The Air Force is developing software that will help field commanders avoid improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The software will integrate data from multiple sources to provide real-time intel for mission planners.

The software, Risk Assessment for Frontline Troops (RAFT) is being developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory, 711th Human Performance Wing, Human Effectiveness Directorate along with Infoscitex Corporation. RAFT mines existing databases, adding fresh sources of intel (paid informers, interrogations, field conditions, etc.) to predict the safest route for mission planners.

Akin to Mapquest, RAFT is customizable based on multiple variables—safety, distance, time, etc. Commanders can tweak these variables as they see fit, and adjustments can apparently be made on the fly.

Captain Kevin Kupferer of the Human Effectiveness Directorate, Biosciences and Performance Division views a Risk Assessment for Frontline Troops software simulated “best routes” display.

According to John Plaga, Technical Monitor for RAFT with the Human Effectiveness Directorate, Biosciences and Performance Division, Bioinformatics Section, “Our goal is to combine the software with existing systems that allow the mission planner to plan missions with the lowest possible risk based on a number of factors…the safest route would be the planner's number one priority. Then the planner can add other factors like the shortest time and/or distance.”