In a bid to utilize AR technology, C-THRUTM, optimally for enhancing navigation, communication, and coordination capabilities of airborne and ground-based personnel, the US Air Force has chosen Qwake Technologies.
Qwake Technologies has joined forces with the Washington, DC-based start-up Rhea Space Activity (RSA). They will work together to adapt Qwake’s ﬁreﬁghting C-THRU Visual Communications Platform and provide enhanced situational awareness and communications capabilities by the ingestion of commercial geospatial information to several agencies including Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), the Air National Guard, U.S. Forest Service (USFS) Smokejumpers, and Air Force Civil Engineer Center Readiness Directorate (CXF) Structural Fireﬁghters.
Both the companies will jointly develop a CXF/AFSOC/Smokejumper-targeted, helmet-mounted solution (dubbed C-THRU FREEFALL) aimed at providing situational awareness during free-fall, canopy piloting, landing, and ground-based ﬁreﬁghting activities.
Geospatial metrics will be produced through the analyses of commercial satellite imagery and would further be integrated into the augmented reality (AR) visual communication device worn by Fireﬁghters, AFSOC parachutists, and Smokejumpers. The C-THRU FREEFALL concept, based on the existing C-THRU Visual Communication solution, that combines AR, thermal imaging cameras (TICs), cellular and wireless network technologies, camera tracking, GPS localization, and data collection is now being introduced to US structural ﬁreﬁghters and aids in navigating through ﬁre hazard zones.
Mike Ralston, a former ﬁreﬁghter, NASA scientist, and Co-founder of Qwake, stated, “leveraging our innovative computer vision-based AR solution, and incorporating potentially additive real-time information such as geospatial satellite intel and evolving incident maps, can allow C-THRU FREEFALL to bridge the situational awareness gap between mission launch and mission completion.”
Shawn Usman, an astrophysicist and Founder of RSA, said that “adaptation of the C-THRU ﬁreﬁghting technology for smokejumping could be used in a variety of national security missions.”
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