The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency plans to hold a competitors day on Sept. 27 to discuss its timeline and vision for a prize competition that will explore technology platforms for potential use by warfighters and emergency responders in underground settings.
DARPA said Friday it seeks multiple teams to develop systems for mapping, navigating and searching man-made tunnel systems, natural cave formations and urban underground infrastructure as part of the Subterranean Challenge.
Participants will challenge one another to obtain the prize money of almost $3 million across four events. They will compete in both physical and virtual events for all challenges. The first event will take place in man-made tunnel systems, the second in underground urban environments and the third in natural cave formations.
The final event, which is set to happen in 2021, will see competing teams incorporate simulations from all three environments.
DARPA will award $2 million to the winning team under the physical systems category and $750,000 to the virtual challenge winner.
Registration for the competitors day in Louisville, Ky., will start on Aug. 15.
The agency noted that interested parties must register in advance for on-site attendance by 12 p.m. Eastern time on Sept. 13 or for virtual attendance by noon of Sept. 19.