DARPA to tackle battle management tech issues

Feb. 24, 2014 at 1:33 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- The U.S. military is developing control algorithms and decision-aid software for battle management to counter threats from enemy technology.

According to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the program is called the Distributed Battle Management project, which is to develop systems-of-systems concepts in which networks of manned and unmanned platforms, weapons, sensors, and electronic warfare systems interact over satellite and tactical communications links.

"We're looking for innovative algorithms from the planning and control theory communities that go beyond current algorithms, many of which assume assured communications in the tactical environment," said Craig Lawrence, DARPA program manager. "Advanced human-machine interaction technologies for cockpits and battle manager stations are also an area where we're looking for novel approaches to enable greater comprehension and quick decision making in an increasingly contested and complex battlespace."

DARPA, in announcing the program, said current battle management systems often lack the benefit of automated aids to help commanders comprehend and adapt to dynamic situations. In future conflicts U.S. forces may also face degradation or denial of critical communications capabilities essential for coordination.

The DBM program envisages a two-step process to address the issues. The first phase focuses on technology development -- planning, control and situation understanding algorithms, and design of appropriate human-machine interfaces. The second phase will feature a team to build an integrated DBM capability to manage air-to-air and air-to-ground combat in a contested environment.

A Broad Agency Announcement solicitation for the first phase of the program has already been issued, the agency said.

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