Ubihere Awarded Air Force Contract to Develop Tracking Tag

columbus, ohio, city

August 11, 2020

COLUMBUS, OHIO — The United States Air Force awarded Ubihere an $875,000 contract to build a tracking system to be used at Dyess Air Force Base, located outside of Abilene, Texas.  Ubihere received additional funding from Rev1 Ventures, a Columbus, Ohio-based startup studio. Ubihere’s machine-based learning algorithms use maps and sensors to provide a new level of accuracy in locating people or objects in areas impermeable to GPS detection.

“Ubihere offers a unique opportunity as a solution to real-world problems that businesses experience in today’s fast-paced world,” said Dave Bergeron, an executive at Rev1. The core technology has a real-value application and dual-use application in providing commercially based location and tracking capabilities for assets, equipment, and personnel.

Ubihere’s patent-protected core technologies utilize GPS-independent tracking to identify an object’s location and movement in real time, and to a much higher degree of accuracy compared to legacy tools such as RFID tags or UWB tracking. Ubihere’s next-generation tagging and motion-detection camera systems have countless use cases across the military and the private sector, especially in GPS-degraded environments (such as indoors or in hostile terrain), meaning streamlined inventory and cost savings. 

“We are honored to have been selected from more than 15 other companies by the US Air Force’s Global Strike Command to provide critical real-time tracking solutions for their operational challenges,” says Eric Wagner, Ubihere vice-president of government relations. “Ubitrax is the commercial solution we are modifying to meet this challenge.”

Ubitrax is a tag system developed by Ubihere that can geo-locate, indoors or outdoors, any piece of equipment with an affixed system tag; a technology that can prove indispensable for a military organization managing hundreds of pieces of equipment across a base or a battlefield. As a case in point, the 7th Bomb Wing, based at Dyess AFB, will be onboarding Ubitrax to monitor and track equipment over the 6,409-acre base. 

“Our 7th Bomb Wing installation has value-added implications for tracing the other assets, equipment, and warfighters of other Air Force units, as well as of the Department of Defense as a whole,” Wagner added.

Ubihere’s technology was developed by Dr. Alper Yilmaz, Ohio State University (OSU) professor of geo-informatics and head of the university’s Laboratory for Photogrammetric Computer Vision. Dr. Yilmaz, a senior member of the U.S. National Academy of Inventors, holds five patents and has been published in or cited by academic journals more than 10,000 times. 

“The team at OSU’s PCVLab has made great strides in developing Ubihere’s technology by way of the funding we’ve received from the DoD, as well as other agencies,” said Yilmaz. “I am glad to see that the fundamental research at OSU is maturing into a series of commercial products that will be used by the Air Force.”

Prior to spearheading Ubihere, Dr. Yilmaz worked with the U.S. Department of Defense to engineer a system that could track people and analyze data in environments in GPS-impermeable areas such as remote, mountainous regions. This led to a DoD project in which Dr. Yilmaz began developing a tag solution that officers could embed in uniforms that uses motion-detection data to locate clandestine officers. Dr. Yilmaz also signed on with NASA to develop a tracking tool to help guide astronauts to and from experiment stations. Following on the success of these projects, Dr. Yilmaz was commissioned for further research and development from the DoD, NASA, and the Department of Energy.

This research was, in part, funded by the U.S. Government.  The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the official policies, either expressed or implied, of the U.S. Government.