Shared IoBT Targeting Solutions: Announcing the new Wilcox RAPTAR-S V3 Plugin for BlueforceTACTICAL
Despite rapid advances in weapon-mounted digital optics, target acquisition through-the-optic, classification, and identification have changed very little. It comes down to the operator visually acquiring a target and assessing its friend/foe affiliation and threat potential. This “tried and true” methodology is vulnerable to several points of failure. The foremost vulnerability is reliance on the operator’s ability to classify and identify the target, which may appear distant, partially obscured, or presenting at an angle from which the operator has not achieved a solid view of the target.
This vulnerability is exacerbated by the intense stress of a combat, HRT, or other situations where comparing an image in the scope against the memory of what the desired target looks like is imperfect. If the operator is carrying printed images against which to compare the target in the scope, it will generally be necessary for the shooter or spotter to break visual contact with the target, often requiring switching back and forth between scope and reference picture, increasing time to attack and the risk of losing the target.
The Wilcox RAPTAR-S is a sophisticated laser rangefinder that calculates a ballistic solution complete with target location and other target data, and delivers extreme precision for target acquisition at extremely long ranges. In addition to the infra-red (IR) laser, visible laser, IR flood and laser range finder (LRF), the RAPTAR-S features an applied ballistics solver. When paired with BAE™ thermal sights or UTC SWIR HWH-SMS system, the RAPTAR-S provides a ballistic solution to the disturbed reticle for faster engagements.
Blueforce’s edge-based IoT data fusion products are designed for secure and efficient IoT and AI data sharing, horizontally across a deployed team, amongst other teams operating at the operational edge, and vertically to other Internet of Battlefield Things (IoBT) systems. When we built our V1 platform, we focused on enabling the rapid swarming of people, sensors, and AI systems plus self-synchronization of this mission critical data to endpoints I have allowed to subscribe to me. As important, we knew we needed an “evergreen” architecture that provided for rapid adaptation as operational needs and emerging sensor platforms emerge. To that end, we delivered a software plugin layer complete with documented and published APIs and an SDK that enables the rapid integration of sensors, autonomous information services, and external systems gateways. Most plugins built by Blueforce or our technology partners have been delivered in days, not weeks or months. Most importantly: The entire Blueforce platform (which is delivered on Tizen, GarminOS, Android, iOS, Windows, HTML5, and soon Linux) is supported, sustainable, and was architected for speed and scale.
Blueforce is pleased to announce the availability of the RAPTAR-S V3 Plugin for BlueforceTACTICAL Android (iOS soon). The RAPTAR-S V3 Plugin communicates with the Wilcox RAPTAR-S and when the operator lases/sparkles a target, the ballistic solution from the RAPTAR-S is shared in real-time with those I have allowed to receive said target data. Immediately, the ballistic solution is self-synchronized with other Blueforce mobile units and Command. Because Blueforce plugins can talk to other plugins, the plugin can simultaneously request one or more images from a paired scope/sight which can be pushed in real-time to the other operators, but also to Artificial Intelligence algorithms (cloud or edge) for immediate recognitional support to include face recognition, object identification, insignia/text identification, and more. The feature we may be most excited about is forthcoming integration (early 2021) with our new GeoJSON Plugin, which enables trusted and secure “crowd-sourcing” of targets, which are shared in real-time with BlueforceCOMMAND allowing the decision maker to identify, classify, and prioritize targets and redistribute to the team in real time.
To summarize, the new Wilcox RAPTOR-S Plugin for BlueforceTACTICAL enables all data collected by the array of deployed tactical sensors on the shooter to be published and accessed on a need to know basis over the tactical network to other elements involved in an operation. Additionally, subscribed endpoints can share data, to include live ultra low latency tactical video, with the shooter. This will enable the following:
- Decentralized fusion and sharing of data from diverse sensors, processed with advanced third-party AI
- Share target data on a need to know basis over tactical networks to other elements involved in an operation.
- Orthogonal sensor cueing which allows the Wilcox RAPTAR-S plugin for BTAC to communicate with other BTAC plugins allowing image capture enabled sights to pass images to BTAC cognitive services plugin for identification and real-time sharing.
- Blueforce’s Hyperlocal alerting capabilities inform Warfighters and First Responders of relevant tactical information based on their location, competencies, and available resources.
- Connects shooters to sensors and artificial intelligence to assist Warfighters and First Responders in complex targeting scenarios that span acquisition and surveillance, identification, engagement, and handoff.