#BasicResearch Chatter — Doing Business with our International Offices — South America Edition

We’re back this month with our continuing series on our AFRL/AFOSR international offices and “How to do Business” with them. #BasicResearch Chatter is focusing on our Southern Office of Aerospace Research and Development — most commonly referred to as SOARD.

Lt. Col. Montes, Chief of the SOARD, joined us for our hour long twitter chat and not only provided us with some terrific insight, but was also on point with answering the multitudes of questions we fielded during the twitter hour.

Before we get to the meat of the talk though, let’s discuss the basics of SOARD and what they do. SOARD is located in Santiago, Chile, and is the field office of the AFOSR’s International Office (AFOSR/IO) responsible for amnaging the AFOSR’s basic research activity in Central and South America. Their mission is to serve as the US Air Force liaison with the scientific and engineering communities of the region by supporting research goals of AFRL through a variety of international programs.

Our international POs are scientific ambassadors forging strong science and technology bonds with the most creative and talented researchers around the world to work collaboratively in areas of interest to the US Air Force and Space Force. SOARD facilitates research and promote dialogue on opportunities and benefits of defense-led research and development.

SOARD also supports conferences in Latin America. Our Senior Scientists lead talks at the International Air and Space Fair and continues to search and engage with universities. We support young researcher with ground-breaking ideas.

By collaborating on basic research efforts around the world, we have the right networks, people and knowledge in place for rapid response grants when needed — like now during the COVID-19 pandemic. SOARD funding support tools include research grants, conference support, and Window-on-Science Travel Support. AFOSR IO (AOARD, EOARD, and SOARD) seeks to build mutually beneficial relationships between scientists overseas and scientists in the United States to accelerate science and technology.

Some of the work we’d like to highlight today is the Suchai Sattelite — AFOSR is supporting the first all Chilean satellite launch made possible by the wonderful research conducted by Dr. Marcos Diaz from the University of Chile and Dr. Marina Stepanova from the University of Santiago, Chile. The launch of the satellite is schedule for early 2021 and AFOSR has a signed MOU with the University of Chile to support 3 payloads; one to survey ionospheric plasma in 3D; another to test an advanced phased array radar; and one to test the performance of graphene electronics in a space environment.

We’re also proud to say that young students at the University of Santiago, Chile are involved with the Suchai Satellite.

The All Sky Camera (aka OmniSSA) was deployed by the #CIDCA and the Chilean Air Force and made possible through a collaborative effort with AFOSR and Marcus Holzinger at the University of Colorado at Boulder’s College of Engineering and Applied Science, formerly with Georgia Tech. For more information – check out the fact sheet.

There are also a number of AFOSR International Educational Programs:

  • Windows on Science sponsors foreign scientists and engineers to visit US Air Force scientists and engineers at USAF sites typically with in the US.
  • Windows on the World is for top US Air Force scientists and engineers to conduct full-time research at a non-government foreign laboratory.
  • Engineer and Scientists Exchange Program (ESEP) promotes international cooperation in military research through the exchange of defense scientists and engineers.

We are also official members of the Latin American Remote Sensing Council (LARS).

There was a lot of content covered during this Twitter hour and questions started coming in almost immediately. Here are some of the questions we replied to.

What was something you wanted to learn from this chat that we didn’t cover?

In order for a proposal to be considered for or to receive funding, the investigator’s organization will need to register on the official SAM, System for Award Management.

To reach out to international program officers at SOARD — email SOARD at theamericas@us.af.mil.

What are the best ways to stay connected to AFOSR?

Connect with us on:

I am a professor in a Brazilian institution, can I apply to the SOARD?

I am interested in conducting research with additive manufacturing in Ni alloys for aeronautical and aerospace application.

We encourage any country in Latin America to apply. To reach out to our international POs at SOARD — email theamericas.us.af.mil

I am new to your twitter chat; what is it that we do at AFResearchLab?

Thanks for joining! AFRL leads the discovery, development and delivery of war-fighting technologies for our air, space, and cyberspace forces. We’re pushing the boundaries and creating a new tomorrow through unparalleled research. Check out our website for more information — AFRL.

What’s your expected outcome from the QIS project? Do you prefer theoretic research or designs leading to practical technologies?

We have a diverse range of grants in QIS – from communications, cryptography, computing, algorithms and PNT. We are interested in any new ideas, so long as they are basic science.

Since this will be a seed grant, will there be further opportunities at AFOSR to extend the initial results and continue with project?

AFOSR has a year-round, open call for possible projects. You can find it at: grants.gov/afosr then navigate to the top link: FA9550-19-S-0003

Do you have main aims or goals which research should align for upcoming proposals?

Especially in the context of COVID-19, I’m wondering if specific areas might be seen as more beneficial to the wider public to fund.

We do have an interest in COVID-related projects either from a biotech or modeling point of view.

How are the funding perspectives for projects submitted this year?

Our many research areas can be found in the AFOSR Broad Agency Announcement (BAA), white papers and proposals can be handled year-round. Air Force priorities change every year, but basic science areas are wide.

What is the funding cycle? Are there specific deadlines for white papers and proposals? Do you encourage short discovery based projects and larger 3-5 year projects?

We have an open BAA and accept proposals year round. We do multi-year projects with average efforts of 3 years. Process for this: Review BAA. Find your interest area and send an email to PO listed to start the conversation. You may be asked to submit a white paper.

To what extent are open science practices considered in grant applications? Are there specific principles which are more important for the grant than others? For example, would registered reports hold more weight than pre-registration, or would this not really matter?

We love open source! In addition to the grants, we support conference attendance Apply here.

Are there any aims/overarching objectives/strategy for non-COVID related projects which are important for grant applications?

You can to the AFOSR BAA. The research priorities in the BAA are driven by the National Defense Strategy.

Catch us live on Twitter on August 25, as we delve into the European Office of Aerospace Research and Development (EOARD).