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Air Force agreement will result in new product for recording missions

An Airman carries radios that include an interface technology known as the handheld electronic audio recording system (HEARS). The HEARS was developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory 711th Human Performance Wing to provide mission recording capabilities in the field. The system is currently being manufactured by B5 Systems LLC of Xenia, Ohio under a patent licensing agreement. (Courtesy photo)

A closeup view of the handheld electronic audio recording system (HEARS). The system was developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory 711th Human Performance Wing to provide mission recording capabilities in the field. The system is currently being manufactured by B5 Systems LLC of Xenia, Ohio under a patent licensing agreement. (Photo courtesy of B5 Systems LLC)

An Airman carries radios that include an interface technology known as the handheld electronic audio recording system (HEARS). The HEARS was developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory 711th Human Performance Wing to provide mission recording capabilities in the field. The system is currently being manufactured by B5 Systems LLC of Xenia, Ohio under a patent licensing agreement. (Courtesy photo)

An Airman carries radios that include an interface technology known as the handheld electronic audio recording system (HEARS). The HEARS was developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory 711th Human Performance Wing to provide mission recording capabilities in the field. The system is currently being manufactured by B5 Systems LLC of Xenia, Ohio under a patent licensing agreement. (Photo courtesy of B5 Systems LLC)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – A new agreement between the Air Force Research Laboratory and an Ohio company will result in a new handheld audio recording system for military operations and training.

The AFRL 711th Human Performance Wing recently signed a non-exclusive patent licensing agreement with B5 Systems LLC of Xenia, Ohio. Under the agreement, B5 Systems will manufacture and market a newly patented radio interface technology known as the handheld electronic audio recording system (HEARS).

The technology was designed to provide a simple method for military personnel to record audio during missions using their military handheld radio and commercial accessories. Because most handheld radios are only compatible with parts made by the original manufacturer, accessory options are typically limited. HEARS has numerous configurations, often referred to as embodiments, which provide different capabilities.

B5 Systems is building the adapter configuration that plugs onto a tactical radio and can perform any of the following functions: recording; wireless transmission; and playback of recorded bi-directional audio communications coming into, and out of, the connected radio.

“HEARS captures bi-direction radio communications allowing the individual warfighter the ability to review their past communications at their leisure,” said Dr. Gregory Burnett, an AFRL/711HPW scientist and one of the HEARS inventors. “Having this capability has been shown to increase details captured in after action reports and led to changes in techniques, tactics, and procedures. It has also been used to modify existing training curriculum and provides a record for accountability.”

By licensing the technology to a commercial company, the Air Force is helping to drive down costs and improve economic growth. B5 Systems will be manufacturing the product in Xenia and has already delivered samples for testing and evaluation to potential customers.

“The feedback from the test samples has been extremely positive,” said Mark Keller, vice president of B5 Systems. “We expect the product to add to the capabilities of Air Force Special Operations Command and various Department of Defense training programs.”

For more information about patent licensing agreements, available technologies and other technology transfer agreements, please call the Air Force Technology Transfer Program office at (937) 904-9830 or emailaf.techtransfer@us.af.mil.