TheÂ Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has awarded contracts to separate teams led byÂ Northrop Grumman and Raytheon‘sÂ BBN Technologies subsidiary to develop unmanned aerial and ground vehicle technologies.
DARPA said Thursday the two industry teams will perform work under the first phase of theÂ OFFensive Swarm-Enabled Tactics program that aims to deployÂ swarms of autonomy and human-swarm teaming platforms for small infantry forces.
Northrop and Raytheon BBN willÂ serve as swarm systems integrators that will design, develop and implement an open architecture for swarm technologies in physical and virtual environments.
DARPA wants each system to include an expandableÂ game-based architecture that can supportÂ swarm tactics design, integration and exchange; collaboration between teams of humans and swarm systems; and a physical testbed to validate new technologies.
TheÂ OFFSET program will also involveÂ rapid technology development and integration activities dubbed “swarm sprints,” where participantsÂ can work with the integration teams and with each other to build and test theirÂ unique swarm tactics and technologies.
Each swarm sprint will focus on one of five technology development areas such as swarm tactics, swarm autonomy, human-swarm teaming, virtual environment and physical testbed.
DARPA plans to solicit proposals from “sprinters” on two kinds of sprints, including the core swarm sprints that will occur regularly everyÂ six months and theÂ ad hoc swarm sprints that will support on-demand exploration of topics under the five thrust areas.
The agency has set a Nov. 29 proposal deadline for the first core swarm sprint, which will focus onÂ swarm tactics.
This story was originally published on October 16, 2017.