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AFWERX Announces SciTec Among Top Teams Selected to Revolutionize the Space Ecosystem

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AFWERX Announces SciTec Among Top Teams Selected to Revolutionize the Space Ecosystem

EngageSpace Virtual Event: September 30 2020 AFWERX, the catalyst for fostering innovation within the U.S. Air Force, announced SciTec, Inc., as one of the top 26 participating teams out of 809 total teams selected from across the globe competing in the EngageSpace challenge, working to revolutionize how the space ecosystem works, dismantle the walls between sectors and close the “believability gap” for what’s possible in space.

The EngageSpace Challenge is centered around four key topics – Department of Defense Commercial Space Partnerships, Global Space Transport and Delivery, Persistent ISR and Space Asset Resiliency. 

Located in Princeton, NJ, SciTec competed in the Persistent ISR Challenge alongside a diverse group of teams – originating from the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, Brazil and other allied countries – that represent entrepreneurial startups, small businesses, large enterprises, academic institutions and research labs all vying to enable government buyers to pursue the most promising solutions to the most pressing challenges in the space domain.

“The AFWERX EngageSpace challenge is critical to our future of industrial development in space,” stated Mark Rowland of AFWERX. “On behalf of AFWERX and the Department of Defense, we congratulate the teams advancing to the next phase. Their contributions are invaluable and have the potential to create game-changing results across the Air Force enterprise.”

The Persistent ISR Challenge focuses on fortifying intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance efforts in advance of the future’s approaching threats. Teams were tasked with bringing together the existing and future technology solutions to create a comprehensive Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) system that spans the globe.

“SciTec is excited to be a part of the AFWERX ecosystem and help ‘tip the scales’ with disruptive innovation,” said SciTec’s CEO, Jim Lisowski, referencing Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, Will Roper’s recent memo on AFWERX to the Air Force acquisition workforce.   

SciTec submitted three solutions to the Space Challenge-Persistent ISR Topic back in May.  All three were selected for one-on-one presentations to Air Force evaluators and exhibit at the virtual EngageSpace Challenge Showcase event September 29-30, 2020.  At the concluding Showcase event, SciTec learned that all three would move to the next phase; engaging with AFWERX and AF program offices to develop our formal proposals and put appropriate contracts in place.  

SciTec’s three solutions are focused on advancing our nation’s missile warning/missile defense capabilities through technologies which standardize, exploit, and augment OPIR imagery:

  • FIRES: an advanced modeling & simulation tool for rapid production of exhaust plume signatures on emerging missile threats to support future sensor development
  • PREPARE: a collection of real-time, architecture-agnostic sensor data normalization services for Overhead Persistent InfraRed (OPIR) mission data processing
  • OPTION-A: a standardized and extensible developer’s toolkit to support development of real-time configurable OPIR processing chains into on-board processors

Jim Bower, SciTec’s Program Development Lead added, “We were thrilled to go three for three.  This success is a reflection of SciTec’s scientists’ and engineers’ technical prowess, the company’s culture of innovation, and our R&D investments.  We found this EngageSpace Challenge to be a very productive way for companies like us to bring critical technologies to the attention of our customers and the community. We look forward to working with the AFWERX team and Air Force program offices to deliver these solutions to the warfighter.”

The AFWERX EngageSpace Challenges attracted 809 solutions and featured over 50 space subject matter experts from the U.S. government to review the submissions. Throughout the event teams showcased virtual booth’s complete with video links, their challenge submission, digital brochures. The top 171 teams were invited to pitch their solutions to a panel of subject matter experts, followed by a Q&A from the evaluation team. The top 31 solutions from a total of 26 teams were then identified and invited to further engage with the Air Force with the hope of obtaining contracts. For a complete list of participating teams visit Engage.Space/exhibitors.



For over four decades, SciTec has applied agile and innovative small business thinking to attack our customers’ hardest problems head on, in direct cooperation with our users.  Headquartered in Princeton, NJ, SciTec maintains offices and operating locations adjacent to our space community customers and partners: Boulder, CO; Huntsville, AL; Dayton, OH; Herndon, VA; El Segundo, CA; and Colorado Springs, CO.  We are leaders in the development of remote sensing systems, mission data processing solutions, and aircraft countermeasure test equipment. SciTec is scaling up to bring our tech to bear across space ops and beyond.


Established in 2017, AFWERX is a product of the U.S. Air Force, directly envisioned by former Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson. Her vision of AFWERX — to solve some of the toughest challenges that the Air Force faces through innovation and collaboration amongst our nation’s top subject matter experts. AFWERX serves as a catalyst to unleash new approaches for the warfighter through a growing ecosystem of innovators. AFWERX and the U.S. Air Force are committed to exploring viable solutions and partnerships to further strengthen the Air Force, which could lead to additional prototyping, R&D, and follow-on production contracts.

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