Operational Solutions in 24 Hours – Impressions from IDF Hackathon 

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Last week, IDF cadets developed creative solutions for military operational gaps during a hackathon that was part of the technological complementary course at Training Camp 7.

55 cadets in 11 teams were gathered for 24 fascinating hours, developing projects with the support of Microsoft mentors. Participants included cyber security experts, cyber security appliers, soldier-students in the fields of computer, software, and electrical engineering, software QA, programmers, ERP appliers, and more.

In a special interview to iHLS, Capt. O. and Cadet L. told us about the event and the winning projects. According to Capt. O, “within 24 hours, the cadets had to provide a preliminary product with emphasis on technologies and value for customers, on the basis of operational ideas”.

During the hackathon, the various projects were developed according to initiation, understanding of the need, characterization of a technological solution and a quick development. Eventually, the winning projects will enjoy further development and will serve the IDF in the future.

Among the winning projects:

  • An interesting algorithm that takes into account various constraints, providing optimal assigning, has won the third prize. This settlement defense application helps solve the lack of commanders control over events inside the settlements and direct communications with the soldier in the field. The application that will be developed was designed to make the operation of the various stakeholders more efficient, providing them with full situational awareness regarding the posts, automatic allocation of the order of battle, access to guarding soldiers’ locations, etc. The application makes the communication between the observation operations center and the guarding soldier more accessible, and also includes a concentration of regulatory information.  

  • The second prize was won by the Gender Affair Advisor to the Chief of Staff application, which provides a solution to the treatment of sexual harassment in the Army. In the digital age, many people prefer to ‘hide’ behind the screen than share their thoughts in a telephone conversation. The application provides a discrete and accessible chatbot with a professional, the receipt of enriching information regarding Gender Affair Advisor through a barcode scan and the opening of an online application. It will include a distress button and directioning question base.

  • The first prize was granted to a manual weapon calibration technology – a calibration system based on image processing. Currently, combatants have to calibrate their personal weapon by firing five bullets and executing a complex manual calculation. The application can read the hit points through an image processing and provides an automatic calculation. Each team commander or firing range manager will have a smartphone application that documents the firing page following the firing range, identify the hits and calculate the average result according to a known algorithm.

“The products were demonstrated to senior commanders, including the commanders of Lotem, Matzpen, and Ma’of units”, concludes Capt. O, “they will examine the ideas and consider how to apply them in operational systems.”

He added that the developments could also have civilian uses, e.g. the calibration of personal or law enforcement weapons, the allocation of human resources taking into account various constraints, and personal support applications. 

Lotem Commander Brig. Gen.Omer Dagan, Head of Ma’of, Col. Lior Faina. Photos by IDF Spokesperson