Thank you to The Air Force Collaboratory for sponsoring this article. Learn how your idea could change everything.

“Powered by Airmen! Fueled by Innovation!” This is the audible formula on repeat in the minds of U.S. Air Force Airmen. It’s a potent stew, one of which you don’t want to be on the receiving end–some of the most intense training techniques used to operate some of the most advanced technologies the world has ever seen. Yet now, in an unprecedented act of “information sharing” this particular branch of our formidable military might, has recently opened their proverbial hangar to welcome in a fleet of civilian ideas.

The Air Force Collaboratory Project 001: Search and Rescue 2.0
Develop new technologies through rapid prototyping to save lives trapped in collapsed structures.

Introducing The Air Force Collaboratory

The Air Force Collaboratory is where you get to work directly with the best and brightest the Air Force has to offer. The Air Force has opened three unclassified projects to the public. These are real world challenges for which the Air Force needs your help to resolve. They include Search and Rescue 2.0, Mind of a Quadrotor, and Launch of GPS IIF, which is to be the next orbital GPS satellite. What ideas and tweaks can you make to help rescue teams locate, navigate, monitor and retrieve rescue intel? This collaboration is about saving lives, responding quicker to disasters and even determining “when and where” before they even happen with strategically positioned GPS orbital satellites.

The Air Force Collaboratory Project 002: Mind of a Quadrotor
Build a system that allows a quadrotor to navigate its surroundings with minimal human interaction. (Launches soon!)

Share Your Ideas, Get Inspired By Others Ideas

At the The Air Force Collaboratory site, the goals are clear. This is not a contest. This is not a promotional event to test the mental mettle of potential enlistees. It is however, a technology leader extending a rare invitation to collaborate on an even playing field with creative and savvy civilians in an effort to forge and improve our nation’s ability to save lives and respond to disasters in earnest. When you share your ideas, you, in a way, get to serve your country on your own terms and take advantage of the wealth of expertise, technology and capital the Air Force can wield to help people.

The Air Force Collaboratory Project 003: The Launch of GPS IIF
Target the precise coordinates within the GPS Constellation to launch our newest GPS satellite. (Launches soon!)

What I find most interesting is the magnitude of their program, the projects they’re releasing for collaboration and all the “good” the technology solutions can provide. (I hope this is not lost on military naysayers.)

There is no cost for admittance. This is for anyone (students, technology fans, people who “geek” out on science, engineers-virtually anyone!) with a good idea or knowledge base that helps point to a solution in one of the listed directions. One of the most compelling aspects of this program is the scope. The three projects are laser-focused, yet the ideas to enhance each of them are without a ceiling. The price of admission is your imagination, creativity and resolve. Check out The Air Force Collaboratory today to see how your idea might change the world.

Thank you The Air Force Collaboratory and Technorati for being sponsors of this article. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Christen Costa

Grew up back East, got sick of the cold and headed West. Since I was small I have been pushing buttons - both electronic and human. With an insatiable need for tech I thought "why not start a blog focusing on technology, and use my dislikes and likes to post on gadgets."