U.S. Air Force selects Veteran-Led Central NY Startup for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I Contract

Fast Site Survey™ contracted to play a role in U.S. Department of Defense efforts on predictive equipment maintenance

Ithaca, NY – EMPEQ (Empower Equity, Inc.) was named the winner of a Phase I SBIR contract from the U.S. Air Force’s AFWERX program as part of the 2023.2 cohort. EMPEQ will focus on helping the Department of the Air Force (DAF) perform rapid assessments of equipment / parts and provision insights for predictive equipment maintenance.

The DAF has struggled to organically maintain and service aircraft in a timely fashion in order to return aircraft to the warfighter for mission-essential purposes. Delays have many culprits: consolidation of repair facilities, difficulties with producing or repairing parts, reliability of spare parts, and contracting issues. However, no matter the cause, these delays impede force readiness.

It was in answering this pain that EMPEQ rose above the competition. With one click of a smartphone’s camera, EMPEQ’s Fast Site Survey solution leverages computer vision to automatically identify & digitize equipment specifications, digitally map & centralize equipment data / photographs, estimate the remaining useful life of equipment, and provide a real-time inventory of the property being catalogued.

The DAF saw potential in EMPEQ’s product to provide critical supply chain insights in addition to the pre-existing Instant Equipment Insights offered by Fast Site Survey today. According to Air Force personnel, this supply chain augmentation could save them up to 97% in time savings over their current processes.

This is EMPEQ’s second contract with the DAF in the past six months as Fast Site Survey is already being used to inventory equipment on a number of US military bases across the world. The AFWERX contract provides EMPEQ an opportunity to greatly expand the use case within the Department of Defense. With a need this acute, the contract has tremendous potential for Fast Site Survey’s usefulness to be felt across the DAF and beyond. The proposed augmentation will also have significant benefits for commercial enterprise customers; use cases would likely be found in property security, workforce management, and workforce productivity.

Having begun his career in the United States Marine Corps as a National Security Agency (NSA) tasked cryptanalyst, the award has special meaning for EMPEQ CEO Herbert Dwyer. “We are honored to be chosen once again to partner with the U.S. Air Force among such a competitive field of solutions.”

Dwyer was also gratified by the timing of EMPEQ’s contract. “The United States military is facing major challenges both domestically and globally. Brave Americans put their life on the line everyday while serving this great Nation. It’s an incredible honor to be chosen to enable these men and women to   maximize force readiness at such a crucial juncture.”

Details about the AFWERX program are available at https://afwerx.com/.



EMPEQ’s revolutionary Fast Site SurveyTM SaaS product reduces the time spent on the facility and equipment assessment process by up to 80% – bringing critical additional bandwidth to the field engineering and equipment / parts servicing industries while both suffer through severe labor shortages. Learn more about EMPEQ at https://empeq.co and Fast Site Survey at https://fastsitesurvey.com.


As the innovation arm of the Department of the Air Force and powered by the Air Force Research Laboratory, AFWERX accelerates agile and affordable capability transitions by teaming innovative technology developers with Airman and Guardian talent. The three core arms of AFWERX – AFVentures, Spark and Prime – serve to expand the defense industrial base for advanced technologies, empower Airmen and Guardian talent, and drive faster technology transition to operational capability. AFWERX teams internationally across academia, industry and government to develop technology, expand talent, and transition dual-use capabilities. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Air Force, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.  Learn more about AFWERX at https://afwerx.com/.