DARPA asks industry for ideas on maritime networks for ships, submarines, and aircraft

August 18, 2014 - via DARPA STO

ARLINGTON, Va., 18 Aug. 2014. U.S. military researchers are trying to network manned and unmanned surface ships, submarines, and maritime aircraft to maintain viable naval maritime operations with scarce resources in contested environments.

Officials of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington, Va., are reaching out to industry with a request for information for how to network maritime assets as part of the Networked Maritime Operations program (DARPA-SN-14-57).

Experts at the DARPA Strategic technology Office (STO) are considering a system-of-systems architecture and components to support networked maritime operations, to include undersea, surface, and above surface domains.

DARPA STO is considering developing architectures, infrastructure and technology components to support affordable, adaptive. and persistent maritime operations in contested environments. The goal of the Networked Maritime Operations program is to maintain and enhance U.S. maritime superiority using distributed systems as force multipliers for scarce assets, or that may provide unique stand-alone capability, DARPA officials say.

The system-of-systems architecture would enable military forces to adapt quickly and affordably to new threats or new missions without long development cycles to help maintain U.S. military superiority in contested environments, DARPA officials say.

Networking manned and unmanned ships, submarines, and aircraft would integrate new capabilities with existing ships, submarines, and aircraft to help commanders manage high- and low-end sensors, weapons, and manned and unmanned platforms over a network, DARPA officials say.

One objective is force enemies to spend large amounts of money to find and defeat these networked assets. Networked manned and unmanned ships, submarines, and aircraft wold require ubiquitous, survivable, and persistent communications and networking under the sea, on the surface, and in the air, researchers say. This approach also would require unmanned undersea vehicles and unmanned surface vessels that are able to operate for months or years with little intervention from human operators.

The idea is to proliferate maritime assets affordably over large maritime areas with specialized, upgradeable assets with maritime surveillance and attack capability.

From industry, DARPA researchers want information to help them determine if such maritime networking capability is possible, and if so, when U.S. military forces could deploy it.

Related: DARPA to keep military communications open with floating optical fiber and networking buoys

DARPA wants industry to suggest system-of-systems architectures appropriate for networked operations at sea. Researchers are interested in standards, technologies and architectures; critical network functions; how to integrate new networking capability with current platforms; design methodologies; the most effective maritime platforms, sensors and effects packages; reliable and specialized autonomous unmanned systems; how to deliver off-board systems to contested areas quickly and affordably; tools for managing distributed maritime systems and networks; information assurance; and how to use networks to deny and disrupt enemy maritime networks.

Companies interested should email three-page white papers no later than 19 Sept. 2014 to DARPA at DARPA-SN-14-57@darpa.mil.

Email questions or concerns to DARPA at DARPA-SN-14-57@darpa.mil. More information is online at https://www.fbo.gov/spg/ODA/DARPA/CMO/DARPA-SN-14-57/listing.html.

External link: http://www.militaryaerospace.com/articles/2014/08/darpa-maritime-networking.html?cmpid=EnlMAEAugust202014

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Author:John Keller

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