Meet the Teams

Learn about the teams and the talents participating in the Challenge–from team bios and sponsors to their individual social networks.
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The Stakes

USAF Special Tactics Battlefield Airmen executing rescue and assault operations around the world have experienced difficulty traversing irrigation canals, moving from one rooftop to another, crossing minefields, fast flowing mountain streams, snow and glacier crevasses, desert rock formations, unstable/collapsed structures, and compound walls. These obstacles typically range from one to twenty feet wide and have landings at different elevations. Ground forces need an easily portable light weight multipurpose (multifunctional) tool to negotiate these obstacles. USAF Special Tactics Battlefield Airmen must wear body armor, carry heavy backpacks and must often extract heavy recovered equipment or help carry out rescued or injured people from the battle field making it impossible to simply jump over every obstacle. Fording canals and streams is undesirable in body armor while loaded with gear and/or injured personnel. Canals and streams have unknown depths-- often filled with chest deep water. Pre-mission intelligence reports may warn soldiers before hand, in which case they often bring aluminum ladders with them. These prove bulky, heavy, cumbersome additions to their packed gear, and are difficult to use at night when depth perception is compromised by the use of Night Vision Goggles (NVGs). These airmen need a more reliable way to cross canals, get from roof top to roof top and cross any aforementioned gap encountered on a mission. Solutions to this problem should be light weight, have a multipurpose role (could be used for something other than a bridge), be easy to deploy (i.e. while wearing winter or tactical gloves), reusable, and easy to maintain (e.g. field repairable). It needs to be reliable, strong, and stable, so a soldier weighted down with gear or possibly carrying an injured person (i.e. total weight of 350 lbs) can safely traverse the obstacle.

Latest News " Updates

  • University and Service Academy Design Challenge

    November 2012– Details for the 2013 AFRL University and Service Academy Design Challenge are now available ...
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