Batman battlefield communication system to revolutionize human-machine collaboration

CLEVELAND–Officials at the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) are partnering with technology firms to bring BATMAN, the Battlefield Air Targeting Man-Aided Knowledge project, to life.

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By Courtney E. Howard

CLEVELAND–Officials at the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) are partnering with technology firms to bring BATMAN, the Battlefield Air Targeting Man-Aided Knowledge project, to life.

BATMAN will bring about an advanced knowledge and communications system incorporating head-mounted displays, wearable computing systems, secure wireless communications, speech-recognition enhancements, and software interface technology. Soldiers will wear the technology: a battery pack on the back, a portable computer on the chest, controls on the sleeve, and communications in a soft-cap headset.

The program is to increase the speed and efficiency of information deployment, while reducing errors, latency, and the size, weight, and power (SWaP) of the system. System developers aim to reduce the number of displays a combat controller needs to clandestinely navigate, sense, map, reconnoiter, and target within battlefield red zones, says a representative.


Air Force Research Laboratory project engineer Greg Burnett affixes a cable designed for combat controllers to quickly transfer digital coordinates from a laser rangefinder to a computer in the field. The cable and various man-wearable electronics are planned components of the BATMAN project. (Photo by Chris Gulliford AFRL/RH.)
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“We will be developing software interface controls and hardware prototypes for this innovative project,” says Anthony J. Miranda, president of Alphaport, provider of advanced engineering services and applied technology based in Cleveland. “Our experience developing headset communications systems for NASA helps us develop unique ergonomic components for this sophisticated system. Air Force pilots will literally have eyes on the ground with real-time GPS coordinates and visual information.”

Alphaport won a prime contract from the DOD to develop a Battlefield Air Operations system as part of the project. Company engineers will blend human and technology interfaces into an integrated system that enables ground forces to communicate with air-command forces.

Through the real-time exchange of visual information, soldiers are expected to gain enhanced situational awareness and improved combat effectiveness.

For additional information, visit Alphaport online at www.alpha-port.com.

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