energy coupling and the transfer of plasma flows in electrode and electrodeless systems under dynamic environments. Studies to enable revolutionary designs of satellite systems that can achieve the simultaneous objectives of increasing payload and/or time in orbit and increasing mission flexibility and scope are of interest.


Research sought on methods to predict and suppress combustion instabilities under supercritical conditions, and develop research models that can be incorporated into the design codes. Research activities include fundamental component and system level research that leads to the introduction of novel multi-use technologies and concepts, and their efficient integration at various length scales, in order to achieve multifunctional satellite architectures.

Areas of research interest may include, but are not limited to:

(1) design and testing of compact, highly efficient and robust chemical or electric propulsion systems with minimal power conditioning requirements;


(2) demonstration of innovative uses of power and/or propulsion systems for sensing, communication, or other applications;

(3) development of highly efficient power generation/recovery systems (e.g. MEMS turbines, nano-structured thermoelectric units) deeply integrated with thermal management or spacecraft structure;


(4) innovative processes that transform structural material into high energy density propellant (e.g. phase change, or even biological process);


(5) novel energetic materials; and

(6) development of modeling and simulation capabilities at all relevant scales.

Dr. Mitat A. Birkan AFOSR/RSA (703) 696-7234

DSN 426-7234 FAX (703) 696-7320

E-mail: mitat.birkan@afosr.af.mil

12. Combustion and Diagnostics

Fundamental understanding of the physics and chemistry of multiphase, turbulent reacting flows is essential to improving the performance of chemical propulsion systems, including gas turbines, ramjets, scramjets, pulsed detonation engines, and liquid propellant chemical rockets. We are interested in innovative research proposals that use simplified configurations for experimental and theoretical investigations.


Our highest priorities are studies of turbulent combustion, supersonic combustion, atomization and spray behavior, liquid and gaseous fuel combustion chemistry in air, supercritical fuel behavior in precombustion and combustion environments, and novel diagnostic methods for experimental measurements.

In addition to achieving fundamental understanding, we also seek innovative approaches to produce reduced models of turbulent combustion. These models would improve upon current capability by producing prediction methods that are both quantitatively accurate and computationally tractable. They would address all aspects of multiphase turbulent reacting flow, including such challenging objectives as predicting the concentrations of trace pollutant and signature producing species as products of combustion. Approaches such as novel subgrid-scale models for application to large eddy simulations of subsonic and supersonic combustion are of interest.


Dr. Julian M. Tishkoff, AFOSR/RSA (703) 696-8478

DSN 426-8478 FAX (703) 696-7320

E-mail: julian.tishkoff@afosr.af.mil
13. Molecular Design and Synthesis
Synthesis plays a major role in the development of specific materials for the investigation of new material properties. The focus of this program is on synthetic chemistry methodology development and at this time is open to synthetic chemistry subfields including organic and inorganic, organometallic and catalysis, small molecule and polymer. While the primary emphasis of the program is on synthetic method development, research investigations that probe reaction mechanism or theory as they relate to synthetic chemistry (i.e., understanding of reaction course/outcome, reaction prediction) will also be considered.

This program seeks novel, high risk, high impact fundamental synthetic chemistry research that pushes scientific frontiers. The program will not support follow-up or extensional projects, or minor advancements in an already on-going area. The research should be relevant in the broadest sense to the AFOSR mission to foster new scientific discoveries that will ensure novel innovations for the future Air Force. Research is particularly encouraged that addresses long-standing or unanswered synthetic challenges and will have significant impact on the field if successful. In addition to innovative concepts involving synthetic methodology investigation, approaches to highly unusual or synthetically challenging theory-derived structures are of interest. Research plans are sought for areas of general synthetic interest including, but not limited to, the following research thrusts:


Novel Reaction Chemistry

-Design, investigation, and exploitation of new small molecule reactions that are amenable to polymer synthesis


-Synthetic methodology that provides regio- and/or stereo-chemical control in step-condensation polymerization
-Synthetic methodologies that broadly move to eliminate protective group chemistry
-Understand fundamentals of using non-exotic metals (e.g., Fe) in synthetic transformations

-Specific bond activation: Investigate catalysts (e.g., for C-H, C-C, heteroatom) and other processes (e.g., laser-induced selective bond activation or cleavage) that selectively activate specific bond types for reaction in synthetically useful ways



Solventless Synthesis

-Novel ways to promote and accomplish reactions without solvent

-Highly efficient, controlled reactivity, high rate processes
-Classical reaction chemistry under non-solvent conditions (e.g., neat, gas-phase) using new innovations in catalysis
Incompatible Reactants

-Synthetic approaches that allow incompatible reactants to generate products with tunable compositions (e.g., from low reactant reactivity, poor phase behavior)


-Eliminate reactivity ratio problems in polymerization


-Controlled heterophase reactions (e.g., gas-solid, liquid-solid)
Surface-Directed Synthesis

-Understand how surface features can be used to template synthesis. Investigate, understand, and exploit chemistry for selective activation of a specific surface face, site, ledge, step, or defect on a metal surface (e.g., crystal, particle, bulk) to promote a specific reaction


-Understand chiral substrate adsorption and use of these chiral surfaces in secondary reaction chemistry
-Significant improvements in polymer brush and surface-attached molecule chemistry that make polymerization, coupling and surface modification reactions truly catalytic (i.e., stoichiometric, no or low solvent, highly efficient)

High Energy Density Materials and Propellants
-New, highly innovative approaches
-Newly postulated mechanisms for high energy release

-Controllable (on demand) yield


-Investigate mechanisms for insensitive materials

Offerers should contact the program manager with potential ideas for consideration and for specific information on white paper timing and formatting requirements.


Dr. Kenneth Caster, AFOSR/RSA (703) 696-7361

DSN 426-7361 FAX (703) 696-7320

E-mail: kenneth.caster@afosr.af.mil

Physics and Electronics (RSE)

Research in physics and electronics generates the fundamental knowledge needed to advance Air Force operational capabilities. Research directions are categorized in three broad areas:




Complex Electronics and Fundamental Quantum Processes: This includes exploration and understanding of a wide range of complex engineered materials and devices, including non-linear optical materials, optoelectronics, metamaterials, cathodes, dielectric and magnetic materials, high energy lasers, semiconductor lasers, new classes of high temperature superconductors, quantum dots, quantum wells, and graphene. Research into new classes of devices based on quantum phenomena can include new generations of ultra compact or ultrasensitive electronics to improve conventional devices for sensing or information processing and such new concepts as quantum computing. This area also includes generating and controlling quantum states, such as superposition and entanglement, in photons and ultra cold atoms and molecules (e.g. Bose Einstein Condensates). In addition to research into underlying materials and fundamental physical processes, this area considers how they might be integrated into new classes of devices, seeking breakthroughs in quantum information processing, secure communication, multi-modal sensing, and memory, as well as high speed communication and fundamental understanding of materials that are not amenable to conventional computational means (e.g., using optical lattices to model high-temperature superconductors).
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