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Dec 6, 2017 | By Troy Carter

Air Force labs are helping start high-tech businesses. Here’s proof.

News Article Image of Air Force labs are helping start high-tech businesses. Here’s proof.
A screenshot shows the GlobalFlyte software suite tracking and transcribing radio communications from multiple personnel on multiple frequencies during a simulated structure fire. (courtesy photo)

DAYTON, Ohio – A small, high-tech startup company’s first sale means they’re planning to hire five more employees next year.

That’ll be a big deal for the company, said GlobalFlyte President and COO Tim Shaw. The staff currently numbers three.

In just 18 months GlobalFlyte has commercialized patented radio-based incident management and communications technology invented by the Air Force Research Laboratory’s 711th Human Performance Wing.

It’s called Multi-modal Communications, and it takes multiple radio channels and applies a new 3-D spatial separation effect for listeners, Shaw told TechLink.

“And that means a 40 percent increase in comprehension,” he said.

The software also combines GPS mapping, imaging, and a real-time transcription of radio traffic that automatically searches the text for keywords like “shooter,” “man down,” or “mayday.”

This can help firefighters, emergency medical services, law enforcement, and public works managers make sense of chaotic situations, quickly communicate, and efficiently deploy resources. (see Shaw explain more in the video below)

“We have our first early adopter, the City of Fairborn right here in Ohio is going to use GlobalFlyte solutions and we’ll start testing with them right after the New Year,” Shaw said.

The successful company is also encouraging other businesses to link up with Air Force scientists and engineers.

On Nov. 1, Shaw, along with Dr. Brian Simpson, inventor of multi-modal communications, and Dr. James Kearns from the Air Force’s Office of Research and Technology Applications spoke about building business partnerships at a downtown “Bench to Business” event organized by the Wright Brothers Institute. The Wright Brothers Institute is an Air Force partnership intermediary, helping to market available technology.

For the first half of the day Air Force scientists shared successful technology transfer stories like GlobalFlyte.

“It’s important that 711th researchers who have taken their technologies from the bench to business showcase their accomplishments and to also share stories with their colleagues,” said Sabra Tomb, one of the event organizers and a 711th technology transfer specialist.  “This way other researchers can learn about the process and possibilities available to them.”

Members of the business community attended afternoon educational sessions on the technology transfer process, namely patent license agreements and cooperative research and development agreements, which allow businesses to work with the Air Force.

TechLink, the Department of Defense’s national partnership intermediary, also presented and shared with the audience ways to find and license technology. Attendees were able to ask questions and network during the event.

“Small businesses need to know that there are opportunities to grow with technology developed in defense laboratories,” said Joan Wu-Singel, the senior technology manager from TechLink who attended the event. “And they can start by searching our database.”

Mindy Cooper from the Air Force Technology Transfer Program contributed to this report. TechLink Editor Troy Carter can be reached at troy.carter@montana.edu or 406-994-7798.

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