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Florida Tech, Air Force Partner for Stronger COVID-19 Response

University Effort Led by Center for Advanced Data Analytics and Systems

MELBOURNE, FLA. — Faculty and students from Florida Tech’s Center for Advanced Data Analytics and Systems (CADAS) are working with a team from the U.S. Air Force Air Combat Command/Intelligence Data/Tech Futures Division (ACC/A29) and the Air Force Research Lab/Multi-Domain Sensing Autonomy Division (AFRL/RYA) to bring artificial intelligence and machine learning to COVID-19 planning and resource management.

The goal of the Florida Tech work, which began in early April and could continue at least through the summer, is to strengthen the understanding of the effects COVID-19 has on Air Force missions and operations.

“Our collaboration with Florida Tech has been critical to changing the way we think about data and present it to our commanders,” said John Matyjas, ACC Chief Scientist and lead for their COVID Data Analytics Team.

The CADAS team of Carlos Otero, Adrian M. Peter and Anthony O. Smith, supported by students Xavier Merino, David Elliott, Steven Wyatt, Benjamin Luchterhand, Evan Martino, Christopher Bonomi and David Nieves-Acaron, has developed capabilities to rapidly gain situational awareness and support seamless integration of data-driven artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning (ML) models for forecasting. 

“This task provides invaluable experience to our students while helping in the critical mission to better understand and utilize COVID-19-related data that ultimately can help the Air Force manage and move beyond this challenging situation,” Otero said. “It’s really given us an opportunity to showcase our capabilities at CADAS and to demonstrate our team’s capabilities to provide end-to-end data analytics systems and solutions.”

Situational awareness is provided through a scalable, cloud-hosted, visualization application that allows users to drill through daily COVID-19 published data at national, state and county levels. The platform supports quick data aggregation and analytics for actionable intelligence, providing support for multiple datasets and quick deployment of AI/ML algorithms.

The team is helping to augment the application with additional, geospatial-aware COVID-19 advanced analytics and resource management forecasts to estimate hospital utilizations, ICU admissions and ventilator usage. 

Florida Tech’s Gisele Bennett and Michael C. King are also actively engaged to ensure the success of the project. 

The work falls under a cooperative research and development agreement put in place between Florida Tech and ACC in 2019. This effort highlights the strength of such a collaboration, enabling quick-reaction support.

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