Student innovations could help the Department of Defense reduce injuries and deaths

People sit in chairs and others stand in front of a screen
On December 7th, the students presented their projects at a celebration at Schofield Barracks.

university Hawaii Students have developed innovative and workable solutions to address critical issues faced by the Department of Defense (DoD), ranging from reducing injuries and fatalities during rescue operations to improving aircraft and crew operations. They made presentations on campus and at Schofield Barracks on December 7th.

Several people smile for a photo
Students presented their projects at an event at Schofield Barracks on December 7th. Students pose for a photo with military sponsors and mentors.

The projects were created during the semester AH Mānoa courses were developed in the fall of 2022 DoD‘s National Security Innovation Network’s (NSIN) Hacking for Defense® (H4D™) and the Capstone program. interdisciplinary student teams AH Mānoas College of Engineering, College of Natural Sciences, and Shidler College of Business learned and applied business skills while working with the DoD identify and develop viable products and early stage prototypes.

Since the start of the program at AH Last year 47 students took part H4D™, and six received internships at NSINBooz Allen Hamilton and other companies.

People smiling around a table to take a picture
Students presented their projects at an event at Schofield Barracks on December 7th. Students pose for a photo with military sponsors and mentors.

“Our partnership with NSIN helps to strengthen the university-university relationship DoD and increases the number of opportunities to work with them,” said Vassilis L Syrmos, AH Vice President for Research and Innovation. “NSINThe programs provide our students and faculty with invaluable expertise and experience to receive hands-on training in innovation and entrepreneurship, while providing career and business opportunities for teams.”

through NSIN‘s H4D™ and Capstone, participants will learn and apply lean startup methodology to develop business and mission model canvases; Discover and validate customer needs; and apply agile engineering in building and testing iterative prototypes.

“The challenge of having to work in multidisciplinary teams while moving through the DoDThe complex process of requires discipline and also provides incredible opportunities for staff development and training, not only for our UH students and faculty, but also for the Soldiers who work on the projects,” he said Gloria Choo, AH NSIN regional engagement principal. “Participants mentioned that the program really supported their communication and presentation skills as well as their approach to problem solving.”

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Fall 2022 H4D™ Projects:

People stand around a large military helicopter
Students tour a military helicopter at Schofield Barracks.
  • Team Icarus presented solutions range from LEDs-Lightpaths to incorporate drone speakers to deter spectators from approaching helicopter rotor blades when required to land in urban environments without undesignated landing zones (i.e. helipads) to prevent accidental injury or death.
  • Team stability on the rise developed and demonstrated its Downwash Shield, an advanced technology to reduce stretcher spin in a helicopter Sked® Basic Rescue System to improve patient transport safety.
  • Team Tracking Sidewinder unveiled a prototype web application that consolidates and tracks personnel training and certification data to ensure soldiers are consistently certified for deployment and career advancement, and alerts the Army and Air Force to any potential mass casualty medical response needs are prepared.

Keystone projects in information and computer science:

people standing around in a room
Students tour military facilities at Schofield Barracks.
  • Advanced Intelligence Natural Language Processing The team further developed a prototype app to support aircraft maintenance by investigating how natural language processing could be used to improve the data accuracy of squadron maintenance records and enhance the user experience.
  • Phase Maintenance Inspection Software -Team introduced proof-of-concept software to better predict, manage and assess maintenance inspections during the mission-critical phase of its rotorcraft fleet by leveraging and synchronizing automation and data analytics. This will improve aviation sustainment capabilities, maintenance quality and predictability for Soldiers and their families as they prepare for training.
  • Development of digital wargames The team continued to develop and improve an app that supports mission logistics and planning, including the delivery and maintenance of supplies, ammunition, etc.

Final projects in mechanical engineering:

  • Aerodrome debris from aircraft taking off Team developed a blueprint for a Humvee trailer mount and protective housing for a remote controlled industrial debris blower to provide a safer and more efficient means of removing potentially explosive munitions from airfields when flying in and out of enemy territory.
  • Fuel sampling in aircraft Team develops a prototype for a hand pump that connects directly to a AH-60 (Black Hawk Helicopter), which is more efficient and safer for crew members to take fuel, eliminating potential fuel contamination and exposure to toxic, corrosive fuel and reducing fuel preparation time.
  • Marine patient warmers team developed technology to prevent morbidity and mortality rates when treating trauma patients with hypothermia and to overcome logistical challenges created by the need for power for other treatment options.
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NSIN Programs are in the AH Office of Innovation and Commercialization and are among several programs designed to foster the research, innovation, and entrepreneurship created on 10 campuses AH System. For more information about NSIN See for programs.

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