United States Air Force Academy

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Research at New Heights

Enhancing the cadet learning experience by fostering the critical thinking skills necessary to succeed as leaders in the Air and Space Forces and beyond.

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cadet working on expiriments
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Image of cadet doing research.
Image of cadet doing research.
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U.S. Air Force Academy -- (U.S. Air Force photo/Trevor Cokley)
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U.S. Air Force Academy – (U.S. Air Force photo/Trevor Cokley)
U.S. Air Force Academy – (U.S. Air Force photo/Trevor Cokley)
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Research Overview

ACCELERATING CHANGE THROUGH RESEARCH AND INNOVATION

Research at the United States Air Force Academy is where innovation meets collaboration. Alongside our government, academic, and major industry partners, we tackle some of our nation’s most pressing challenges. With over $40 million in annual research funding, our robust undergraduate research program is the number one funded program in the nation. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for innovation, with cadets and faculty contributing to leading-edge research in support of our national defense.

Research at the Academy is supported by 24 robust research centers working across a wide-ranging field of disciplines. Some of our core research facilities and equipment include a state-of-the-art battle lab conducting realistic wargaming scenarios, our Observatory’s 1-meter advanced telescope supporting a globally operational network, a modern human performance laboratory which optimizes warfighter physical and cognitive abilities, and a self-driving Tesla Model X used by the Warfighter Effectiveness Research Center to advance human machine teaming technology.

Leveraging the Academy’s extensive network, the Cadet Summer Research Program annually sends over 450 cadets throughout the United States and around the world to explore research projects. Through this program, our cadets tackle complex research issues to improve our world. From breakthroughs in quantum computing to supporting homeless veteran initiatives and innovating wheelchair technology for the physically challenged, our cadets help solve real-world issues.

At a Glance

RESEARCH FACTS

24Research Centers and Institutes

450cadets in Cadet Summer Research Program (CSRP)

217National and International Research Agreements

300PhDs

 

CONNECTING WITH THE K–12 COMMUNITY

STEM OUTREACH

The Academy’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Outreach Program exists to engage, inspire and attract the next generation of STEM talent through K-12 programs. Faculty and cadets work with the local community, schools and teachers to provide outreach and increase the effectiveness of the Air Force’s investment in STEM. Cadets have the opportunity to mentor the next generation of potential cadets through involvement in these efforts.

Explore STEM Services

 

EVOLUTION OF RESEARCH

RESEARCH CENTERS

An Air Force research pioneer and former high school chemistry teacher, Col Frank J. Seiler was a strong advocate of in-house research and the effective use of young scientific officers and officer-candidates. Civilian university students had always participated in the research, and Seiler envisioned that if Air Force Academy cadets could be involved in real-world research efforts, they would be better prepared for their future assignments.

Explore Centers & Institutes

 

CSRP

Cadet Summer Research Program

The Cadet Summer Research Program (CSRP) provides opportunities for cadets to solve relevant problems, learn through real-world application of classroom principles, and build lasting collaborative relationships while participating in research at the various military, government, and civilian facilities throughout the world. CSRP participants receive credit for a military summer training program through this career-broadening assignment. Cadets interested in competing for a CSRP slot should contact Maj. Dan O’Keefe, CSRP Director, for more information.

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