Performance Evaluation of DARPA's Advanced Soldier Sensor Information Systems and Technology (ASSIST) Program
Craig I. Schlenoff
Soldiers are often asked to perform missions that can last many hours and be under great stress. After a mission is complete, the soldiers are asked to provide a report describing the most important things that happened. This report is used to gather intelligence about the environment and local/foreign personnel to allow for more informed planning for future missions. Soldiers usually provide this report based solely on their memory, still pictures, and GPS data from handheld units. Due to the extreme stress that they encounter, there are undoubtedly many instances in which important information is missed and not available for the planning of future missions. The ASSIST (Advanced Soldier Sensor Information System and Technology) program addressed this challenge by instrumenting soldiers with sensors that they can wear directly on their uniforms. During the mission, sensors continuously captured what is going on around the soldier. When soldiers returned from their mission, the sensor data was run through a series of AI-based software systems which indexed the data and created an electronic chronicle of the events that happened while the ASSIST system was recording. With this information, soldiers could give more accurate reports without relying solely on their memory.