Using Augmented Reality for Space Control: Charles River Analytics Develops AR App to Help Operators Achieve Space Situational Awareness

Simulated image for SOLAR project by Charles River Analytics.
SOLAR Common Operational Picture designed to promote space situational awareness, enhance mission readiness, and improve space operator confidence

Charles River Analytics Inc., developer of intelligent systems solutions, has received additional funding from the US Air Force to develop our Space Operation Visualizations Leveraging Augmented Reality (SOLAR) app. As part of the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency’s Hallmark program, SOLAR helps operators quickly develop situational awareness to maintain critical space assets.

Operators must accurately track assets in space—a task becoming ever more difficult due to the vast number of unpredictable players in space. Although operators need more advanced software tools to anticipate and respond to actions, they often have to rely on outdated processes—and incomplete information—to execute US military operations.

“Operators can make faster and more confident decisions with SOLAR because it fuses proven human-computer interaction technologies with next-gen augmented reality displays,” said Dr. Michael Jenkins, Senior Scientist at Charles River Analytics and Principal Investigator on the SOLAR effort. “SOLAR also offers intuitive visualizations and a workflow-centric graphical user interface. With SOLAR, operators can quickly make sense of outputs from novel AI, machine learning, and other advanced analytic tools developed by both Charles River Analytics and third-party companies.”

SOLAR Common Operational Picture designed to promote space situational awareness, enhance mission readiness, and improve space operator confidence

We developed one of these analytic tools under our PICASSA effort (also part of the Hallmark program). Our PICASSA analytic tool improves threat detection in space through probabilistic modeling and simulation. SOLAR allows space operators—who have minimal training in the reference models and reasoning behind PICASSA—to easily understand and incorporate these outputs into their space situational awareness and course-of-action development workflow to arrive at decisions faster, with greater confidence.

This September, we will demo SOLAR at the Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance Technologies (AMOS) Conference. AMOS is the premier conference in the US devoted to space surveillance. The conference fuses military, contractor, and academic participation on a global scale, fostering space situational awareness dialogue and collaboration.

Contact us to learn more about SOLAR and our other Mixed Reality/Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality capabilities.

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This material is based upon work supported by the United States Air Force and DARPA under Contract No. FA8750-17-C-0170. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Air Force and DARPA.

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