DARPA Issues RFI on Subterranean Domain Navigation, Mapping Tech Concepts

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has issued a request for information on potential concepts for novel technology platforms designed to navigate and map urban underground infrastructure, manmade tunnels, natural cave networks and other subterranean environments.

DARPA said Tuesday it is interested in platforms that can help locate trapped survivors and other objects of interest without endangering people’s lives.

“In many ways, subterranean environments have remained an untapped domain in terms of developing breakthrough technologies for national security,” said Timothy Chung, program manager in DARPA’s tactical technology office.

“We’re looking for audacious ideas on how to overcome the multi-faceted challenges these locations present—poor visibility and communications, difficult access, and unpredictable terrain among them—and provide previously unimaginable capabilities for warfighters and emergency responders,” Chung added.

A FedBizOpps notice posted Tuesday says the agency is interested in distributed data sharing in challenging communication environments; sensors and computation for perception in obscured or low-light environments; and autonomous capabilities.

The RFI has four technology focus areas and those include autonomy, networking, perception and mobility.

Responses to the RFI are due Dec. 15, according to the notice.

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