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Charles River Analytics Selected by DARPA to Develop Swarm System for Warfighters Engaged in Urban Operations

Charles River Analytics Inc., developer of intelligent systems solutions, has been selected by DARPA to design, develop, and evaluate swarm tactics, primitives, and algorithms that support warfighters in urban operations. As part of DARPA’s Offensive Swarm-Enabled Tactics (OFFSET) program, Charles River is one of the sprinter teams chosen to develop tactics for successful swarm deployment.

Under its Swarm Algorithms and Tactics for Urban Reconnaissance and Isolation (SATURN) effort, Charles River Analytics is developing capabilities to provide heterogeneous swarms of unlimited size with resilient swarm behavior while achieving mission objectives.

Conducted in a series of sprints, the goal of the OFFSET program is to develop and demonstrate 100+ operationally relevant swarm tactics that could be used by groups of unmanned air and/or ground systems, eventually numbering more than 250 unmanned systems. Charles River is one of five sprinter teams that are developing and testing swarm tactics within the simulation environments created by the two integrator teams, Raytheon BBN and Northrop Grumman Mission Systems.

“Using autonomous swarm systems in urban operations could offer U.S. forces and their allies a significant advantage,” said Dr. Spencer Lynn, Senior Scientist at Charles River Analytics. “We are thrilled that we were selected by DARPA to advance swarm tactics by applying principals derived from biological swarms. Our tactics are being designed to make swarms more effective in urban operations, ultimately keeping our warfighters out of harm’s way.”

Under SATURN, Charles River is designing swarm tactics, primitives, and algorithms with:

  • Bio-inspired approaches to address scalable communication between swarm vehicles, decentralized task allocation, and resilience in austere conditions
  • A behavior execution engine using the Hap agent framework
  • Real-time object detection and tracking software to facilitate line-of-sight communication for drones in communication-denied environments
  • Integration of the Unity3D game engine to support demonstrations of our swarm working in realistic scenarios

This material is based upon work supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) under Contract No. HR0011-18-C-0077. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
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