The Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), located in Arlington, Virginia, manages the Air Force's basic research program. AFOSR's major R&D objective is to provide the necessary basic research for its primary customers, the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).
AFOSR invests in long-term, broad-based research into aerospace-related science and engineering. To accomplish this, AFOSR has a strong, productive alliance with other government agencies, industry and the academic community. About 75% of the research is conducted in academia and industry and the remaining 25% is conducted within AFRL. AFOSR's investment in basic research programs is distributed to about 230 academic institutions, 230 contracts with industry and more than 230 internal AFRL research efforts.
With a staff of 200 scientists, engineers and administrators in Arlington, Va., and two foreign technology offices in London and Tokyo, AFOSR is charged with maintaining the technological superiority of the Air Force. Each year AFOSR selects, sponsors and manages revolutionary basic research relevant to Air Force needs.
AFOSR has funded more than 50 years of critical basic research efforts for the Air Force. Many of the technological breakthroughs enjoyed by millions today, such as lasers, GPS, and the computer mouse trace their scientific roots to research first funded by AFOSR and many others can be found in all of today's modern aircraft and weapons systems.
The focus of AFOSR is on research areas that offer significant and comprehensive benefits to our national warfighting and peacekeeping capabilities. These areas are organized and managed in three scientific directorates: "Aerospace, Chemical and Material Sciences"; "Mathematics, Information and Life Sciences"; and "Physics and Electronics."
Mathematics, Information and Life Sciences Directorate Edit
The Mathematics, Information and Life Sciences Directorate is responsible for research activities in mathematics, information and life sciences. A wide range of fundamental mathematical, information and computer sciences, biology, and behavioral research is supported to provide the Air Force with novel options to increase performance and operational flexibility. Many critical research activities are multidisciplinary and involve support from the other scientific directorates within AFOSR. The interfaces between disciplines often provide the insights necessary for technological advances.
Physics and Electronics Directorate Edit
Research in the Physics and Electronics Directorate generates the fundamental knowledge needed to advance Air Force operational capabilities in directed-energy weapons; surveillance; electronic countermeasures; guidance and control; information and signal processing; and communications, command, and control. The program is of substantial breadth, extending from plasma and quantum physics, to the understanding of the performance of novel electronic devices, to maintaining device integrity in the harsh environment of space. The program includes theoretical and experimental physics from all disciplines, as well as engineering issues such as those found in microwave or photonic systems or materials-processing techniques.