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August 3, 2020

Tamr Helps Air Force Wrangle Data

George Leopold

Source: U.S. Air Force

Data prepper Tamr Inc. will assist the U.S. Air Force in boosting utilization of its air assets under a five-year contract designed to use machine learning techniques to accelerate the flight certification process for new aircraft configurations.

Those configurations include equipping front-line aircraft with new weapons, sensors and defenses such as electronic warfare pods.

Tamr said the contract with the Air Force’s Seek Eagle Office could be worth as much $60 million. The office based at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is responsible for integration new technologies into front-line aircraft.

The Air Force office will use Tamr’s machine learning platform to organize more than 30 years of aircraft performance studies dispersed across the organization. That wrangled data could then be used to accelerate the flight certification process for new aircraft configurations that integrate advanced weapon systems.

The pact is part of a larger Defense Department effort that seeks to leverage commercial technologies in the military acquisition process. Tamr’s Air Force contract stems from a 20-month prototyping initiative spearheaded by the Defense Innovation Unit, which is responsible for deploying commercial technologies across the U.S. military.

The Air Force office will use Tamr’s machine learning software to mine decades of technical documents to identify relevant data from past deployments that can be used to support engineering decisions when fielding new capabilities. The system would automatically generate recommendations “by analogy,” the company said.

Those decisions would otherwise take weeks for Air Force engineers to generate manually. The goal is to come up with new aircraft equipment configurations that are deemed safe based on previously approved configurations.

Under the Air Force contract, Tamr said it would automatically tag more than 60,000 historical documents, allowing analysts to quickly locate relevant studies. That capability would eliminate time-consuming steps like contracting with aircraft manufacturers.

Ultimately, the data effort seeks to boost the efficiency of Air Force analysts and engineers while increasing utilization of existing aircraft. In one use case, Tamr said the Air Force data platform could help reduce the average time for producing a draft report on a configuration request from weeks or months to seconds.

Tamr’s Air Force contract illustrates the U.S. military’s rapid deployment of AI and other emerging technologies as it seeks to organize and tap decades of historical data to accelerate weapon deployments. In May, DUI selected cloud security specialist Zscaler (NASDAQ: ZS) to provide “zero trust” cloud access. The service would allow government users to securely access software services from Amazon Web Services. Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure, the San Jose-based company said.

Tamr. Cambridge, Mass., also supplies enterprise data management tools for a growing list of federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the three military service branches and the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

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