As  an integral  part  of  the  Naval  Aviation  Enterprise  (NAE),  the  Naval  Air  Systems Command (NAVAIR) tasks the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division  (NAWCAD) Patuxent  River,  MD  to perform research and development work and support services in the area of autonomy, Data Fusion (DF), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and Data Science (DS) and their application specific to Naval Aviation platforms. This ongoing requirement creates a need within the NAWCAD Avionics Department for unique expertise in advanced s ys tems engineering , analysis, development and the integration of intelligent systems and capabilities into Naval Aircraft (manned and Unmanned),  weapons, ground stations and various other military systems. The highly  specialized  and rapidly  developing fields  of autonomy, AI, DF, DS, and ML create a significant opportunity for Naval Aviation to leverage commercial and military applications to build next generation naval systems but also creates a challenge in attaining the necessary knowledge, skills and ability to assess and exploit these applications.

The Naval Air Systems Command, specifically the NAWCAD Avionics Department, has been directed to identify, assess, and evaluate autonomy, AI / ML and DF opportunities for use in Naval Aviation systems and propose alternatives or improvements as necessary. Additionally, due to the emergent and rapidly developing fields of autonomy, AI, DF and ML, the NAWCAD Avionics Department has a requirement to develop assessment processes and metrics to enable the evaluation of the performance or proposed approaches. Advanced research and development capabilities are required for performance analysis, analysis of alternatives, and improvement opportunity identification.