Air Force Office of Scientific Research Supports Research in Physical, Chemical, Biological and Information Sciences

The Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) has released their Broad Agency Announcement which solicits proposals for basic research to enable scientific breakthroughs of interest to the U.S. Air Force. The AFOSR focuses on research areas that offer significant and comprehensive benefits to our national warfighting and peacekeeping capabilities. These areas are organized in two scientific branches: Engineering and Information Sciences (RTA) and Physical and Biological Sciences.

Physical Sciences 

The Physical Sciences Team leads the discovery and transition of foundational physical science to enable air, space, and cyber power. Research in physics generates the fundamental knowledge needed to advance U.S. Air Force operations, from the perspective of sensing, characterizing, and managing the operational environment as well as developing advanced devices that exploit novel physical principles to bring new capabilities to the warfighter. Research directions are categorized in the following four broad areas, with the focus on advancing our basic understanding of the physical world:

(1) Quantum matter and devices; (2) plasma and high-energy-density physics; (3) optics, photonics, and electromagnetics; and (4) aerospace materials.

Chemistry and Biological Sciences 

The Chemistry and Biological Sciences Team is responsible for research activities in chemistry and biological sciences. A wide range of fundamental chemistry, biology, mechanics, and biophysics research is supported to provide the Air Force with novel options to increase performance and operational flexibility. Research carried out within this team will help usher in revolutionary new technologies that will fundamentally change the way future Air Force weapon systems are designed and implemented.

This research effort will endeavor to identify chemical and biological mechanisms, structures, and systems with the potential to inspire future technology in all Air Force systems. Understanding these mechanisms, structures and systems at a fundamental level will accelerate advances in energy technology, control of complex systems, sensors and sensory systems, and materials engineering.

The focus is on complex materials, microsystems and structures and well as systems of a biological natural by incorporating hierarchical design of mechanical and functional properties from the nanoscale through the mesoscale, ultimately leading to controlled well-understood chemistry/biochemistry, and material or structural behavior capable of dynamic functionality and/or performance characteristics to enhance mission versatility. In addition to research into underlying materials/biomaterials and fundamental physical/biophysical processes, this area considers how they might be integrated into new classes of devices and pursues a fundamental understanding of materials that are not amenable to conventional computational means.

Finally, the energy extraction and storage efforts addresses the characterization, synthesis, and utilization of fundamental energy sources, ranging from novel molecular configurations to photoelectric stimulated mitochondria and solid rocket motor propellants infused with performance improving nano-energetic particles.

To view the Broad Agency Announcement including a full list of supported topics, visit