Published on
Feb 27, 2024

Beavercreek, OH – Parallax Advanced Research has two contracts in collaboration with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Autonomy Capability Team (ACT3) covering two thrusts (1) supporting the development of AI-based autonomous behaviors for the Autonomous Air Combat Operations (AACO) portfolio, which includes air, space, and counter Artificial Intelligence (AI) programs and (2) developing theory and initial implementations for new conscious decision-making processes. 

The AACO portfolio covers the following programs:
•    AACO: Develop, integrate, and fly an advanced AI-driven technologies capable of performing aviate and navigate functions and autonomous behaviors such as advanced intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, and BVR combat. 
•    Safe Autonomy (SA): Migrating Run Time Assurance (RTA) approaches that mitigate hazards and allow autonomy to stay on mission in the face of unexplored system parameters and scenarios in the presence of poorly modeled aspects of the system.
•    Counter AI Reinforcement Learning (CARL): Migrating state of the art counter AI approaches into autonomous air combat behavior development.

Parallax supports the AACO program in the development, testing, and deployment of Live Virtual Constructive (LVC) system infrastructure which enables testing of AI-based autonomous air combat behaviors across a diverse set of platforms. Under the SA program, Parallax is supporting the development of deep reinforcement neural network-based control system focused on incorporating runtime assurance algorithms research. The AACO portfolio programs directly support U.S. Air Force Operational Imperatives 2,3,4,6 and National Defense Strategy - Build a More Lethal Joint Force. AACO algorithms will eventually support Air Combat Command’s mission by providing autonomous wingmen capable of multi-role missions. These algorithms can be integrated into systems such as unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAV) and performance fighter jets, such as the F-35. 

“The intent of AACO is to be a force multiplier and enable high performance fighter aircrafts to survive against adversary threats and ultimately accomplish mission objectives while minimizing collateral damage,” said Darrell Lochtefeld, VP, and division manager of Parallax Intelligent Systems Division.

In addition to AACO support, Parallax works with ACT3 to develop theory and initial implementations for new conscious decision-making processes that will improve the flexibility of future aircraft control software and constraint-based systems to ensure the safety of autonomous system decisions. 

“Our collaboration with and service to the AFRL’s mission and programs is a key Parallax strategic focus,” said Dennis Andersh, president and CEO, Parallax Advanced Research. “This focus enables us to realize our vision to advance the Nation’s innovation advantage.”

Distribution Statement A: Approved for Public Release. Distribution Unlimited Air Force Research Lab Public Affairs Case Number: AFRL-2024-1025

About Parallax Advanced Research 
Parallax Advanced Research is a 501(c)(3) private nonprofit research institute that tackles global challenges through strategic partnerships with government, industry, and academia. It accelerates innovation, addresses critical global issues, and develops groundbreaking ideas with its partners. With offices in Ohio and Virginia, Parallax aims to deliver new solutions and speed them to market. In 2023, Parallax and the Ohio Aerospace Institute (OAI) formed a collaborative affiliation to drive innovation and technological advancements in Ohio and for the Nation. OAI plays a pivotal role in advancing the aerospace industry in Ohio and the nation by fostering collaborations between universities, aerospace industries, and government organizations and managing aerospace research, education, and workforce development projects. More information about both organizations can be found at and