The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to be controlled via voice commands

The F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) will be the first U.S. fighter aircraft to employ a speech-recognition system.

Dec 1st, 2007
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By Courtney E. Howard

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio—The F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) will be the first U.S. fighter aircraft to employ a speech-recognition system.

The speech-recognition system will enable F-35 pilots to control communications, navigation, and other aircraft subsystems via voice commands. As a result, fighter pilots are better able to focus on flying and the combat environment around them.

Involved in the system’s development are personnel from the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory’s Human Effectiveness Directorate at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio; SRI International in Menlo Park, Calif.; integrating contractor Adacel Systems Inc. in Orlando, Fla.; General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems in Arlington, Va.; and the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Fore Base, Calif.


The F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter will be the first U.S. fighter aircraft with subsystems managed by a pilot’s spoken commands.
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The pilot communicates with the aircraft through a microphone in his oxygen mask, and gains subsystem feedback via his helmet-mounted display. The system also incorporates a single-board computer system, built by AFRL electronic engineer Rob Snyder, which interfaces with the F-35’s VISTA instrument panel. The speech recognition system integrates with the aircraft’s onboard computer and takes advantage of SRI International’s DynaSpeak speech-recognition software.

The F-35 Lightning II is scheduled for initial operation in 2008. If the speech-recognition system proves successful on the F-35, it is likely to be applied to other aircraft, such as the F-22 Raptor and unmanned aerial vehicles.

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