Optimized Information Display for Tactical Air Control Party

Period of Performance: 07/31/2015 - 05/01/2016


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Creative MicroSystems Corp.
49 Fiddlers Green Array
Waitsfield, VT 05673
Principal Investigator


ABSTRACT:Tactical Air Control Parties (TACP) and Joint Terminal Air Controller (JTAC) deploy with not only a significant amount of gear, but also a large work load in order to manage all of their responsibilities. As the battlefield becomes more digitized, it is forcing TACPs/JTACs (which we will refer to as just TACPs for brevity in the document) to deal with more information than their current systems can provide in a way that not only enables high situational awareness (SA), but lends to quick decision making in the heat of a battle. Several programs, both run by the government and private industry, have begun to look at the problem in a new light with efforts, such as Persistent Close Air Support (PCAS), UltraVIS, and Rosetta Joint Fires. However, there is still a large opportunity to improve the TACPs abilities. TACPs are still left hunched over computer displays attached to their chest, looking through subpar performance, and/or using bulky near-to-eye displays with low resolution. ???The Creative Microsystems Corp (CMC) team, proposes to create a new display architecture using a human factors (HF) framework approach to assess the current TACP ensemble and requirements to derive a new information display configuration that improves ergonomics, minimizes short and long term physiological effects (eye strain, radiation bioeffects, etc.), and reduces overall size, weight, and power (SWaP). Once CMC determines the optimized display information aggregation and design, we will then leverage best of breed display technology, whether CMCs own technology being used for next generation night vision and pilotage, or other technology that is available on the market to develop a new display design philosophy. Finally, CMC will demonstrate key pieces of hardware to provide a strong foundation for Phase II activities. ?BENEFIT:The development of the wearable technology associated with this effort strongly positions CMC for an incredible opportunity to enter into numerous markets based on the flexibility and capabilities of the system. The technologies developed under this program will have a wide market appeal in both defense and commercial areas. CMC is currently exploring numerous markets, including near to eye displays for civilian firefighters, civilian SCUBA divers, Navy Damage Controlmen, Navy Salvage Divers, and aircraft pilots. The Human Factors method will be documented in such a way that the studies will be readily repeatable, lending to quick outcomes for other positions that require enhanced situational awareness displays.