Air Force teams win at inaugural D3 summit
By Tech. Sgt. Bryan Franks, Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs Command Information
/ Published March 04, 2016
WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Two Air Force teams won awards at the inaugural Defense, Diplomacy and Development Innovation Summit Pitch Challenge, organized jointly by the Defense Department, State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development March 3 in Washington, D.C.
The top six teams out of 500 submissions pitched their ideas to a panel of senior leaders on how the U.S. might leverage technology to advance defense, diplomacy and development objectives in innovative ways.
Team Active Shooter Protection won both the “Feasibility” and the “Metrics” awards. The team of members from four bases included Capt. Chris Perrine, 1st Lt. Evan Glowiak, 1st Lt. Dan Gunderson, 1st Lt. Carlos Horner, 1st Lt. Andrew Hyde, and 1st Lt. Bruce von Neiderhausern.
They developed an active-shooter acoustic detection system that could be hardwired into existing fire alarm systems. They referred to recent tragedies involving active-shooters, highlighting the fact that oftentimes law enforcement had been hampered in their response because the specific location of the shooter was not known. To test their application, the team built 16 detection devices they hardwired into a fire alarm switchboard.
The system is unique in that it’s cost effective and uses existing technology that is capable of integrating with existing infrastructure that just about every building already possesses, the team said. This system is essentially a fire alarm for active shooter incidents and provides building occupants and law enforcement clarity in a chaotic situation.
The team also said the detection system could be modified with artificial intelligence software to learn the difference between sounds such as a slamming door, balloon popping or gun shots.
Team 3-D Printing, whose members consisted of Staff Sgt. Ismael Montecel, Senior Airman Lianne Blackburn, Capts. Matthew Stalford and Andrew Stalford, won the “Impact” award for their pitch to use 3-D construction printing to build structures such as hardened shelters in austere conditions or buildings for refugee camps.
“It basically allows us to take the next step in construction because it’s no longer people doing it manually,” Stalford said. “It’s an automated process. It’s manufacturing with a mouse click, so it’s able to produce any design that a programmer can give it.”
The team, who all attended the University of Texas, said some 3-D construction printers existing today could be loaded on a C-130 Hercules and use local materials for the construction projects anywhere around the world reducing the need for manual labor, improving efficiency and reducing the risk to personnel.
“So many things today are created automatically whether it’s furniture, clothing or cars,” Montecel said. “This will automatically create buildings, which is really the next leap in construction technology.”
Both groups presented their ideas Feb. 29 to Under Secretary of the Air Force Lisa S. Disbrow and Assistant Vice Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. John Hesterman.
“This is the kind of innovative thinking we need and want from our Airmen,” Disbrow said. “It’s especially exciting to see these two teams come together from across the service to solve problems we see in our Air Force that also have the potential to impact the world. I’m proud of what they’ve done and look forward to more ideas like this in the future.”