16 août 2018 | International, C4ISR

DARPA Wants to Make Underground Maps on the Fly

The agency is challenging teams to build systems that chart caves, tunnels and underground urban infrastructure.

Finding your way through caves and tunnels is both difficult and extremely dangerous, but the Pentagon’s research office wants to build technology that can navigate underground environments while humans stay on the surface.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is finalizing teams for its Subterranean Challenge, or SubT, a three-year competition to build systems that can rapidly map and search often treacherous underground areas.

The agency on Thursday awarded a $4.5 million contract to Virginia-based iRobot Defense Holdings and a $750,000 contract to Michigan Technological University to participate in the challenge. A third team, Scientific Systems Company Inc., joined the program on July 31 with a $492,000 contract.

“Even under ideal conditions, these complex environments present significant challenges for subterranean situational awareness,” DARPA wrote in the program announcement. “However, in time-sensitive scenarios, whether in active combat operations or disaster response settings, warfighters and first responders alike are faced with a range of increased technical challenges, including difficult and dynamic terrains … severe communication constraints, and expansive areas of operation.”

Full Article: https://www.defenseone.com/technology/2018/08/darpa-wants-make-underground-maps-fly/150554/