Northrop Grumman has kicked off a search for participants that can create and test their swarm tactics for unmanned systems on Northrop’s open architecture test bed.
The company said Tuesday it is developing a test bed for swarm technologies as part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency‘s OFFensive Swarm-Enabled Tactics program.
In December 2017, DARPA awarded contracts to two teams led separately by Northrop and Raytheon‘s BBN Technologies subsidiary to develop technologies that can support the deployment of swarms of unmanned aerial systems and unmanned ground vehicles.
Northrop works with Intelligent Automation and the University of Central Florida’s Interactive Computing Experiences Research Cluster under DARPA’s OFFSET program.
The systems integration team is required to produce swarm tactics and technologies to test on the open architecture as well as engage other developers in rapid technology development exercises called “swarm sprints.”
DARPA aims to issue a request for proposals every six months from potential “sprinters” in one of five areas including swarm tactics, swarm autonomy, human-swarm teaming, virtual environment and physical test bed.
The agency encourages academic institutions, small businesses and large corporations to participate in the swarm sprints.
Sprinters will collaborate with systems integration teams to develop and test their unique swarm tactics using the test bed.
The OFFSET project intends to give small-unit infantry forces the capacity to deploy small UAS or UGVs in swarms of 250 or more drones.