United States Air Force Awards Contract to Improve Emergency Communications at Wright Patterson Air Force Base

On July 7, 2020, the US Air Force awarded SimpleSense a $1 million contract through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program run by AFWERX, the Air Force innovation team who encourage and facilitate connections across industry, academia, and the military to create transformative opportunities and foster a culture of innovation.

For this contract, SimpleSense is collaborating with the Fire Department at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base to decrease response times by interconnecting the base’s incident response software platforms. Currently, when a call comes to an emergency communications dispatcher, they manually enter the same information into up to 10 different software systems. This project aims to reduce data entry to just one system, saving dispatchers significant time per incident.

Chief Jacob King heads the Wright-Patterson Fire Department. “First responders rely on the decades old technology of radio and telephone as their primary means of communication. Especially when you have multiple departments and agencies responding to a major event, these antiquated methods quickly become overwhelmed.”

Draper, a not-for-profit engineering innovation company, partnered with SimpleSense to improve emergency communications at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base by studying the cognitive workload of its system operators during various tasks.

Eric Kanagy, CEO of SimpleSense, is leading the technology startup’s efforts to build a new standard for emergency communications. “No single company can solve a problem of this scale on their own. We’re building a network of agile technology companies, aligned around a core mission and are excited to work with these key partners to prove solutions for the critical emergency response industry.”

SimpleSense is working with existing technology providers to allow for cross-platform communication at Wright-Patterson. The following organizations are teaming on this project:

Raytheon BBN Technologies – Android Team Awareness Kit (ATAK)

BBN has been a leader in network and distributed systems research and development dating back to construction of the precursor of today’s Internet, the ARPANet. BBN develops the Tactical Assault Kit (TAK) Server software used by dozens of DoD, government, and civilian organizations.

Systems Atlanta – Information Display System (IDS5)

Systems Atlanta provides comprehensive solutions and services to address the technology requirements of civilian, government, and military facilities. SAI has 35+ years of experience developing and implementing IDS networks around the world. The company’s solutions are designed to significantly improve users’ information access, situational awareness, responsiveness, and operational efficiencies.

Centauri – COP for Event Response Situational Awareness (COPERS)

Centauri is a technology-driven company providing high-end, creative software and engineering solutions. COPERS was developed by Centauri to provide an Event, Incident, and Emergency Response/Management standard Common Operating Picture that is shareable across the Air Force enterprise and relevant external agencies.


Active911 connects smartphones with CAD to get real-time alerts with mapping, routing, and response so that Command knows who is coming, who is available, who is there, and what resources are on the ground before anyone leaves the station. Founded in 2011 by a volunteer firefighter, Active911 has delivered more than 200 million alerts to first responders worldwide.

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