Developing the Next Great Technology

Lisa JeckeringNews

Azimuth Corporation has been investing in multiple efforts to gain Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding—and the fruits are starting to bear with a recent Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) Direct-to-Phase II SBIR contract win, hopefully the first of many SBIR wins for the company.

Why the heavy focus on SBIRs? Azimuth recognizes the importance of SBIRs in the defense ecosystem—and aims to harness the unique capabilities the company has cultivated to develop innovative prototypes and advance next-generation warfighting solutions.

“SBIRs are the government’s way of making high-risk investments in small businesses to help propel forward ground-breaking technology, the next state of the art,” said Azimuth Chief Engineer Rick Hubbard. “Our innovative technical staff and decades of defense R&D experience make us an ideal choice for these investments.”

Azimuth has framed SBIR pursuits around their in-house Autonomy, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning (AAIM) lab capabilities—which is common in a world brimming with emerging AI solutions; however, Azimuth has R&D experience that sets the AAIM lab support apart. “We have a particular expertise in materials sciences—and there are few companies doing AI for materials science development,” said Hubbard. “Rather than our scientists developing a theory and conducting experiments for a year, we use AI deep neural networks aided by simulations to help guide parameters to their experiment producing a near optimized solution in perhaps a week’s time, rather than a year’s.”

Marrying the AAIM lab capabilities and materials sciences expertise brings forth game-changing SOTA technologies at breakneck speed, providing vital—and timely—technologic support to our warfighters.

For example, the recent SBIR win provides funding to design the next generation of lenses that will lower production and overall acquisition cost—and improve performance. Currently, lenses are very bulky, heavy, and expensive, requiring constant recalibration and impeding warfighter missions. Azimuth’s materials scientists and AAIM lab team are working in tandem to create an AI network capable of designing a custom meta-lens for flat optics applications—a lens that can replace multiple lenses on a system. Azimuth is partnering with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to fabricate the lens, based on AI algorithms, and to explore techniques to fabricate larger lenses for different systems. The meta-lens will be a huge jump in SOTA technology—and is the first of numerous technologies Azimuth is poised to bring forth through SBIR funding.

Hubbard, who leads SBIR pursuits at Azimuth, gave another reason why this type of research funding is important. “It gives us (Azimuth engineers and scientists) a chance to chase our own projects and dreams. For example, one of Azimuth’s recent SBIR submissions was an idea an Azimuth scientist had been thinking of for years, based on his extensive materials research,” said Hubbard. The scientist’s idea has various applications that will serve our warfighter—but, until now, no glimpse of a funding avenue. If Azimuth’s SBIR submission is funded, he will have the opportunity to bring his idea to life.

“SBIRs allow you to pursue ideas that are outside of established government programs and efforts, but the government—and the warfighter—still benefit from them,” said Hubbard. “It lets you be creative and come up with that next great technology.”

About Azimuth
Azimuth Corporation is an award-winning Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB) founded in 2001 with one mission—to provide unmatched service and products to our national security customers. With a steadfast devotion to our nation’s security and strong ties to the military, with over 30% of our workforce being veterans, Azimuth provides research, development, and technical support; programming and policy expertise; security and threat analysis; operational, program and administrative management assistance; and database and modeling support. For more information about Azimuth’s capabilities and contributions, please visit:

Company Press Contact:
Lisa Jeckering

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