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News Link • Drones

Swarms of 250 Drones Will Support US Troops in Urban Combat

• https://www.nextbigfuture.com, brian wang

DARPA's OFFensive Swarm-Enabled Tactics (OFFSET) program wants swarms of 250 collaborative autonomous systems providing critical capabilities to ground units in urban areas where challenges such as tall buildings, tight spaces, and limited sight lines constrain essential communications, sensing, maneuverability, and autonomous operations. Each of the five core sprints emphasizes one of the key OFFSET thrust areas – swarm tactics, swarm autonomy, human-swarm teaming, virtual environment, and physical testbed – to ultimately enable cross-cutting breakthroughs in swarm systems capabilities. DARPA is now running the fourth of the five sprints. This will be the virtual environment.

The fourth swarm sprint consists of two topics areas: developing synthetic technologies in the OFFSET virtual environments and identifying applications of artificial intelligence (AI) to discover and learn novel swarm tactics.

Proposers will seek to develop and implement synthetic capabilities in simulation, representing potential future technologies, such as distributed "see-through-wall" sensors, passive swarm communications, or enhanced sensor/computing arrays, to enable and demonstrate novel swarm tactics. Proposed technologies could be near-term advances that are being prototyped in laboratories or far-term ideas that are primarily conceptual but physically grounded.

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