The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in September will host competitions in a limestone cavern in Louisville, KY, to advance geotechnology's subterranean mapping capabilities.
The agency says it is seeking the ability to locate people quickly in complex underground environments where rescuers have no clear paths and live operations are too hazardous.
DARPA's SubT Challenge tasks technology providers with developing solutions "that will dramatically outperform" current methods that rely on labor-intensive and potentially dangerous manual search and mapping capabilities. Participants must assemble core systems that possess autonomy, perception, networking, and mobility, with an overarching goal of integrated systems and software solutions.
DARPA says it has established dual systems and virtual contest tracks: the former will devise physical strategies to be tested underground, while the latter aims to develop software and algorithms to virtually build subterranean systems, environments, and terrain for simulations targeting larger-scale scenarios.
From Federal Computer Week
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