The Defense Innovation Unit, the Silicon Valley outpost of the Department of Defense (DOD), is seeking commercial algorithms to help build an automated network of military drones to accomplish complex tasks using artificial intelligence (AI). The Unit is requesting algorithms specific to networking and decision-making (rather than computer vision or autopilot systems) to help the DOD accomplish its goal of a connected platform of drones working together. The solicitation states, “While these algorithms extend to a variety of use cases, this specific prototype evaluation will be focused on coordinating long-range, high-speed, fixed-wing aerial platforms operating in contested environments.”

The solicitation program will be structured as a series of prototype events in which those selected will deploy their algorithms in an unclassified, live, virtual-constructive development environment.

This is yet another step forward in the DOD’s ongoing plan to develop autonomous systems to carry out its operations. At present, the DOD’s drones are piloted by service members, but the goal is to utilize these algorithms to determine how a pack of drones should react as opposed to the individual service member on a joystick or software.

To view the solicitation and project description, click here.