The U.S. Air Force is preparing its vision for how its technology will change over the next 20 years, according to Chief Scientist Dr. Werner J.A. Dahm.
Dahm outlined the Technology Horizons project, which aims to determine which strategic, technological and budgetary concerns will shape Air Force innovations during the next 20 years.
The project led to a prioritized list of technologies in which the Air Force and Joint Command will need to invest to stay “ahead of the curve of increasingly advanced enemy forces,” Dahm said.
Some of the technologies include “autonomous systems” – machines that can make decisions without human intervention – and even “direct augmentation” – technologies merging machine capabilities and human expertise, based on current advanced in prosthetics.
The environment and clean energy are also priorities, including the use of gas-turbine engines and hybrid-wing aircraft to keep aviation fuel-efficient. Dahm said such efficiency measures were a good investment in the future as budgetary concerns were likely to last over the next decade.
Volume One of the four-volume Technology Horizons report is available to the public.