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Portable bridge technology
An Ohio State University student walks across their constructed bridge to prove its capabilities during the Air Force Research Lab’s Design Competition held April 15-20 at the Air Force Enlisted Village in Shalimar, Fla. Teams were given the warfighter-focused engineering design challenge, Portable Bridge Technology, $20,000, and nine months to create a demonstrable solution. All three service academies and 17 universities competed in the challenge this year. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)
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Design competition tests portable bridge technology

Posted 4/22/2013   Updated 4/22/2013 Email story   Print story

    


Team Eglin Public Affairs

4/22/2013 - EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The Air Force Research Laboratory hosted teams from all three service academies and 17 universities for their Annual Design Challenge April 15-20 at the Air Force Enlisted Village in Shalimar, Fla.

AFRL collected input from its most important customer - the warfighter - to identify a problem with real-world application and rapid transition potential. In August 2012, teams were given the warfighter-focused engineering design challenge--Portable Bridge Technology, $20,000, and nine months to create a demonstrable solution.

This year's challenge was to design a system for a team of four special operations force personnel to cross irrigation canals, go rooftop-to-rooftop, cross snow and glacier crevasses, etc., under a variety of conditions, efficiently and effectively. The Design Challenge teams were given system parameters, for example, a system with a maximum weight of 20 pounds, but a desired weight goal of five pounds.

Teams were judged on both objective measures (weight, size, span, and time to complete obstacle course) and subjective measures (ease of operation, usability, innovation and multi-purpose design). Each team partnered students with a Battlefield Airman from Hurlburt Field to complete the obstacle course using their prototype design.

The AFRL Design Competition allows AFRL and the warfighter to benefit from some creative ideas that address a real military need while also giving students an opportunity to work under real-world conditions. The students gain experience in rapid prototyping and engineering a solution for a real customer-need, while knowing that their contribution can make a difference.



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