Like a swarm of angry bees, unmanned aerial, ground, and sea vehicles automonously converge on enemy troops, aircraft and ships, decide what to do, then engage the enemy with surveillance or weapons to help U.S. forces defeat them. All this without direct human intervention. Sounds like science fiction? The American military is one of several working on the technology, called “swarming,” in order to make this scenario a reality.
According to the SWARMS project at the University of Pennsylvania, future military missions will rely on large, networked groups of small unmanned vehicles and sensors. Groups of this type will typically operate with little or no direct human supervision most of the time. It will be very difficult, if not impossible, to guarantee individual management or control in the kind of dynamic, resource-constrained, adversarial environments that characterize human warfare. Managing such large groups will thus be extremely challenging, and will require the application of new, yet-to-be-developed methods of communication, control, computation and sensing, specifically tailored to the command and control of large-scale, autonomous vehicle groups.
DID has more on a recent NAVAIR contract, and the swarm concept…
Alion Science and Technology received an $84.7 million task order (N00024-08-R-3219) under the SeaPort contract (N00178-04-D-4066) to support the Naval Sea Systems (NAVSEA) Command Information Officer (CIO) by consolidating and enhancing the system security and reliability of key IT systems, including the NAVSEA Intranet. Over the course of several years, the Alion team will assist NAVSEA in the transition to the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI) and the Navy Enterprise Resource Planning Tool. The team will also assist NAVSEA in defining requirements and design standards for its follow-on system, the Next Generation Enterprise Network (NGEN).
DID has more on the NMCI and the Alion NAVSEA contract:
Mobile Armor, St. Louis, MO received a contract from the U.S. Navy to provide data security software to protect the Navy’s data at rest, which is any information stored on computers. Examples of data at rest are files stored on the hard drive of a notebook computer, files on an external backup medium, files on the servers of a storage area network, or files on the servers of an offsite backup service provider.
Here’s what the contract covers, and how authorized US government employees can order it…
Welch Allyn Holdings in Skaneateles Falls, NY, won a maximum $43.7 million fixed-price-with-economic-price-adjustment contract for medical equipment, spare parts and training to the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and federal civilian agencies.
There were originally 17 proposals solicited with 9 responses. Welch Allyn expects to complete the work by June 23/10. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia (DSCP) in Philadelphia, PA manages the contract (SPM2D1-09-D-8350).