AEOLUS is the joint innovation center on Human Performance under extreme conditions in military aerospace. Human performance is scoped as the physical and cognitive performance as well as the human-system interaction (e.g., helmet, g-suit, cockpit).

It is our mission to improve the readiness and operational effectiveness of military pilots, aircrew and maintenance personnel by creating more and faster access to innovative products and services.

AEOLUS programs innovate Wearable Technology and Systems and enhance Human Factors Simulation & Training, with the development of multi-stressor training environments.

Royal Netherlands Air Force and the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) founded AEOLUS to accelerate the innovation cycle for international air forces, research centers and industry.

From our Human Tech Campus in Soesterberg-NL we bring together world-class facilities, multidisciplinary experts and an active network of international air forces, defence industries and knowledge partners.


Located at Kampweg 53 and 55 in Soesterberg, the cradle of military aviation and centrally located in the Netherlands, the (flying) human has been central for decades with human-related research, development, inspection, selection, testing and training. With smart use of unique expertise, equipment and facilities on the Human Tech Campus, organizing differently and bringing partners together innovatively, it is possible to respond quickly to current needs and developments.

As a result of the accelerated pace of innovation of technical systems, such as modern aircraft, the system performance is increasingly being determined by the capabilities of the human operator.

For military pilots the work environment is rapidly changing from a purely physical reality into a mixture of both physical and virtual/augmented realities. We are exploring the limits of our possibilities on earth, in the skies and beyond, exposing ourselves to more extreme operating conditions than ever before.

In order to lift the boundaries imposed on system performance by the human factor, we need to further develop human factors knowledge. But that in itself is not enough. We also need to develop new forms of collaboration: new combinations of expertise and cross-overs between application domains.

Furthermore, time-to-market of innovative ideas needs to be reduced to fully exploit the potential created by the accelerated pace of technical innovation. In order to develop better solutions in a shorter time-frame close cooperation between end-users, manufacturers and researchers is needed for the full length of the innovation process.

“I knew that my life depended entirely upon my equipment, my own actions, and the presence of God”
– J. Kittinger


Patron of AEOLUS is late USAF Colonel (ret.) Joseph (John) Kittinger II (on the right side, joined by Col Ted Meeuwsen on the left). He participated in Project Manhigh and Project Excelsior in 1960, being the first man ever to be outside of a space craft in a space environment and setting a world record for the longest skydive from a height of greater than 31 kilometers.

During a distinguished career, Kittinger also served as a test pilot, squadron commander, and vice wing commander. He logged more than 16,800 flight hours in over 93 aircraft.

For his series of jumps, Kittinger was profiled in Life magazine and the National Geographic Magazine, decorated with Distinguished Flying Cross, and awarded the Harmon Trophy by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Furthermore, he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement in Aviation trophy from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, was made an Honorary U.S. Army Golden Knight, and is enshrined in the National Aviation Hall of Fame, the U.S. Ballooning Hall of Fame, and the National Skydiving Museum Hall of Fame.

On October 14, 2012, Kittinger advised Felix Baumgartner in the Red Bull Stratos project. He served as capsule communicator (CAPCOM) for Baumgartner’s jump from 128,100 ft (39,045 m), which exceeded the altitude of Kittinger’s jump during Project Excelsior.

Colonel Joseph “Joe” William Kittinger Jr., passed away on December 9, 2022, in Altamonte Springs FL, at the age of 94 years old.


Aeolus, a name shared by three mythical characters, was the ruler of the winds in Greek mythology.

The spiral is one of the oldest symbols used by humans. It appeared thousands of years ago in southwestern Native American tribal areas on cave walls and on ancient pottery. The single spiral is the symbol of Ho-bo-bo, the twister who manifests his power by the whirlwind.