Archive for the ‘Digitization’ Category
Just last week I was discussing AFRL’s BATMAN effort with some colleagues. Let’s hope this latest project sees a transition from lab to the field.
FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AFNS) — Imagine a future battlefield where an Air Force pararescue jumper treats seven wounded service members at once. He places sensors on their chests, arms and fingers, which immediately feed vital signs to a small wireless computer, no bigger than a cell phone, on his forearm.
As he checks out the fifth person, his computer vibrates. He looks at the computer screen: the second person’s heart rate is dropping. The pararescueman moves back to the second person and performs chest compressions, saving their life.
That future is not far off. Engineers with the 711th Human Performance Wing from the Human Effectiveness Directorate at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, are working on exactly this kind of wearable technology to assist medics in the field.
It’s called BATDOK (Battlefield Airmen Trauma Distributed Observation Kit), and it is part of a larger advanced technology demonstration program known as BATMAN (Battlefield Air Targeting Man-Aided Knowledge), which focuses on adapting technologies to dismounted Airmen.
“Currently PJs treat patients one-to-one,” said Dr. Gregory Burnett, the program’s chief engineer. “Now we can have one PJ treat and monitor multiple patients simultaneously.”
BATDOK runs on a smartphone but can transfer to any variety of devices. “If a PJ wanted to run it in the field, he could use it on a smartphone,” Burnett said, “or he could use it on a 10-inch tablet in a helicopter.”
BATDOK includes wrist and chest mounts to make access to the device easier, although some PJs simply prefer keeping the device in their pocket.
Wireless sensors placed on the patient send aggregated vitals to the computer screen, providing PJs the ability to make emergency medical decisions. Like a cellphone, the device can be set for three kinds of alerts: auditory, tactical or visual. The alerts notify the PJ not only to which patient is in danger, but also to his or her vitals.
To develop this technology, the BATMAN research team worked very closely with PJs to identify what critical information the operators needed so the team could develop the most intuitive and effective interface.
Burnett explained that there are three phases to the team’s work: interface, innovate and integrate. Through direct interaction with the operators, the team innovated a solution, and integrated it to the PJs’ equipment and mission needs.
BATDOK does not just help during critical care. It keeps a record of all its patients’ vitals and other information. After a mission, a PJ could retrieve the data for a patient care report.
“All those key medical care procedures are logged for better documentation of care,” Burnett said.
It is also adaptable for improved technology. “We use FDA approved sensors,” said 1st Lt. Max Gabreski, a software engineer on the BATMAN team, “but if a new sensor becomes available, we find a way to quickly integrate the sensor into our system.”
BATDOK could also be used on humanitarian missions, where a commander monitors a team entering an earthquake- or tsunami-ravaged area. “It could accommodate not just the military, but civilian needs,” Burnett added.
Presently, BATDOK is being tested by Air Force Special Operations Command and Air Combat Command, and will be brought to decision boards soon. It is also being used in training scenarios at strategic locations around the United States.
“It’s getting a lot of attention from the pararescue community,” Burnett said. “It’s a really effective system, capable of improving patient survivability not just in the Air Force, but the DOD and the civilians that it cares for.”
The story originates at www.af.mil/News.
Finally, a rival to the PowerPoint Ranger. Meet, MDMP Ninja.
Actually, Tacteris has developed a collaborative mission planning software called Maestro.
-3D map view
-Easy-to-learn drag & drop interface
-Over 1000 military symbols (MIL-STD 2525/APP-6)
-Control measures for a wide variety of sub-plans (ISTAR, Indirect Fire, Engineering, etc.)
-Over 100 standard map formats including GeoTIFF
-Common terrain elevation models
-Coordinate formats: MGRS, UTM, Lat/Long
-Standalone application (no servers/networks required)
-ITAR Free (Product of Canada)
At DSEI we got to take a look at the Future Soldier Vision, the UK Ministry of Defence’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory’s conceptual vision of what the Soldier will look like in 2024.
Soldiers will have enhanced multi-spectral sensors enabled by modular integration, to provide mission-tailored systems at significantly reduced weight. Sensors will be capable of fusing their feeds and being shared between soldiers, providing collaborative targeting and engagement capabilities. For example this network capability will enable small unmanned aircraft systems to provide commanders with enhanced battlefield surveillance and target acquisition.
– Integrated sensors
– Integrated power supply
– Hearing protection system
– Respirator/mandible connector
Soldiers will be able to tailor their protection according to the mission requirement, balancing protection with agility to provide optimal survivability. Future systems will consist of tiered, modular protection providing enhanced capability, without increasing weight. Design and integration with other elements of the soldier system will ensure legacy and future compatibility.
– Hard body armor
– Ratchet adjusting system
– Integrated connectors
– Asymmetric design
– Quick release cord
– Flexible shoulder pads
– Integrated power supply
– Integrated load carrying
Wearable Communications Concept
The advent of a body sensor network will provide real-time reporting of soldier health. Sensors embedded in the helmet, clothing, and smartwatch will monitor physical health and performance. Wirelessly linked to the soldier processing system, the availability of this data will allow the commander to make informed decisions during combat. If the soldier is seriously injured, information will enable medics to act faster during the ‘golden hour’ following trauma.
– Biometric data
– Push to talk
– Screen graphic
– Screen protection
– Accessing functionality
Smart Glasses Concept
The presentation of real-time data will enable greater clarity and quality of information throughout the operational system.
– Heads up display with augmented reality presentation
– Bone conducting headphones
– Integrated camera
– Power and data connection
Personal Role Computer Concept
Commanders and troops will be provided with information across a set of connected devices covering visual, acoustic, and tactile interfaces to access voice, data, video, and historical information. The information architecture will ensure commonality of data, with each device determining the appropriate means of presentation. Navigation system will incorporate simultaneous localization and mapping technology and be capable of operating in a global positioning system-denied environment.
– Screen protection
– Screen graphic
– USB protection
– Push to talk
Individual weapons will have improved ergonomics, with effects spanning combinations of lethal and non-lethal capabilities. The ability to seamlessly provide targeting information between soldiers and their units will allow collaborative engagement to become commonplace. The increase in timeliness and accuracy of multiple weapon systems will result in a more effective fighting force.
– Enhanced stock design
– Digital optical weapon sights
– Adjustable down grip
– Adjustable pistol grip
Although not specifically mentioned in the other technology areas, they also displayed this conceptual boot.
Much of the development work was accomplished by Kinneir Dufort. They also had a display of the system in their booth.
Created at the request of users who don’t require a full APex Predator hub, the Assaulter Cable from Black Diamond Advanced Technologies combines the ability to power accessories through the radio’s side connector. Additionally, the Assaulter Cable allows the attachment of a radio battery/5590 connector as well as the ability to connect up to two devices including an Apex cable such as a cable to a AN/PRc-152 / 148, as well as a handheld device in a Juggernaut case, GPS or camera.
Polaris Defense – Contract Awarded For Ground Guidance Route Planning Software Integration Into ATAKFriday, August 14th, 2015
MINNEAPOLIS (August 13, 2015) — A contract for Ground Guidance software expands the patented route planning and terrain analysis software for the U.S. Army by integrating it into the Android Tactical Assault Kit (ATAK) platform. The software suite from Primordial, which is owned by Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE: PII), provides on and off-road routing for mounted and dismounted soldiers, accounting for terrain, weather, enemy activity and equipment load. The contract also includes a computer-based training (CBT) package.
Military small unit leaders face complex tradeoffs when selecting equipment and routes. Ground Guidance, when integrated into platforms like ATAK, plans efficient and safe routes to and from mission objectives and allows soldiers to account for other variables that impact speed and time.
“We continue to expand the integration of Ground Guidance onto our mission planning platforms because it accelerates mission planning, enables dynamic and rapid re-planning, facilitates thorough course of action (COA) analysis, and is critical for remote mission planning,” said LTC Robert Klarenbach, U.S. Army. “Bottom line, it increases the combat effectiveness of our soldiers.”
Also, with each platform and integration comes user evaluation and testing to improve the software and verify the accuracy of route metrics such as distance, duration, energy expenditure, calories burned and exhaustion.
“Ground Guidance dramatically accelerates mission planning, facilitates on-the-fly re-planning, and improves route quality by automatically generating fast and concealed routes through on- and off-road terrain,” said Randy Milbert, Director of Software, Polaris. “As a result, small combat teams are more autonomous, nimble and adaptable in quickly changing battlefield conditions.”
Ground Guidance has been integrated into FalconView, TerraExplorer, Nett Warrior, X-Plan, Ringtail, Tactical Ground Reporting (TIGR) and Google Earth. Primordial has also secured Ground Guidance contracts with major defense contractors including General Dynamics, Rockwell Collins, Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon.
BDATech Announced By United States Air Force Battlefield Airmen Special Projects Office (SPO) As Their Operational Control System (OCS) SolutionWednesday, July 8th, 2015
Black Diamond Advanced Technology (BDATech) is proud to announce the selection of our Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) APEx Predator System by the United States Air Force Battlefield Airmen Special Projects Office (SPO) as their Operational Control System (OCS) solution.
BDATech received the $48.1M, 5 year IDIQ contract on 6 July 2015 along with an initial order of 22 APEx Predator System kits for Operational Testing. BDATech’s APEx Predator System is planned to be fielded to all USAF Battlefield Airmen to include Tactical Air Control Party (TACP), Combat Control Teams (CCT), Para Rescue (PJ) and Combat Weatherman. Once fielded, these Airmen will have the APEx Predator System embedded alongside every US Army Combat Maneuver Element from Heavy Armor to Tier 1 SOF units. BDATech is putting the most technologically advanced tactical computing and power management system ever developed into the hands of the most lethal force multipliers in the world.
The APEx Predator System (APS) is a modular, wearable system which consists of the Agile Port Expander (APEx) Controller for POWER + DATA distribution, a Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) tablet computer, and system cabling optimized for tactical plate carrier use in dismounted operations. APEx provides connections for multiple peripheral cables, a system power cable and a tactical computer, or end user device (EUD). As a recognized leader in dismounted fires solutions BDATech applied years of lessons-learned to create the APS, which leverages combat-proven features of the Modular Tactical System (MTS), for flexible and reliable power management, human factors design and world-class environmental performance.
The APS is a ruggedized wearable system that provides tactical communications on commercial tablets / computers to enable C4ISR, DACAS operations, SUAS control and much more for the dismounted operator. BDATech customers are using the APS globally in various theatres of conflict. The combat-proven APS has been demonstrated as an effective enabler of precision targeting and other mission sets. The system is comprised of multiple elements, each offered a-la-carte to meet the needs of each customer’s unique requirements. These system elements include a ruggedized tablet computer, the APEx controller, power cables and battery charger, a large number of peripheral equipment cable options and tactical soft-goods such as plate carriers, assault packs and pouches.
At the heart of the APS is the Agile Port Expander (APEx) Controller which intelligently distributes power to connected devices and enables data communication of tactical data radios, video downlink, targeting and many other devices to the computer. The APEx Controller employs 5Gbps SuperSpeed USB (3.0) on four sealed circular military-grade universal peripheral ports that allows the user to connect multiple tactical peripherals to any computer, tablet or smartphone. The APEx Controller provides a unique human factors design that facilitates cable routing of connected interfaces in one-direction from the controller. This has been shown to greatly simplify cable routing to accommodate mounting the APEx Controller both vertically or horizontally, whether directly attached to PALS webbing on MOLLE-compatible vests/packs or stowed inside a pouch.
Congrats guys! This has been a long time coming!