Phase 2 Development Scales Up Autonomy Capabilities
The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded BAE Systems a $6.5 million (€5.5 million) contract to further develop software that will enable semi-autonomous, multi-domain mission planning, the company announced on 31 August.
The Phase 2 award, under the Adapting Cross-Domain Kill-Webs (ACK) programme, follows a successful Phase 1 demonstration, in which BAE Systems’ FAST Labs, Carnegie Mellon University and Uncharted Software developed a software package dubbed the Multi-domain Adaptive Request Service. The demonstration highlighted the software’s ability to update a plan in real time during a live exercise, by ingesting information feeds to track the state of planned tasks, then generating options to adapt the plan to insert new tasks. The software adapts a plan with 100s of missions to insert tasks against new targets, requiring only fractions of a second per target added.
Under Phase 2, BAE Systems will continue to mature and advance the software, to scale up the capabilities designed to help operators make informed decisions by automatically identifying available assets across domains, then rapidly assessing the costs and benefits of using those assets when adapting mission tasks. Phase 2 is a step toward the ultimate goal of the programme: demonstrating the techniques in a full scale, operationally realistic setting.
“Autonomy is a critical enabler for multi-domain mission planning,” explained Chris Eisenbies, Product Line Director of the Autonomy, Controls, and Estimation group at BAE Systems. “The Phase 2 award will focus on advancing the software designed for military operators to leverage battlespace resources from across various domains, including space, air, land, and sea, for more effective, efficient missions.”