B5 Systems will manufacture radio interface technology to record audio during missions

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio. Air Force officials report that the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) 711th Human Performance Wing signed a non-exclusive patent licensing agreement with B5 Systems, which will result in a new handheld audio recording system for military operations and training.

Under the agreement, B5 Systems LLC of Xenia, Ohio will manufacture and market a newly patented radio interface technology known as the handheld electronic audio recording system (HEARS). Air Force officials say the technology was designed to provide a simple method for military personnel to record audio during missions using their military handheld radio and commercial accessories. Because most handheld radios are only compatible with parts made by the original manufacturer, accessory options are typically limited. HEARS has numerous configurations, often referred to as embodiments, which provide different capabilities.

Engineers at B5 Systems are building an adapter configuration that will plug onto a tactical radio in order to perform certain functions such as recording, wireless transmission, playback of recorded bi-directional audio that come into and out of the connected radio.

“HEARS captures bi-direction radio communications allowing the individual warfighter the ability to review their past communications at their leisure,” says Dr. Gregory Burnett, an AFRL/711HPW scientist and one of the HEARS inventors in an article released by the Air Force. “Having this capability has been shown to increase details captured in after action reports and led to changes in techniques, tactics, and procedures. It has also been used to modify existing training curriculum and provides a record for accountability.”

B5 Systems has delivered samples for testing and evaluation to potential customers. “The feedback from the test samples has been extremely positive,” says Mark Keller, vice president of B5 Systems. “We expect the product to add to the capabilities of Air Force Special Operations Command and various Department of Defense training programs.”