AutoCAS: Automated Communications Analysis System for use in Military Synthetic Environment Exercises

Period of Performance: 09/11/2003 - 09/11/2005


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Aptima, Inc.
12 Gill Street Array
Woburn, MA 01801
Principal Investigator


Effective communications are essential in military operations in urban terrain (MOUT). Leaders must coordinate distributed squads of soldiers in hostile, urban battlegrounds through communication. However, though verbal communications are easy to capture, it traditionally takes days or weeks to analyze and assess this valuable data. Thus, communications analysis has become the province of research. Communications data are rarely available for use in assessment and training of soldiers. The AutoCAS Phase II vision is a system that automates communications analysis through a combination team performance science, voice recognition technology, and automated text classification techniques to provide training and assessment feedback for use in AAR settings to improve the communication performance of teams of MOUT dismounted soldiers. In our Phase I work, we tested new science and technology that dramatically accelerates communications analyses, making it possible to debrief communications within minutes of the completion of a MOUT training scenario. In Phase II we will develop measures of communications effectiveness and a system to automate the processing of those measures for use in synthetic environment infantry leadership training. Phase II will culminate with a demonstration of AutoCAS in support of an infantry MOUT training exercise using the Squad Synthetic Environment at Ft. Benning. The work we propose to conduct in Phase II benefits soldiers, trainers, ARI, and OSD. MOUT soldiers will receive reliable assessment and informative feedback concerning the quality and content of their verbal communications. AutoCAS will enable MOUT trainers to rapidly and objectively assess communications performance, and to gain insights into the information management and decision making processes on which mission success depends. ARI Researchers will benefit from AutoCAS because it will lower the cost and increase the speed of coding and analyzing communications data. AutoCAS will make it easier and faster to test hypotheses, thus accelerating scientific advances. The Office of the Secretary of Defense / Director of Defense Research and Engineering. (OSD/DDR&E) will benefit from increased speed of scientific advance, and from the availability of a tool that can be adapted to improve research and training across services (e.g., in Marines and Army MOUT settings) and across domains (e.g., MOUT, close air support, and civilian crowd control).