AFRL’s AgilePod Heads to Flight Test

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – The ability to adapt a mission at a moment’s notice is a key tenet of the Air Force drive for flexibility in air power. For warfighters in the intelligence community, a new, Lego-like pod prototype expects to make that flexibility even easier on the field.

Air Force Research Laboratory’s AgilePod is a multi-intelligence, open architecture, reconfigurable prototype pod destined to be a game-changer for the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and Air Force Special Operations communities. The Manufacturing and Industrial Technologies Division at AFRL’s Materials and Manufacturing Directorate took delivery of the pod prototype from contractor KEYW Corp. December 14 and is partnering with the AFRL Sensor’s Directorate ‘Blue Guardian Team’ to demonstrate its capabilities in the field this May.

“AgilePod brings distinct capabilities to the intelligence mission,” said Andrew Soine, an electronic systems engineer in AFRL’s Manufacturing and Industrial Technologies Division, Materials and Manufacturing Directorate. “The ability to reconfigure the system right on the flight line to adapt to changing mission requirements and a decreased logistical footprint are just the beginning.”

The pod prototype is comprised of a series of 30-inch square compartments ranging in length from 28 to 60 inches. The compartments can be assembled in different configurations—similar in concept to Legos—enabling diverse sensor communication packages.

Operators can pick the sensor equipment they need for a mission, configure the pod to accommodate their specific needs and deploy to collect multiple types of data. For example, high-definition video, electro-optical and infrared sensors and radar can be deployed in a single AgilePod, eliminating the weight that might accompany multiple pieces of equipment to do the same. Read more


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