55th Wing test Pluto app around the world

  • Published
  • By Charles J. Haymond
  • 55th Wing/Public Affairs

The 55th Wing Project BOCKSCAR office and other members from Team Offutt participate in a test trial of the new Pluto application Nov. 13-17, 2023, at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.

The Pluto app was designed to help better navigate the flow of communication between the 55th Wing's Maintenance Group, Logistic Readiness Squadron and Operations Group.

“It is going to be deployed throughout the 55th Wing and around the world,” said Maj. Bryan Allebone, Project BOCKSCAR Digital Transformation Office director. “With the goal in mind to help accelerate the cycle of flying missions and all the work that goes into preparing aircraft and crews to accomplish their mission.”

This application allows these groups to work cohesively and further synchronize the 55th Wing’s missions. The application is not exclusively designed for one group in mind, this gives them the liberty to view updates to their flying mission in real time.    

“There is a specialized software framework that’s being developed to incorporate this application that will allows us to work where connectivity is not really assured,” Allebone said. “So, if it is something like an austere environment down range or on the flight line, where you are far away from significant wireless presence, it allows the application to communicate with other devices securely nearby.”

The application works whether it is connected to the internet or not. While using the app, these individuals can still receive updates to their mission. They can sync their devices together when they meet another member or once they gain access to the internet, they can receive the updates from the server and all the information gathered is secured.

“We have these powerful devices, you have your iPhone or your tablets, they all have their Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, you can use it for more than just connecting your headphones or talking on the internet,” said Erik Everson, Ditto product engineer. “You can use that to have all the devices talk to each other.

"Take advantage of those capabilities and that power to be able to have all the devices talk, communicate, and share all the information with each other locally and that gives us the ability anywhere within of a football field for all these devices to know about any changes that any other device is doing.”

The flight crews will be able to better communicate with one another if their scheduled flight is still happening at the same time or delayed. The 55 LRS Fuels team and other partners will be able to view statuses applicable to their piece of the mission and proceed to execute their roles as necessary, with the precision.  

“I think it is going to be really beneficial to the flight crews, maintenance and our fuels people,” said Maj. Matthew Culley, 343rd Reconnaissance Squadron pilot. “It is going to be really cool to message the jet in real time when they are airborne and additionally getting those real time updates in terms of jet status and logging those times will be really beneficial for the flight crews and other entities around the base.”

Once this application is completed, it will allow these groups to operate in more of a streamline fashion where they can receive all the information at once and keep the mission going.