Collaborative Operations for Personnel Recovery Final Report on DARPA/AFRL Contract No. F-30602-033-2-0014

Austin Tate, Jeff Dalton, J. Stader, Gerhard Wickler, Jeffrey T. Hansberger

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


The Collaborative Operations for Personnel Recovery (Co-OPR) project sought to provide collaborative task support for a Search and Rescue coordination center. The project aimed to create a prototype “Personnel Recovery (Experimental) Pack” (PREP) and to demonstrate its use. A number of requirements capture, knowledge gathering and transition workshops and meetings were held. This included an initial requirements setting workshop early in 2005, meetings at the USJFCOM Joint Personnel Recovery Agency’s (JPRA) Personnel Recovery Education and Training Center (PRETC) in Fredericksburg, Virginia in June 2005, a review meeting in Edinburgh in August 2005, and attendance at a Command Post Exercise (CPX) at the PRETC in November 2005. These initially established the potential areas for use of Co-OPR and I-X tools in training exercises. In the second project year such tools were developed and tested using a training exercise as held at the PRETC, using observers from PRETC and USJFCOM and an evaluation expert from USJFCOM/J9. The project was provided with a rich set of urban and rural scenarios by JPRA/PRETC which together are unclassified versions of scenarios used within the PRETC training courses and Command Post Exercises. At the time, these stretched the capabilities of the current and envisaged technologies within Co-OPR/I-X. Refinement of the scenarios alongside PRETC, and knowledge engineering to capture information on standard operating procedures and responses were a key part of making the work relevant to the potential real use of Co-OPR/I-X for Personnel Recovery. The core I-X technology was packaged into a number of checkpoint releases to make available the features required to meet the application needs. I-X version 4.3 released in November 2005 to checkpoint the results achieved on the first 12 months of work with the PRETC. It formed a basis for the work on really using the technology at the PRETC. New “white cell” aids for training were made available in an initial version. A new I-Sim simulation capability, and advanced option exploration tools have all been improved significantly to make them more usable, including the features of the I-Plan AI planner and its capability for plan repair after failures. The features of the Domain Editor (I-DE) and its ability to browse and update or augment standard operating procedure knowledge dynamically during missions were enhanced. The final release of I-X that includes all the new developments achieved in the Co-OPR project is version 4.5. The results of the work were packaged, along with Personnel Recovery domain specific models, as a web site and/or CD which could be considered as a prototype “Personnel Recovery (Experimental) Pack” of tools to assist a Joint Personnel Recovery Center (JPRC) and associated operational staff in performing their operations. The versions of PREP produced were used in one workshop or Command Post Exercise at the PRETC under guidance from Dr. Jeff Hansberger at training related workshops already organized by USJFCOM/J9 Expt. and Fred Kleibacker, the (now former) Director of the PRETC in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Co-OPR team members were engaged with these workshops to to show the tools in realistic settings, to assist with training where possible, and to gather experimental feedback. Realistic use of tools for Personnel Recovery requires that the systems can work with emerging technology for geo-positioning, survival radios, evasion aids, robotic or semiautomated rescue aids or robots, and doctrine or tactics, techniques and procedures for Personnel Recovery. A number of short studies of these “complementary technologies” were made which explored deployment and inter-working aspects of these with the Co-OPR/I-X technology.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherArtificial Intelligence Applications Institute
Commissioning bodyDARPA
Number of pages96
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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