The Air Force has spent $24 million to convert an abandoned, decades-old building at Wright-Patterson into a three-story, high-tech lab to resolve aerospace-related energy, power and thermal challenges.
The Advanced Power and Thermal Research Lab, part of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Aerospace Systems Directorate, will research a wide range of scientific problems, such as powering the growing energy demands of future air and spacecraft to mounting lasers on jets, officials said.
“This building was designed with the next 50 years in mind,” said Rick Fingers, acting deputy director of the Aerospace Systems Directorate. The building is the former Static Test Laboratory which originally opened in 1934.
An audience of dozens of military and civilian guests marked the re-opening of the 53,000-square-foot building at a Wright-Patterson ceremony Friday. About 60 employees will work at the lab.
The lab has partnered with the University of Dayton Research Institute and Universal Energy Systems in research and development projects.
The Army, Navy and the Defense Advanced Research and Projects Agency also will send scientists to the lab to solve power and thermal problems on everything from ships to Humvees, said Douglas Bowers, director of the Aerospace Systems Directorate.
Beginning next month, crews will demolish the more than 70,000-square-feet, 1950s-era building the lab departed, he said.
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