Numerica has won a two-year, $750,000 contract from the Air Force Research Laboratory to develop a more reliable and robust information fusion technology for “non-cooperative,” or non-self-reporting, targets.

For many allied fighter pilots, deciding if the target symbol on a cockpit display is friend or foe is not always clear. Because weapons systems have advanced faster than recognition capabilities, a target can be hit with precision long before it can be identified, which sometimes leads to inadvertent firing on friendly forces, or what is officially termed fratricide.

The Air Force is dedicated to minimizing fratricide, as well as improving time to engagement and increasing situational awareness, for its pilots.

To help the Air Force meet these goals, Numerica is developing the multi-sensor, non-cooperative target recognition (NCTR) information fusion system. This technology will fuse data received from a variety of dissimilar sources to produce one Single Integrated Picture in real time. The NCTR solution allows each sensor to leverage information from other sensors to improve overall detection and identification performance. This unique crosscuing solution will improve the situational awareness and response time for pilots.

Numerica’s solution is envisioned to transition to the Air Force’s Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance
(ISR) platforms and Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) surveillance systems.

“Numericans thrive on developing meaningful solutions for challenging problems,” said Numerica president and COO Jeff Poore. “Working to prevent friendly fire is very rewarding, and it’s an honor to develop a solution with the Air Force that saves lives.”

Numerica vice president Benjamin J. Slocumb, Ph.D., will lead his company’s efforts to develop the NCTR system
for the Air Force Research Laboratory.