DARPA keeps an eye on the Arctic

DARPA is looking for unmanned sensor systems to boost the Defense Department's capabilities for military surveillance in the Arctic Circle.

WHAT: A broad agency announcement from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency seeks research proposals for unmanned sensor systems that can track targets in the Arctic Circle.

WHY: "The Arctic is increasingly serving as an area for commercial and military activity," the announcement states. "U.S. capabilities to monitor these activities are limited."

The Pentagon's research and development agency wants to cure the military of this blind spot via unmanned sensor systems and is offering as much as $4 million to do it, with each awardee getting about $500,000 to $750,000, according to the BAA.

DARPA is seeking sensor systems that are cheap, environmentally friendly and quick to deploy. They will also need to be rugged enough to survive in a harsh location that is short on infrastructure: Proposed systems should be "capable of unrefueled operation in the Arctic environment for at least 30 days," the BAA states.

The sensor systems must be able to gather data on aerial, surface and/or undersea targets and send it to a remote facility as part of a "significant military mission," the announcement states. The awardees will propose solutions to one or more U.S. military surveillance problems in the Arctic and prove their systems viable by analysis, lab development and/or field experimentation.

Responses are due by April 14.

Click here to read the BAA.

Posted by Sean Lyngaas on Apr 06, 2015 at 8:07 AM


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