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U.S. Defense Agency Inviting Proposals for Robotic Radio

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is inviting small business to submit innovative research concepts in the technical domains of Electronics, Information Systems. In particular, DARPA is interested in understanding the feasibility of SQUad Intelligent Robotic Radio Enhancing Links (SQUIRREL) and are looking for proposals for small, lightweight, low-power robotic devices. The proposers can submit their proposals until June 29, 2021.

SQUIRREL seeks innovative solutions that have four criteria. First, they are intended for a squad of no more than eight members. Second, they maintain connectivity among the team as they move and maintain connectivity with higher echelons. Finally, they also minimise size, weight, and power (SWAP).

DARPA expects SQUIRREL solutions will use climbing, flying or hybrid robots to form a self-positioning 3D mesh network that can maintain small-squad communications through a combination of repositioning, frequency selection and beamforming, or focusing a signal toward a receiver. These devices should be quiet, difficult to observe and unlikely to be detected or intercepted.

Additionally, the mesh network must adapt as the squad moves through the terrain, allowing the nodes or devices to experience the best chance of establishing line-of-sight access to drones or other overhead assets to connect for communications with unit commanders. SQUIRREL systems should be designed to support both amongst members of the small unit as well as connecting into the larger U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) grid.

SQUIRREL advances a DARPA project called LANdroids, which used small ground-based robotic radio relay nodes to configure and maintain mesh networks that were capable of reasoning about their positions relative to each other and individual warfighters.

The programme will take place in three phases. In the first phase, the proposers have to demonstrate the feasibility of the technology through evidence of a basic prototype system, definition and characterisation of properties desirable for both DoD and civilian use, and comparisons to competing approaches. Proposers must provide documentation to the feasibility described above have been met as well as the potential commercial applications.

In the second phase, they have to develop SQUIRREL solutions that use robots that have capabilities for locating, self-positioning, and free-space optical means to reach drones or other overhead assets to meet the reach back objective. Proposers must provide distributed control of a set of SQUIRREL nodes to achieve the primary system objectives and demonstrate an area of coverage advantage versus a non-SQUIRREL system.

During Phase 2, proposers will execute the Research and Development (R&D) plan as described in the proposal. They will also complete a commercialisation plan that addresses costs, suppliers, market opportunity, anticipated positioning, and unique intellectual property.

In the last phase, the proposed  SQUIRREL needs to have a plethora of DoD use cases demanding communication for small unit operations in the triple-canopy jungle. DARPA also expects the technology can be used for civilian search and rescue, such as aiding in searchers for lost children or hikers.

SQUIRREL also needs to provide new capabilities to commercial entities with applications that use radio frequency links and distributed control of radio relays. These include exploration of tropical and densely foliated biomes in search of new bases for drug formulation, or population counting of endangered species.

This programme is in line with DARPA’s mission to make pivotal investments in breakthrough technologies for national security. They seek to be the initiator and not the victim of strategic technological surprises. Working with innovators inside and outside of government, DARPA has repeatedly delivered on that mission. They transform revolutionary concepts and even seeming impossibilities into practical capabilities. The ultimate results have included not only game-changing military capabilities such as precision weapons and stealth technology but also such icons of modern civilian society.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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