Qwake Technologies Awarded Air Force Contract to Adapt AR Solution for Smokejumpers and Special Operations – PRNewswire

SAN FRANCISCO, April 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ – The US Air Force has tapped Qwake Technologies to adapt its augmented reality technology, C-THRUTM, to enhance navigation, communication, and coordination capabilities of airborne and ground-based personnel during mission critical tasks.


Qwake Technologies has partnered with the Washington, DC-based start up company Rhea Space Activity (RSA) to  adapt Qwake’s innovative firefighting C-THRU Visual Communications Platform to provide enhanced situational awareness and communications capabilities to Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), the Air National Guard, U.S. Forest Service (USFS) Smokejumpers, and Air Force Civil Engineer Center Readiness Directorate (CXF) Structural Firefighters through the ingestion of commercial geospatial information.

Qwake and RSA will develop a CXF/AFSOC/Smokejumper-targeted, helmet-mounted solution (dubbed C-THRU FREEFALL), to provide situational awareness during free-fall, canopy piloting, landing, and ground-based firefighting activities. Together, they will analyze commercial satellite imagery to produce geospatial metrics that will be integrated into the augmented reality (AR) visual communication device worn by Firefighters, AFSOC parachutists, and Smokejumpers. The C-THRU FREEFALL concept, based on the existing C-THRU Visual Communication solution that is currently being introduced to US structural firefighters, provides aid in navigating fire hazard zones by combining AR, thermal imaging cameras (TICs), cellular and wireless network technologies, camera tracking, GPS localization, and data collection.

Mike Ralston, a former firefighter, NASA scientist, and Co-founder of Qwake, believes “leveraging our innovative computer vision-based AR solution, and incorporating potentially additive real-time information such as geospatial satellite intel and evolving incident maps, can allow C-THRU FREEFALL to bridge the situational awareness gap between mission launch and mission completion.”

Shawn Usman, astrophysicist and Founder of RSA, said that “adaptation of the C-THRU firefighting technology for smokejumping could be used in a variety of national security missions.”

“Air Force military operators routinely perform high-altitude low-opening (HALO) and high-altitude high-opening (HAHO) jumps, some at night, to support special operations missions,” Usman said. The U.S. Forest service routinely uses Smokejumpers to support U.S. firefighting activities. The ingestion of near real-time geospatial data would help in maintaining situational awareness and thereby aids in the insertion of both AFSOC and smokejumpers into austere operating environments.

A lack of intuitive communication and rapid navigation through complex environments costs thousands of lives and billions of dollars each year. Advancements in AR and cloud computing have ushered in a new age of connected, data-driven tools for first responders and critical workers. Leveraging AR, AI, intelligent sensors, and a proprietary visual cue-based connected interface, Qwake Technologies has pioneered a new intuitive interaction paradigm called C-THRU Visual Communication.

The C-THRU Visual Communication platform is designed to simplify visual understanding while providing intuitive navigation and coordination support in high stress situations, greatly increasing the speed and ability to perform mission critical tasks safely. C-THRU FREEFALL will adapt Qwake’s industry-first wearable, IoT-based visual communication solution, C-THRU NAVIGATOR, and bring improved personal navigation, intuitive    communication, and team coordination to critical operations globally.

San Francisco based startup, Qwake Technologies, with expertise in computer vision, firefighting, extreme environments, and cognitive neuroscience develops technology to improve individual performance and team coordination in high stress, time-critical environments. Leveraging augmented reality, intelligent sensors, and a proprietary visual cue-based connected interface, Qwake Technologies has pioneered a new intuitive interaction paradigm called C-THRU Visual Communication, which fundamentally improves decision making and survivability in public safety and other life critical industries.

For more information, please visit

Rhea Space Activity (RSA) is an astrophysics start-up company in the science and technology industry. Specifically, RSA ideates and creates high-risk/high-reward R&D concepts to support U.S. national security objectives. RSA has developed various technologies in the fields of infrared satellites, directed energy, artificial intelligence, light detection and ranging (LIDAR), astro-particle physics, small satellites, cislunar operations, intelligence collection, autonomous underwater vehicles and for the F-35 Lightning II.

For more information, please visit

SOURCE Qwake Technologies

Related Links


Leave a Reply

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.