The West Virginia University Research Corp. has announced successful completion of developmental testing and evaluation for a new sensor deployment system developed at the University.

The Oculus System is built on a standard military cargo pallet to allow for rapid deployment and is capable of utilizing multiple sensors. It provides a universal platform that can accommodate sensors for specific mission needs for all organizations that have access to a C-130 airframe. Its capable, but not limited to, reconnaissance data collection, data communication to ground stations and service as an aerial command and control center for search and rescue and disaster operations from aboard the C-130 airframe.

Through the support of West Virginias Adjutant General Allen E. Tackett and Col. James Hoyer, flight tests using the Oculus System were successfully completed at the 130th Airlift Wing in Charleston during the week of March 5-9. The flight testing was a collaborative effort between the West Virginia Air National Guard, Oculus Development, LLC , Warner Robins Air Force Base Special Program Office, the WVU Center for Industrial Research Applications (CIRA) and the Georgia Technology Research Institute (GTRI).

James E. Smith, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at WVU , led a team of professors and graduate students from WVU s College of Engineering and Mineral Resources in the development of the Oculus System through government funded research from the National Guard Bureau and the Department of Defense Counter-Narcoterrorism Technology Program Office. Team members include professors Greg Thompson and Roy Nutter, and doctoral engineering students Zenovy Wowczuk and Gerald Angle in the design and development of the Oculus System.

“Jim Smith leads an excellent team of researchers that is dedicated to putting their technological expertise to work to solve real problems in our society,”said Gene Cilento, dean of the WVU College of Engineering and Mineral Resources.”Project Oculus is an exciting example of the high caliber of our engineering faculty and students at WVU .

WVU Vice President for Research and Economic Development and Research Corp. President John Weete added,This project is an excellent example of the cooperation between WVU faculty and the WVU Office of Technology Transfer working to commercialize inventions by our faculty and students, and building partnerships with other universities and the private sector. The Office of Technology Transfer is responsible for the protection and commercialization of intellectual property for WVU , and is doing an excellent job across the board.

With the successful completion of this phase of testing operational testing of the Oculus System can now proceed to prove the command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (C4ISR) and persistent surveillance capabilities of the system.

Commercial production of the system is expected to begin within 12 months.