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    Specialized drone testing comes to Travis AFB

    Specialized drone testing comes to Travis AFB

    Photo By Kenneth Abbate | A drone deploys during a Base Oversight of Autonomous Response demonstration at Travis...... read more read more



    Story by Kenneth Abbate 

    60th Air Mobility Wing

    The 60th Mission Support Group hosted the Air Force Research Laboratory as they initiated the testing of the Base Oversight of Autonomous Response System on March 16, 2024.

    During this visit, the team from Project BOAR initiated a capabilities test during the Travis AFB Wings Over Solano air show and open house hosting leadership from the installation to include U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Derek Salmi, 60th Air Mobility Wing commander, Col. Patrick Brady Lee, 349th Air Mobility Wing commander and Col. Jason Herring, 621st Contingency Response commander.

    Project BOAR, a product of AFRL, is a system designed to control multiple unmanned vehicles of all kinds, encompassing land, air, sea and undersea from a centralized command and control station. These vehicles are referred to as “UxV’s.” BOAR will enable central control and monitoring of UxV operations such as emergency response, building inspections, threat detection and more.

    Travis is the second base to initiate a project BOAR system test. The first test case study, hosted at the Air Force Marathon at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, in Nov. 2023. According to AFRL, these routine project BOAR demonstrations help to widen the projects true capabilities.

    “For the air show, we combined both drone video and static video systems into our BOAR system, which created a common operating picture,” said Kristen Barrera, AFRL Principal Research Psychologist and BOAR project lead. “We also accomplished our first beyond-visual-line-of-sight launch at the air show, along with the ability to point the drone in certain directions.”

    During the 2023 Air Force Marathon at Wright-Patterson AFB, AFRL demonstrated the ability to provide a common operating picture that displayed both the tasking of multiple unmanned aerial vehicles as well as their live video feeds, which could then be accessed from multiple locations. During that particular event, the team integrated BOAR technologies to provide comprehensive visuals. These real-time assessments aided in the ability to identify potential threats to the marathon’s security and provide information to the marathon’s incident command team.

    For the air show at Travis AFB, the team replicated most of the capabilities from the initial 2023 Air Force Marathon BOAR demonstration and added sUAS autonomous components to increase levels of integration and oversight. This event helped to provide more information for sUAS mission planning capabilities from geographically separated location, allowing execution based on the planner’s parameters.

    U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Brian Trumble, 60th MSG deputy commander, and Brandon Nolan, BOAR project deputy lead, spoke with Team Travis leadership about the details of the program and how using it could assist in completing the base’s mission more effectively.

    “With the growth of UxV use, particularly sUASs, by the Air Force, airspace has become more congested, and coordination has become more complicated,” said Barrera. “More bases are adopting sUAS operations as a resource for operations like reconnaissance, building maintenance, security, and aircraft maintenance. These missions are estimated to save countless manhours in the long run and increase the efficiency of every sUAS operation. With BOAR, we look to consolidate most, if not all, UxV operations on an installation within a singular system that will operate aspects of planning, execution and assessment.”

    Following the leadership brief of the program, the team demonstrated the ability to launch an aerial drone from the operation center desk. In this scenario, with guidance from the AFRL team representative, the leadership team was able to communicate with a drone, which was about 1.5 miles away from the operations center, and operate the system to include the ability to indicate when to launch, how far to climb and where to scan the environment.

    “I appreciate the incredible work on this project,” said Salmi. “It is phenomenal when you have a vision, and you connect the right people to build upon it. The partnerships with everyone here at Team Travis in conjunction with the AFRL helped push this case study to make this a more tangible product.”

    This version of BOAR also integrated technologies from multiple different industry partners and brought in more feeds to support the 60th Security Forces Squadron in ensuring the safety and security of air show attendees, consolidating a total of four different vendors’ video systems into a single monitoring station.


    Date Taken: 03.26.2024
    Date Posted: 03.26.2024 16:22
    Story ID: 467079

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