US Troops Have URGENT Need for Intel in Urban Warfare
BAE Systems National Security Solutions in Burlington, MA received a $7 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to provide support to the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Urban Reasoning and Geospatial Exploitation Technology (URGENT) Phase II Program. The purpose of the URGENT program is to improve the quality and timeliness of geospatial intelligence about threats in urban environments to assist US troops in conducting urban warfare.
BAE will perform the work in Burlington, MA (93%) and Los Angeles, CA (7%) with an estimated completion date of May 15/11. Bids were solicited on the Web with 1 bid received by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington, VA (HR0011-09-C-0101).
Under the contract, BAE is developing a design concept that promises to speed the collection and processing of geospatial data about urban environments and deliver them to US troops on the ground for mission planning, navigation, and targeting. BAE will do this by fusing different intel systems…
BAE’s design concept proposes to improve geospatial intelligence collection and processing by fusing light detection and ranging and geographic information systems (GIS) data sources, used to detect and classify urban geospatial features, in order to characterize automatically object attributes and function; the design concept would enable the capture of analyst expertise using advanced machine learning approaches.
DARPA’s launched the URGENT Program to improve intel for soldiers on the ground fighting in an urban environment…
“The recognition of targets in urban environments poses unique operational challenges for the warfighter. Historically, target recognition has focused on conventional military objects, with particular emphasis on military vehicles such as tanks and armored personnel carriers. In many cases, these threats exhibit unique signatures and are relatively geographically isolated from densely populated areas.
The same cannot be said of today’s asymmetric threats, which are embedded in urban areas, thereby forcing U.S. Forces to engage enemy combatants in cities with large civilian populations. Under these conditions, even the most common urban objects can have tactical significance: trash cans can contain improvised explosive devices, doors can conceal snipers, jersey barriers can block troop ingress, roof tops can become landing zones, and so on. Today’s urban missions involve analyzing a multitude of urban objects in the area of regard.
As military operations in urban regions have grown, the need to identify urban objects has become an important requirement for the military. Understanding the locations, shapes, and classifications of objects is needed for a broad range of pressing urban mission planning analytical queries (e.g., finding all roof top landing zones on three story buildings clear of vertical obstructions and verifying ingress routes with maximum cover for ground troops). In addition, it will enable automated time-sensitive situation analysis (e.g., alerting for vehicles found on a road shoulder after dark and estimating damage to a building exterior after an explosion) that will make a significant positive impact on urban operations.”