DIU seeks 'commercial solutions' to gird data-driven warfighting by UxVs

By Linda Hersey / May 31, 2023 at 7:09 PM

The Defense Innovation Unit is seeking "commercial solutions" to enable uncrewed and autonomous platforms supporting the Navy to operate in environments with intermittent, contested or denied access to communications that are "common in military operations."

According to a request for a Common Operational Database, DIU states the ability of unmanned vehicles (UxVs) to deliver domain awareness hinges on connected communications that facilitate mobile, autonomous sensing capacity for data exchange.

The request further states DOD “seeks proven commercial solutions for creating and distributing an edge world model amongst a group of UxVs.”

Responses are due by 11:59 p.m., June 14.

One or more agreements will be awarded to companies to “provide components of an edge world modeling stack to support myriad operations that could be performed by UxV groups,” according to the notice.

DIU notes that “currently available UxVs often require substantial bandwidth to operate effectively and are unable to efficiently exchange information” with each other and with crewed platforms for more effective coordination.

“This inability to move data to, from, and between UxVs limits DOD’s ability to operationalize data-driven battlefield advantage,” according to DIU.

UxVs need to perform the following tasks, among others, in environments that are “disconnected, denied, intermittent or with limited bandwidth”:

  • Sense the environment (sub-surface, surface, air) using onboard sensors.
  • Create an operational picture of the environment.
  • Share information about the environment.
  • Receive information from other UxVs for an “edge world model.”
  • Use peer-to-peer communications in large groups that may not have a central communications node.

“With a network of unmanned and autonomous platforms to augment its existing forces, the U.S. Navy can maintain Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) more efficiently and effectively,” according to the request.