The Naval Postgraduate School Foundation recently selected four new defense research projects led by Naval Postgraduate School faculty to receive a total of $405,000 in research funding and additionally provided $220,000 to enhance research facilities for hypersonics and marine acoustics at NPS.
"The funding for the 2022 research projects targets NPS priorities and accelerates the adoption of new capabilities into the Naval Services and the broader Department of Defense. More importantly, these projects will be a catalyst for engaging industry partners and DOD sponsors to scale solutions that matter at the speed of relevance," said Karen Hargrove, NPS Foundation Trustee and chair of the Foundation’s Funding Committee. "Research areas that are most critical today, such as hypersonics, integration of autonomous systems, cyber and space communications, have impacts across our entire military. The solutions to operational challenges need to be available across the joint force for us to achieve a competitive advantage."
The projects selected for 2022 seedling funding align with the Naval Warfare Studies Institute’s Research Task Forces Hybrid Force 2045 and Project Overmatch, the Navy’s multi-command plan for a connected force for future battles.
Using a competitive, venture capital funding model to determine funding support, the NPS Foundation provided the following investments in 2022 projects:
In addition to aligning with NWSI’s Research Task Forces, projects such as the wind tunnel upgrade for hypersonics research also support the new DOD Technology Vision and the science and technology strategies across the joint force.
“The increasing interest in hypersonic weapons and flight vehicles combined with the undesirable phenomenon of unstart that occurs in supersonic inlets is the effort we aim to understand and ultimately control,” said Dr. Garth Hobson, the project lead for the wind tunnel upgrade. He added that “The upgrade to our Super Sonic Wind Tunnel system with the electrical heater will allow for testing at true hypersonic speeds of Mach 5+.”
“The Navy's Science and Technology Strategy envisions a future where warfighters seamlessly employ large numbers of distributed Intelligent Autonomous Systems to gain a decisive advantage on the battlefield,” said Dr. Sean Kragelund, the lead researcher of the unmanned systems project.
“NPS conducts operationally relevant research and field experimentation with ScanEagle, an unmanned aerial system used by Naval Special Warfare and the Marine Corps,” added Kragelund. “Funding from the NPS Foundation will support development, flight test and validation of a framework for controlling multiple ScanEagles from a single interface. This will allow us to leverage several aircraft recently provided by U.S. Special Operations Command for multi-vehicle operation.”
The NPS Foundation’s Defense Innovation Fund supports early-stage research and development projects at NPS that focus on accelerating the adoption of new capabilities into the Department of Defense. The fund moves projects from concept to capability by providing the initial investment to develop projects to the point where they can compete for federal spending. The Seed program uses a venture capital model to select research projects that address operational challenges that are often identified well before the military requirement is articulated. If the initial research shows sufficient progress and potential, those projects become “seedlings” and receive additional funding. The investment in early stage research creates opportunities for the Naval Postgraduate School to develop capabilities well before the military services uncover a vulnerability or opportunity.
By funding early-stage projects, ideas from some of our nation’s brightest are transformed into scalable and world-changing solutions for defense, technology, energy, climate and more. Supporters can donate to the Defense Innovation Fund and make a major impact on America’s global advantage.
About Naval Postgraduate School Foundation & Alumni Association
The Naval Postgraduate School Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit providing support and advocacy to the Naval Postgraduate School, our Nation's premier defense education and research institution. NPSF is at the intersection of engagement with students, alumni, faculty, the broader DOD, and industry in addressing challenges and identifying opportunities that advance the capabilities of the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and our allies. By funding defense innovation research, student and alumni programs, and NPS initiatives, NPSF lays the foundation for NPS to develop the leaders, technologies, and ideas our Nation needs to keep our service members safer abroad and us all safer at home.