ACES History

The story of the U.S. Air Force's next-generation collaboration system.

ACES is the Government-sponsored program investing in Hadron’s technology that aims to bring information dominance to warfighters and intelligence professionals. Launched in 2013, the United States Air Force chose Hadron as the systems integrator for ACES.


The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and Air Force Research Laboratory contract Hadron to prototype hand and head-based navigation systems. The theory: humans work more efficiently and make better decisions when we’re allowed to interact with data using natural gestures.

Hadron founder and president Klee Dienes using a gestural control system.
Our research taught us that people have a lot of fun using their hands to control immersive video, but the real value of a display-rich environment is the ability to move assets—regardless of input device—from one display to another. What if this capability were expanded beyond the bounds of a single video wall, and was brought to the entire enterprise, including every user’s workstation?


Excited by this question, Air Force ISR Innovations (HAF/A2I) contracts Hadron to develop such a system as the cornerstone of A2I’s just-launched Advanced Collaboration Enterprise Systems program (ACES). We extend our earlier work beyond navigation to tackle collaborative analysis problems. Our result: a multi-site, platform-agnostic system that establishes a common operating picture between far-flung collaborators.


ACES supports exercises at multiple combatant commands and Government agencies.


Further ACES development includes refinements to our user interface, improvements to our network architecture, and multiple form factors to suit various battlefield applications. As a USAF innovation program, development is driven largely by the needs of mission partners who help fund this effort.