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AFRL awards $3.4M contract to WSRI and Aptima for drone system


The Air Force Research Laboratory has awarded a $3.4 million contract to Wright State Research Institute and Aptima Inc. to develop an advanced virtual training system using autonomous unmanned systems, according to WSRI.

The two-year project will focus on multi-domain operations in existing and future threats, according to WSRI.

“We’ve been trying to break into this area for the last three years and it’s been a hard struggle but we finally broke through and it’s a big deal,” said Dennis Andersh, WSRI executive director.

The live virtual constructive system is called Mission Directed Learning Environment, short for MiDLE. Some of the training will involve both live and virtual training at Wright State University’s National Center for Medical Readiness — also known as Calamityville — in Fairborn, Andersh said.

Unmanned aerial and ground systems along with avatars and real-world first-responders could all be part of a training scenario, he said.

“It’s way of actually doing training, education and exercises with live and virtual entities,” he said.

The 711th Human Performance Wing’s Warfighter Readiness Division will collaborate with WSRI and Aptima on the project.

Aptima, a human performance assessment company, has an office in Fairborn. The company is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with other offices in Boston, Mass., and Orlando, Fla.

Earlier this year, the Air Force reached a $12.4 million deal with the company, which teamed with defense contractor Leidos, to create a virtual training system for operators who collect and analyze intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data, according to Aptima.


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