U.S. Air Force Explores Data Synthesis with Tonic

Thu, Jun 11, 2020

Marking a significant milestone in our startup’s timeline, we’re excited to announce that Tonic has won a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract from the U.S. Air Force to respond to its data synthesis and generation needs. Under the aegis of this award, we’re investigating how our platform can be adapted to generate synthetic images, along with the structured data found in the images’ reports, for a number of units within the AF.

Synthetic satellite imagery, in particular, represents a game changer for efforts to integrate machine learning technologies into DoD workflows. But synthesizing the images is only half the proverbial battle. Each image needs to be paired with its own report of structured and unstructured data, to enable easily searching and sorting the images based on descriptions.

In the words of Adam Kamor, our Head of Engineering who is leading the development effort, “This really is a win-win situation: a win for Tonic to have such an interesting use case with which to branch into image synthesis, and a win for the Air Force to be able to shape an early-stage, commercially proven solution to fit their needs. Naturally, we envision these needs having counterparts in the Army, NGA, and throughout the DoD for future deployments.”


Tonic is currently in a Phase I contract, exploring where our platform is most urgently needed within the Air Force. Granted approval for the urgency identified, we will move forward to Phase II of the process.

Concurrent to and as a result of these efforts, we have also been tapped for the Air Force’s Covid-19 response in the scope of Combating the Spread. If selected, our platform will enable the government to de-identify, synthesize, and scale up sensitive data related to the outbreak for secure, compliant use in data analytics or in the development of software needed to better respond to the crisis (e.g. contact tracing apps).

With so much going on in the world today, we’re encouraged by this new potential to play a part in our country’s recovery. There’s much work to be done, and we’re glad to be contributing our tools in forging a safe and respectful path forward. Stay safe, everyone, and fight on!