This aircraft is used as a test bed for systems with enhanced capabilities in sensing.

Tactical Defense Systems

We research emerging systems and sensors, such as radar, jammers, or infrared detectors, which other countries might use to jeopardize the ability of U.S. Air Force aircraft to be survivable and effective during operations. Through experimentation and data analysis, we gauge the potential impact the emerging systems might have on aircraft. To perform this research, we develop techniques for collecting detailed data about existing and prototype sensors. We then conduct laboratory-, field-, and flight-testing to demonstrate and evaluate the capabilities of the sensors. Data collected from our testing are also used to enrich extensive modeling and simulation tools that we use to understand sensors or scenarios that cannot easily be real-world tested. We also investigate electronic countermeasures that may mitigate risks to U.S. aircraft, and we conduct R&D into new modes or processing for sensors to improve their performance.

Featured Projects

A photograph of the Airborne Sensor Test Bed.
A uniquely modified jet is an important asset for making important measurements of tactical aircraft.

Advancing Our Research


8 - 10
MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Lexington, Massachusetts