New App to Provide Visual Localization to USAF

photo illus. soldiers by pixabay

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In March 2022, Skyline Nav AI secured a $750k contract from the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) to provide GPS-independent localization capability for the popular Android Tactical Assault Kit (ATAK) platform. ATAK enhances situational awareness by offering a map-based common operating picture on a shared-network.

The Skyline app will allow military units to establish their precise location when operating in GPS-denied environments by relying on man-made or natural terrain features including skylines, buildings, vegetation, and roadways.

After uploading an image of the operator’s surroundings to the app, the photo is compared to a Digital Surface Model of the location, according to the company. 

Skyline Nav AI co-founders Rajeev Surati and Kanwar Singh stated: “Offering a reliable alternative to GPS will be a critical capability in a future combat operation or domestic homeland response mission. It can lead to the difference between life or death and mission success or failure.”

Draper, a technology firm, will integrate the Skyline application into ATAK’s front-end.