PHOENIX, Nov. 15, 2007 -- Honeywell (NYSE: HON) announced today that it is developing a revolutionary system for the Defense Advanced Research Agency (DARPA) that could dramatically improve the military’s intelligence analyzing capabilities by allowing analysts to evaluate images from satellites, ground cameras and surveillance aircraft more precisely and quickly than ever before.
The Honeywell Image Triage System (HITS) will enable Department of Defense (DoD) personnel to analyze intelligence images up to six times faster than the current computer-based system through the use of high-tech sensors that monitor signals in the human brain. Honeywell is developing the system as part of DARPA’s Neurotechnology for Intelligence Analysts (NIA) program.
“Computer-based systems currently in use cannot process enormous volumes of intelligence imagery fast enough to meet the needs the military,” said Bob Smith, Vice President, Advanced Technology, Honeywell Aerospace.
“That’s why we are developing technology that speeds up the intelligence analysis process by tapping into brain signals associated with split-second visual judgments. As a result, we are going to give analysts the ability to identify dangerous threats to our troops more quickly, precisely and effectively than ever before.”
The human brain is capable of responding to visually salient objects significantly faster than an individual’s visual-motor, transformation-based response. Simply put, when examining an image an analyst’s brain can register a discovery long before the analyst becomes fully aware of it.
Honeywell’s technology uses sensors to monitor brain activity in real time, automatically identifying and recording brain signals to tag intelligence images worthy of additional review. The system presents data to analysts in high speed bursts of 10 to 20 images per second. Head-mounted electroencephalogram (EEG) sensors detect neural signals associated with target recognition as the images are viewed. Neural signals known as “event related potentials” are used to tag the images that contain likely targets or threats. At the end of the high-speed scan, the analysts are able to focus on the small subset of key images tagged by the brain scan instead of searching slowly and systematically through every inch of high resolution satellite images like current techniques require.
Honeywell’s triage analysis methods will ultimately apply to a diverse range of imagery, including high resolution electro-optical, infrared and video imagery. It could eventually be used in a broad range of military and commercial applications including medical diagnosis and geospatial analysis.
“HITS is going to help the military to analyze more intelligence imagery everyday. By more quickly identifying threats to our troops, Honeywell is helping the U.S. military keep them out of harm’s way,” Smith said.
Honeywell International is a $34 billion diversified technology and manufacturing leader, serving customers worldwide with aerospace products and services; control technologies for buildings, homes and industry; automotive products; turbochargers; and specialty materials. Based in Morris Township, NJ, Honeywell’s shares are traded on the New York, London and Chicago Stock Exchanges. It is one of the 30 stocks that make up the Dow Jones Industrial Average and is also a component of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. For additional information, please visit www.honeywell.com.
Based in Phoenix, Honeywell’s aerospace business is a leading global provider of integrated avionics, engines, systems and service solutions for aircraft manufacturers, airlines, business and general aviation, military, space and airport operations.
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