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Lessons Learned in Evaluating DARPA Advanced Military Technologies



Craig I. Schlenoff, Brian A. Weiss, Michelle P. Steves


For the past six years, personnel from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have served as the Independent Evaluation Team (IET) for two major DARPA programs. DARPA ASSIST (Advanced Soldier Sensor Information System and Technology) is an advanced technology research and development program whose objective is to exploit soldier-worn sensors to augment a Soldier's situational awareness, mission recall and reporting capability to enhance situational knowledge during and following military operations in urban terrain (MOUT) environments. This program stresses passive collection and automated activity/object recognition that output algorithms, software, and tools that will undergo system integration in future efforts. TRANSTAC (Spoken Language Communication and Translation System for Tactical Use) is another DARPA advanced technology and research program whose goal is to demonstrate capabilities to rapidly develop and field free-form, two-way speech-to-speech translation systems enabling English and foreign language speakers to communicate with one another in real-world tactical situations where an interpreter is unavailable. Several prototype systems have been developed under this program for numerous military applications including force protection, medical screening and civil affairs. Both of these efforts are concluding and as such this paper will focus on overall lessons learned in evaluating these types of technologies.
Proceedings Title
Proceedings of the 2010 Performance Metrics for Intelligent Systems (PerMIS) Workshop
Conference Dates
September 28-30, 2010
Conference Location
Baltimore, MD


DARPA, ASSIST, TRANSTAC, performance evaluation, lessons learned, advanced military technology, speech translation, soldier-worn sensors


Schlenoff, C. , Weiss, B. and Steves, M. (2010), Lessons Learned in Evaluating DARPA Advanced Military Technologies, Proceedings of the 2010 Performance Metrics for Intelligent Systems (PerMIS) Workshop, Baltimore, MD, [online], (Accessed April 16, 2024)
Created October 15, 2010, Updated February 19, 2017