Always wanted to work with the Air Force on real-world projects? Then look no further than The Air Force Collaboratory. This online educational platform is perfect for technology enthusiasts, enabling them to work on projects such as Search & Rescue 2.0, Mind of a Quadrotor and The Launch of GPS IIF. Your idea could change everything, literally. Continue reading for more information.

Thank you to The Air Force Collaboratory for sponsoring this article. Learn how your idea could change everything.

Introduction

Signing up is as simple as using Facebook Connect or your email. Once registered, you’ll get your very own profile page, complete with your active collaborations, project updates and achievements. Get started here. We found the former option to be the quickest, as it will take you only a few minutes to get up and running. If you choose the latter, you’ll just need to confirm an activation email.

Profile Page

The next step would be to choose a project, view any associated briefing material, and then you’ll be ready to collaborate. You can either contribute to an active collaboration, or start your own on the Project Dashboard. Best of all, you�ll get feedback from real Airmen along the way.

Search and Rescue 2.0

Right now, the Search and Rescue 2.0 project is active. This collaboration will allow users to work with U.S. Air Force scientists and engineers to develop lifesaving technologies. Everyday there are natural disasters that strike without warning and the ideas generated from this project could help locate and save lives trapped under collapsed structures. Currently, there are several collaborations available, including Brainstorming (using new technologies or search methods to identify life trapped under collapsed structures), Micro Robotics (researching micro robotic technologies that can be used in search and rescue efforts), Science + Nature, On-Site Prototyping, and 3-D Printing.

Collaborations

Brainstorm Part 01 is the featured collaboration in which you can come up with innovative ideas, such as “The Sunshine System”. One of our favorites would be Brett H’s idea of a drone within a drone, where one is used to search and the other for rescue efforts.

Timeline

Want to see just how much time is left for the project? Then head on over to the timeline page, which shows the dates, completion percentage, and current collaborations. For Search and Rescue, you’ll see that the project has just begun and that there is still plenty of time to get your ideas in.

Future

In the coming weeks and months, users will be able to collaborate on “Mind of a Quadrotor” – building a system that allows a quadrotor to navigate its surroundings with minimal human interaction – and “The Launch of GPS IIF” – targeting the precise coordinates within the GPS Constellation to launch the U.S. Air Force’s newest GPS satellite. Sign up here.

Disclosure Statement

Thank you to The Air Force Collaboratory and Technorati for being sponsors of this article. All opinions expressed here are my own.