Thank you to The Air Force Collaboratory for sponsoring this article. Learn how your idea could change everything.
Are you an idea man or woman? Then, the Air Force is looking for you. No, you’re not in trouble, and you don’t have to fly any planes. In fact, you don’t even have to get up – just get thinking.
The Air Force Collaboratory has launched – a way for you to work with the Air Force on projects that might save lives in the future. The Air Force Collaboratory is the Air Force’s crack at this collaboration they’ve been hearing about. Three unclassified (can’t get our hands on the secret stuff, I’m afraid) projects, each with their own sub-projects, have been made available for all to see and, more importantly, think about. Inside The Air Force Collaboratory, you’ll be able to watch videos introducing the projects and take a look at the Air Force’s guiding philosophies behind what they’re trying to accomplish with each one. Once you’ve laid the groundwork by taking in that information, the focus shifts to you.
Any ideas you might have about how to make these projects better is welcomed. You can rack your own brain, do some digging online, get your friends involved – anything that gets a unique take on the challenges onto the board. Along the way, you’ll build up a profile that will keep track of how many ideas you’ve offered up, along with an approval rating to keep you honest. Both Air Force Airmen and others on The Air Force Collaboratory can chime in on what you have to say. And really, that’s the crucial part – taking a rough idea and, through the efforts of many, chiseling it down to something useful.
So, what kind of projects are we talking about? The first, Search and Rescue 2.0, is already up and ready for you to look at. The challenge exists at all steps of a rescue operation – locate, stabilize, and transport. How can the Air Force improve response times to save lives? The project cites the Golden Hour – that if a survivor can be found and receive basic treatment in the first hour after a disaster, the odds of them surviving increase drastically.
The first part of Search and Rescue 2.0, Finding Life, seeks to discover the best ways to locate people in an emergency. That’s especially crucial in the wake of a massive earthquake, when people may be trapped under collapsed buildings, in difficult-to-reach places. Have an idea about how the Air Force can pinpoint where survivors are located before they reach the building? You’ve come to the right place.
Some projects are a little more hands-on. Another entry into Search and Rescue 2.0 challenges you to channel your inner MacGyver to create a useable can opener that doesn’t waste any of the contents inside the can. You can post pictures or video of your idea in action – both of which help you earn achievements on your profile.
The next two projects, Mind of a Quadrotor and The Launch of GPS IIF, will delve even further into the nitty gritty of mathematics, statistics, hard sciences, and engineering. It won’t be easy, but it will be rewarding. Mind of a Quadrotor will seek to improve the mobility of small, unmanned vehicles, getting them into harder to reach places and getting them to do more with less. In The Launch of GPS IIF, you’ll help with tough calculations to figure out exactly where the Air Force needs to place their new GPS satellite among the array they already have.
But, first things first. Head over to The Air Force Collaboratory and take a look at Search and Rescue 2.0. Look through the topics, and see what you have to offer.