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Applied Intuition Wins Production Award to Deliver Synthetic Data for Aided Target Recognition (AiTR)
Saturday, September 23, 2023

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Sept. 21, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Applied Intuition, Inc., a software solutions provider for autonomous vehicle (AV) development, announced today that it was awarded a Phase III Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract by AFWERX Autonomy Prime to deliver synthetic data to train an aided target recognition (AiTR) algorithm. The Phase III production contract was awarded less than seven months after Applied's first-ever Phase II award from AFWERX, highlighting both the applicability of Applied's autonomy development capabilities to operational challenges in the Air Force and Autonomy Prime's commitment to rapidly transitioning cutting-edge commercial, or dual-use, technology to warfighters.

Through the engagement, Applied will generate high-fidelity synthetic data to train an algorithm designed to identify and track adversary systems. By augmenting real-world data with high-fidelity synthetic data, autonomy development teams in the Air Force will be able to quickly expand their corpus of training data, improve model performance in identifying adversary threat systems, and accelerate development velocity and the delivery of game changing target recognition capabilities to the warfighter. Additionally, Applied will share commercial best practices, tactics, and techniques for the employment and utilization of synthetic data to AFWERX to ensure program success.

"Aided target recognition is fundamentally a perception problem - something that we're very familiar with from our work in the commercial autonomous vehicle space. The performance of a machine learning model that lies at the core of a perception system depends on the quality and quantity of labeled training data that's made available to it," said Peter Ludwig, Co-Founder and CTO of Applied Intuition. "When it comes to military applications of perception systems, including AiTR algorithms, real-world data is often impossible to collect in the quantities needed to enable success. To remedy this problem, autonomy development teams leverage high-fidelity, physically accurate synthetic data with pixel-level annotations to rapidly generate training data and ensure that models are able to accurately and reliably identify targets, objects, and obstacles."

From a technical perspective, that means modeling the exact sensors used by a system, generating ground-truth labels, and procedurally generating 3D worlds that accurately model the domain where the system is expected to operate.

"Our Department of the Air Force must accelerate change to control and exploit the air and space domain, and the Small Business Innovation Research program is how we do it," said Col. Elliott Leigh, AFWERX director and chief commercialization officer for the DAF. "Private sector research and development is going so fast and there are so many innovative ideas out there. AFWERX has found something that works in its ability to connect with companies, gain new technologies through regular solicitations and then get those innovations to the warfighter quickly."

"AFWERX continues to lead the way in transitioning cutting-edge capabilities developed by small businesses in the commercial sector into production-level contracts that will directly support end users in the Air Force," said Ahmed Humayun, Head of Federal Growth at Applied Intuition. "We are excited to expand our engagement with AFWERX to demonstrate how synthetic data can improve the Air Force's ability to identify and detect threat systems in congested operating environments, mitigating threats to air operations, enhancing survivability, and enabling mission success."

The contract demonstrates how Applied's commercial autonomy development solutions and best practices can accelerate development timelines, reduce costs, and improve outcomes for a vast range of production-level defense autonomy programs across domains.

About Applied Intuition, Inc.
Applied Intuition's mission is to accelerate the world's adoption of safe and intelligent machines. The company's suite of simulation, validation, and data management software makes it faster, safer, and easier to bring autonomous systems to market. Autonomy programs across industries and 17 of the top 20 global automotive OEMs rely on Applied's solutions to develop, test, and deploy autonomous systems at scale. Learn more at

About AFRL
The Air Force Research Laboratory is the primary scientific research and development center for the Department of the Air Force. AFRL plays an integral role in leading the discovery, development, and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for our air, space and cyberspace force. With a workforce of more than 11,500 across nine technology areas and 40 other operations across the globe, AFRL provides a diverse portfolio of science and technology ranging from fundamental to advanced research and technology development. For more information, visit

The innovation arm of the DAF and a directorate within the Air Force Research Laboratory brings cutting edge American ingenuity from small businesses and start-ups to address the most pressing challenges of the DAF. Employs approximately 325 military, civilian and contractor personnel at six hubs and sites executing an annual $1.4B budget. Since 2019, has executed 4,671 contracts worth more than $2B to strengthen the U.S. defense industrial base and drive faster technology transition to operational capability. For more information, visit:

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SOURCE Applied Intuition, Inc.

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