Military Embedded Systems

UAS swarm systems that can support warfighters in urban operations under development


June 29, 2018

Lisa Daigle

Assistant Managing Editor

Military Embedded Systems

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. Charles River Analytics is one of the teams selected by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to design, develop, and evaluate unmanned air and/or ground system swarm tactics, primitives, and algorithms that support warfighters in urban operations. The Charles River Analytics win is part of DARPA's Offensive Swarm-Enabled Tactics (OFFSET) program.

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

Scientists working on the SATURN project, say Charles River officials, are 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; and integration of the Unity3D game engine to support demonstrations of swarms working in realistic scenarios.

The goal of DARPA's OFFSET program -- conducted in a series of what it calls sprints -- is to develop and demonstrate 100 or more operationally relevant swarm tactics that could be used by groups of unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) or unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs), eventually numbering more than 250 unmanned systems. Charles River is one of five sprinter teams that will be developing and testing swarm tactics within the simulation environments created by the two integrator teams, Raytheon BBN and Northrop Grumman Mission Systems.



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