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Army Tests Speech Translation, Solar Panel Tech at Central Accord 2016

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army stock photoU.S. Army Africa has facilitated the demonstration of a language translation technology as part of the Central Accord 2016 exercise that included 1,000 military personnel from 14 countries.

The Army said July 21 the exercise in Libreville, Gabon tested seven language-translation devices which worked to collect nine hours of speech from 130 civilians and soldiers that spoke 16 dialects.

“This data set will be used for adapting existing speech recognition software and for testing results,” said Stephen LaRocca, team chief of the Army Research Laboratory’s multilingual computing and analysis branch.

“My ARL group expects to identify a method to be used repeatedly for adapting technologies for world languages, like French, Arabic and Spanish, for better performance when used by communities with their own language variations and their own accents,” LaRocca added.

LaRocca and Maj. Eddie Strimel, USARAF Field Assistance in Science and Technology adviser, led efforts to develop the technology which involves collection and analysis of speech from African soldiers.

The translation technology is one of two S&T prototypes from the Army Research, Development and Engineering Command that were demonstrated at the Central Accord exercise which ran from June 10 to June 24.

The Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center also tested a field-deployable solar panel system for power generation.

CERDEC has worked to develop the Rucksack Enhanced Portable Power System since 2010 to serve as a power source for soldiers’ electronic devices in remote locations.

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