HTX Labs Secures SBIR Phase II Contract with the US Air Force 821 Contingency Response Squadron - LAVNCH [CODE]

HTX Labs Secures SBIR Phase II Contract with the US Air Force 821 Contingency Response Squadron

HTX Labs, creator of the EMPACT Immersive Learning Platform, has been awarded a new Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II contract with the US Air Force 821 Contingency Response Squadron (CRS).

HTX Labs LogoThis SBIR contract seeks to further expand the EMPACT Platform to better enable the development, creation, deployment, and measurement of realistic, immersive environments and interactive, virtual training content in support of rapid global mobility operations for the 821 CRS.

The 821 Contingency Response Squadron encompasses 29 individual U.S. Air Force specialties, providing the fundamental cadre for worldwide deployment of expeditionary tasks specific to airfield operations within the 621 Contingency Response Wing (CRW). CRS teams provide highly skilled, adaptable airmen, ready to deploy within 12 hours “alert time frame” or notification to support transitory mobility requirements, increasing the response options and expanding the footprint of Air Mobility Command (AMC) across the globe. From wartime taskings to disaster relief like hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods, the 821 CRS extends AMC’s reach to deploying people, equipment, and airpower to locations where air infrastructure may not exist.

“The Air Force needs a more effective way to train and plan for Contingency Response missions, particularly in the hands of expeditionary units at the tactical level,” said MSgt Bryan K Rodvold, USAF AMC 321 AMOS/DOP. “The capability to rapidly create large-scale, geospatially accurate virtual environments will be a game-changer for mission planning and preparedness.”

HTX Labs’ primary goal with this project is to adapt the EMPACT Immersive Learning Platform to enable airmen to rapidly create large-scale, geospatially accurate virtual environments, augment and annotate those environments with 3D objects, and other digital media, and save and publish these environments for use in mission planning. Airmen can then leverage these environments using EMPACT Studio’s self-authoring content creation tools to create real-world contingency response scenarios for training. This expansion of EMPACT’s suite of immersive training tools will allow Airmen to perform repeatable, hands-on training in safe, highly-immersive virtual environments that replicate remote or austere locations not easily accessible in the real world to further accelerate their competence and contingency response readiness.

Expanding EMPACT’s suite of immersive tools to encompass CRS tasks further promotes the shift within the USAF from traditional teams of Airmen, trained to perform a limited scope of tasks, towards modernization of operational concepts like Agile Combat Employment (ACE) and Multi-Capable Airmen (MCA) leveraging networks of well-established airbases and training Airmen to accomplish multiple expeditionary tasks outside of their specialties.

“HTX Labs is excited to take on this new challenge to aid the 821 CRS with their mission to provide expeditionary airfield operations within an extremely tight time frame,” added Chris Verret, CTO & Co-Founder, HTX Labs. “Our main objective with this SBIR award is to allow end-users to pull large-scale, geospatially accurate virtual environments into our EMPACT Platform. When paired with EMPACT’s immersive content authoring tools, this capability will support just-in-time mission training—allowing for the delivery of the right training at the right time to the Airmen who need it. We’re looking at integrating technologies like Microsoft’s Azure Maps to generate geospatial environments from GIS / Satellite terrain imagery and data. These adaptations to EMPACT will support the mission of the 821 CRS relative to training and preparation for expeditionary airfield operations for humanitarian aid or wartime operations.”

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