DARPA funds Raytheon BBN Technologies to advance automatic translation

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., 10 July 2010. Raytheon's (NYSE: RTN) BBN Technologies won an additional $6.14 million in funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop automoatic language translation technology under the Multilingual Automatic Document Classification, Analysis, and Translation (MADCAT) program. This award follows Raytheon BBN meeting required milestones during the first two years of the MADCAT program.

Jul 10th, 2010

Posted by John McHale

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., 10 July 2010. Raytheon's (NYSE: RTN) BBN Technologies won an additional $6.14 million in funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop automatic lanquage translation technology under the Multilingual Automatic Document Classification, Analysis, and Translation (MADCAT) program. This award follows Raytheon BBN meeting required milestones during the first two years of the MADCAT program.

Under the contract, Raytheon BBN Technologies will further refine a prototype translation system developed under previous awards in this program that can be deployed on a laptop computer. To accomplish this, company engineers are integrating optical character recognition with its state-of-the-art translation and distillation techniques and developing novel methods to process handwritten text.

The MADCAT program's goal is to create a prototype system that quickly provides accurate, relevant, distilled, actionable information to military commands and personnel. It does this by converting foreign language text images, such as road signs, flyers, photographs, and handwritten notes, into English transcripts automatically, without the use of linguists and analysts, company officials say.

"Foreign language translation on the battlefield is slow, dangerous, and expensive," says Prem Natarajan, head of speech and language processing, Raytheon BBN Technologies. "The MADCAT system will help our troops understand road signs, print media, and captured documents that could be of immediate importance to their safety and to the successful completion of their missions."

More in Home