BAE Systems has won a $3.5 million contract to provide autonomy and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities for DARPA’s Squad X program under which it aims to develop new tools to improve manned-unmanned teaming on the battlefield.
“Autonomy technology – be it in the air, space, sea, or ground domain – is all about making better decisions faster to allow our warfighters to more effectively execute their missions as safely as possible,” said Chris Eisenbies, product line director of the Autonomy, Controls, and Estimation group at BAE Systems.
The contract was awarded by Squad X prime contractor Lockheed Martin. The goal of DARPA’s Squad X, which is composed of the complementary Squad X Experimentation and (the now completed) Squad X Core Technologies programs, is to design, develop, and validate autonomous system prototypes and equip them with novel sensing tools and off-the-shelf technologies. The technologies aim to increase squads’ situational awareness, while the autonomous systems allow squads to increase their battlespace and area of influence, BAE Systems said in a statement today.
BAE Systems’ FAST Labs research and development organization will provide Mission Intelligence for Tactical Systems (MITS) advanced sensor fusion, artificial intelligence, and autonomy.
MITS is highly automated and directs mobile robots and their sensor payloads while reducing the cognitive load on its partner warfighters. MITS fuses sensor data, constructs and shares battlefield awareness with its human squadmates, and provides tactical electronic and kinetic support to the squad as it maneuvers and engages enemy positions. MITS-synthesized awareness informs human decision making in complex, time-critical combat situations, and directs continuous autonomous robotic tasking.