The U.S. Military Has Plans to Build Better Swarm Drones

Military and Aerospace Electronics

Key point: DARPA has a plan to make drone swarms more autonomous and secure from hacking.

ARLINGTON, Va. – U.S. military researchers are asking industry to develop distributed, secure, and trusted-computing for heterogeneous swarms of autonomous vehicles.

Officials of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington, Va., issued an SBIR/STTR Opportunity (SBO) Monday for the Distributed, Secure, and Trusted Processing for Heterogeneous Swarms of Autonomous Vehicles project.

The project seeks to develop a powerful, scalable distributed computer and software development environment that enables secure and trusted collaboration and processing across a heterogeneous mix of autonomous vehicles on low size, weight, and power, and cost (SWAP-C) commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) computer hardware.

There has been significant growth in autonomous vehicles and the proliferation of low-cost sensors and other internet of things (IoT) technologies, DARPA officials point out, yet few are designed with cyber security in mind.

Although U.S. military is taking advantage of these technology advances to create new and potentially game-changing military capabilities, these technological advances also introduce new attack vectors for adversaries to exploit.

DARPA is looking for methods to ensure that trust and security are designed into all aspects of the autonomous capabilities to include the platform, platform autonomy, sensors, computer processing, and communications to ensure warfighters trust the technologies.

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