Design Thinking http://afcyberworx.org/taxonomy/term/17 en Flight Evaluation App Aims to Reduce Pilot Shortage http://afcyberworx.org/blog/Flight-Evaluation-App-Aims-To-Reduce-Pilot-Shortage <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Flight Evaluation App Aims to Reduce Pilot Shortage</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/2385" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Jacki.Krummow</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 02/25/2019 - 09:35</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><center> <p><strong><font size="+5">Flight Evaluation App Aims to Reduce Pilot Shortage</font></strong></p> </center> <center><strong><font size="+5"><em><font size="+2.5">A Better Evaluation Process Leads To Better Efficiency</font></em></font></strong></center> <p><img alt="AF CyberWorx OPTIMIS Flight Evaluation App" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="60bf44a7-a6ac-46f7-9ceb-89888d7fe655" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Optimis%20Blog%20Social.png" style="height:256px;" class="align-left" />There is a pilot shortage in the <a href="https://www.airforce.com/">United States Air Force</a> right now and part of the problem affecting pilot retention is the current evaluation process. It can take up to three months for a student pilot’s evaluation to be submitted after their evaluated flying time. Should the world’s most dominant air power be shackled to a keyboard or forced to wait on improving their aviation skills because of an outdated evaluation process?</p> <p>Both evaluators and students are delayed by a prehistoric evaluation process that the Air Force uses while training pilots. What if there was a solution that got pilots more time in the cockpit and less time behind a keyboard? A computer science capstone team at <a href="https://www.usafa.edu/">USAFA</a> plans to revamp the antiquated method of pen to paper to database evaluations with a flight training application called Optimis. </p> <p><em><font size="+2.5">What is the Problem?</font></em></p> <p>The Air Force has exacerbated its own deficit of pilots by continuing to use an old evaluation method. Once solved, students can go from waiting weeks for their evaluation to just one day. Currently, evaluators grade students by taking notes on paper both in the air and after their flights. Evaluators then head back to the office and hand over the evaluation to a middle man who inputs the details into a web platform database. Unfortunately, this process can take months, which allows aspects from the flight to be easily forgotten by the evaluator while the student is left stagnant and unable to advance their skill set, which includes 'use it or lose it' knowledge.</p> <p>Removing the primitive evaluation method and replacing it with a 21st-century solution will give student pilots the ability to move through the pilot pipeline faster than ever. The capstone team will streamline the evaluation processes with an iPad app that allows the instructor to evaluate the student in real time. When the instructor finishes the evaluation, they will submit the data to the cloud while retaining the ability to edit it in the future if needed. Once completed, the student pilot will be informed of their feedback and begin planning their next steps in training.</p> <p><em><font size="+2.5">Research</font></em></p> <p><img alt="AF CyberWorx OPTIMIS Test Run" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="4dcdb4a0-1df8-40b5-82d9-6062d419a13f" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Demo4.PNG" style="height:256px;" class="align-right" />The Optimis team has found a local mentor with Mind Rocket’s President, Michael Larson. Mr. Larson helped with the workflow, design, strategic overview, division of tasks, configuration management, and process to code for the app. Additionally, the capstone team has conducted user research with their main stakeholders, the pilots of the 21st Airlift Squadron at <a href="https://www.travis.af.mil/">Travis AFB.</a> These interviews taught the team about the current process and the areas for improvement at Travis AFB. </p> <p>While beta testing the application, the team utilized a group of Lieutenant pilots that had recently been students and were training to become evaluators. The Lieutenant pilots role-played as both the students and evaluators using the app. Getting the chance to watch them interact with the application in person was crucial for the team. They learned about the little details which can really make or break the success and usability of an app. Some features that needed to be addressed were button push lengths and zooming in and out by “pinching” the screen. Getting the chance to see people who have never interacted with the app really impressed upon the team the app’s functionality.</p> <p>Other research has included a trip to a VR lab and an information session on how to program the application, which included both framework and coding. The team looks forward to performing more user research when they visit Travis AFB later this semester in Sacramento, CA.</p> <p><em><font size="+2.5">The Future Solution</font></em></p> <figure role="group" class="caption caption-img align-left"><img alt="Vice Chief with OPTIMIS Cadet AF CyberWorx" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="b8930562-4e90-4aea-9460-450c8138c88c" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/P1011969%20-%20Copy.JPG" style="height:256px;" /><figcaption>Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Stephen W. Wilson with OPTIMIS Cadet Test-Driving App</figcaption></figure><p>The task load of written evaluations will disappear with the aid of Optimis, a real-time app that will solve a significant time efficiency problem. This app will free up time from administrative tasks and speed up the evaluation process for both students and evaluators. The collected data will also give the evaluators the chance to pool information together and learn where knowledge gaps exist for students. The implementation of Optimis will move a huge backlog of pilots forward with their training.</p> <p>Performing in-flight evaluations with Optimis will allow the <a href="https://www.travis.af.mil/About-Us/Fact-Sheets/Display/Article/150636/21st-airlift-squadron/">21st Airlift Squadron</a> to promptly grade students and create an influx of trained and ready pilots. After implementation, Optimis will better prepare the US Air Force for combat by reducing training wait times. Creating an application that will provide more man hours to dedicate to critical mission efforts is just one way our teams are designing the future of the Air Force.  </p> <p><br /> Want to stay updated on all things AF Cyberworx? Be sure to follow us on <a href="https://facebook.com/afcyberworx">Facebook</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/afcyberworx?lang=en">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/company/af-cyberworx">LinkedIn</a>, and subscribe to our emails!</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-above field--entity-reference-target-type-taxonomy-term clearfix"> <div class="field__label">Category</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/17" hreflang="en">Design Thinking</a></div> </div> </div> <section class="field field--name-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=110&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="WllTRRhus_Ol7kog9Kee0uUBh9Vha7Wk411BMVryhsc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 25 Feb 2019 16:35:12 +0000 Jacki.Krummow 110 at http://afcyberworx.org Capstone Team Aims High for Self-Healing Drone Swarm http://afcyberworx.org/blog/Capstone-Team-Aims-High-Self-Healing-Drone-Swarm <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Capstone Team Aims High for Self-Healing Drone Swarm</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/2385" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Jacki.Krummow</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 11/27/2018 - 09:41</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><center> <p><strong><font size="+5">Capstone Team Aims High for Self-Healing Swarm</font></strong></p> </center> <center><em><font size="+2.5">Saving Time and Most Importantly, Saving Lives</font></em></center> <p><img alt="Self Heal Swarm AF CyberWorx " data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="ccb28b4b-92d6-45b6-9cd6-9b7e5c898535" height="252" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Blog%20Image.png" width="346" class="align-left" />When a team of firefighters is fighting a wildfire, how can they communicate more effectively among one another and command base to best save resources, tackle their challenge, and potentially save lives? If a first responder is wounded without their medic nearby, how can resources be marshaled to help them as quickly as possible? If all cell service is lost during a natural disaster, like <a href="https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2018/09/11/hurricane-florence-wireless-providers-recovery/1265014002/">Hurricane Florence</a>, how can first responders communicate with one another to get assets and personnel where they need to be?</p> <p>These are just a few of the questions a project team is hoping to research and eventually co-design the technology to resolve. A team of five airmen at USAFA is working with <a href="https://afcyberworx.org/">AF CyberWorx</a> to fill a predefined location with a swarm of drones that can self-heal and provide cellular coverage to those in need during times of crisis. The Self-Healing Drone Swarm will provide cellular network capabilities which would include sending and receiving data, text, and video. The drone team will self-correct in the face of vehicle loss due to a malfunction, collision, charging need, or signal interface.</p> <p><em><font size="+2.5">What is the Problem?</font></em></p> <p>The team’s insight gained in this project will provide a solution to many different problems. A Self-Healing Drone Swarm has the potential to aid firemen, first responders, and the public in ways that could save lives more rapidly than they can now. Imagine a life-threatening event in the field where a medic could video chat with another soldier and give him the information needed to save an injured warrior, thanks to the Self-Healing Drone Swarm providing coverage over the area.</p> <p>This type of drone work hasn’t been approached in this manner before. Currently, there is no related practical application for AI and drones due to the limited battery life of drone technology. The project team is currently in the problem research phase of this project</p> <p><em><font size="+2.5">Research Found</font></em></p> <p>Recently, the team interviewed a firefighter and drone specialist with AT&amp;T, their industry partner for this project. While speaking with the firefighter, they learned about general operations, use of radios, the problem of zero cell coverage, and <a href="https://www.firstnet.com/">FirstNet</a> (a network available to first responders for disaster relief). A typical firefighting scenario includes a portable radio with the main dispatch channel and an ops channel around 800 MHz, while the fire chief listens to multiple channels at once. Problems usually occur within urban areas and involve the radio; so, they make due with cell communications. But, cellular is most often used as a backup because it is less convenient. Radios are designed to last longer and be more durable than cell phones.</p> <p>While working with the AT&amp;T drone specialist, the team learned more about the physical side of uploads and downloads and what might work best for DoD use. The conversation also helped the team realize the ins and outs of the user experience for their target demographic.  </p> <img alt="Self Heal Swarm" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="d3c4a351-3bc1-4ef5-8935-eae0d5938e62" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/OV-1_0.jpg" class="align-center" /><p><em><font size="+2.5">The Future Solution</font></em></p> <p>There is still much more research to be performed. The team plans to perform a usability test on wireframes in the near future. They will also conduct field research at a drone lab in Los Angeles, <a href="https://www.avinc.com/">AeroVironment Headquarters</a>. While there, they hope to see the technical side of specific drone operations, as there are many items that they still need to address.</p> <p>The team will perform additional research to test their software. Their current software creates drone swarms that have differently defined radiuses to create service in a needed coverage area. The algorithm then places waypoints which the drones move to automatically in real time. The <a href="https://www.techopedia.com/definition/5435/graphical-user-interface-gui">Graphical User Interface</a> (GUI) observes the model and displays each drone as a hexagon with the number on it. It also shows the battery condition with red, yellow, and green color codes. Check out the software in action in the below gif!</p> <div style="width:100%;height:0;padding-bottom:56%;position:relative;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" class="giphy-embed" frameborder="0" height="90%" src="https://giphy.com/embed/llujrmFSr9oMWzzW75" style="position:absolute" width="90%"></iframe></div> <p>At the end of the project, the team hopes to launch a swarm of drones with a demonstration of 2-3 drones that can self-correct. The goal for their final solution of a Self-Healing Drone Swarm is to provide additional, meaningful capabilities that aren’t already available to first responders. The Self-Healing Drone Swarm team wants to save lives and time. The capstone project is a great representation of making an innovative Air Force stride towards future operational capabilities through AF CyberWorx.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-above field--entity-reference-target-type-taxonomy-term clearfix"> <div class="field__label">Category</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/17" hreflang="en">Design Thinking</a></div> </div> </div> <section class="field field--name-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=101&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="6QbhZvmuztz5eyBEvbf12HQemOhvyC203Xrq2eHf-g8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Tue, 27 Nov 2018 16:41:40 +0000 Jacki.Krummow 101 at http://afcyberworx.org