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Secure Biometrics and Accurate Localization Using Tactical Assault Kits for Combat Search and Rescue

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8649-22-P-0911
Agency Tracking Number: F2D-4443
Amount: $1,249,929.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF221-DCSO1
Solicitation Number: X22.1
Solicitation Year: 2022
Award Year: 2022
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2022-05-02
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2024-02-06
Small Business Information
10 Candlewood Lane
Braintree, MA 02184-8155
United States
DUNS: 080011167
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Christopher Chandler
 (617) 407-0159
Business Contact
 Sujeesh Krishnan
Phone: (617) 803-6463
Research Institution

Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) has a national defense-related needs of being able to locate isolated personnel accurately, and of collecting biometrics and other data securely during personal recovery, combat search and rescue operations. Today, the primary method used by CSAR to locate isolated personnel requires the use of GPS handsets to fix their location and transmit their coordinates. Alternatively, isolated personnel must maintain radio contact with the rescue teams for geolocation. This takes time and is unsafe in a battlespace, where adversaries may intercept radio communications, locate, and capture personnel. None of this is possible if the necessary radios are damaged, or if the environment’s radio spectrum is degraded or denied. Additionally, learning the status and health of isolated personnel requires that rescue teams are able to communicate with them using line-of-sight radio, either by voice or encrypted text. This assumes that isolated personnel have the ability and opportunity to respond. Kinnami’s resilient distributed data management and security platform integrated with West Virginia University’s (WVU) research on robotic cooperative position/navigation systems in GPS denied/degraded environments, is the focus of an AFWERX Agility Prime Phase II STTR to support these needs. The 563rd Rescue Group wants to build on this STTR’s work to extend its capabilities by including support for Android Tactical Assault Kits (ATAK), habitually carried by warfighters, including isolated and rescue personnel. ATAKs today are capable of sharing data between all CSAR mission participants - rescuers in the air and on the ground, the PRCC base and isolated personnel. However, ATAKs are ineffective when the radio spectrum is degraded or denied, making those carried by isolated and pararescuers on the ground less useful. Further, ATAK data security is limited, whether stored on the device or during transmission. Keeping data secure is critical, especially in contested environments, and/or if the data are classified. ATAKs carried by pararescuers and augmented with Kinnami’s peer-based data distribution technology can assist WVU’s PN technology, accelerating the location of isolated personnel. ATAKS augmented with Kinnami’s technology, and with biometric sensors on wearable devices carried by isolated personnel will enable rescuers to receive medical and other status data automatically. The ATAKs provide the conduit for the biometric data movement to a nearby UAV or vehicle under the control of the rescuers. The intent of this project is to extend the current STTR Phase II work in by integrating the Kinnami resilient hybrid data fabric and licensed WVU solutions with ATAKs to develop a more holistic and complete solution, accelerating the location of isolated personnel, and improving personnel situational awareness and the secure collection of biometrics and other data to advance mission success.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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