SoarTech to Support Dynetics on DARPA Air Combat Evolution (ACE) Technical Area Three: Scaling to Global Behavior

 In Awards, News, Press Release

Soar Technology, Inc. (SoarTech) has been awarded a subcontract from Dynetics, Inc. under the DARPA Air Combat Evolution (ACE) program. SoarTech will support Dynetics in this endeavor by developing autonomous behaviors for vehicles flying in both offensive and defensive air missions, with specific emphasis on scalable, global behaviors.

The ACE program seeks to address and increase operator trust in combat autonomy in a complex, human-machine collaboration environment coined “mosaic warfare.” Using human-machine dogfighting as its entry challenge problem, ACE aims to extend human operator capabilities by assigning the human the high-level, cognitive role of mosaic system mission commander and allowing the unmanned systems to engage the lower-level, individual tactics. Moving into complex, uncertain environments will require that the tactical behavior of the manned and unmanned aircraft be controlled by robust Artificial Intelligence (AI) agents that can interact with and explain their actions to the human pilot in order for the level of trust required to be achieved.

Based on SoarTech’s world-leading expertise in cognitive architectures, AI, and air mission autonomy behaviors, Dynetics has selected SoarTech to support their effort as ACE scales from the local behaviors to heterogeneous, multi-aircraft behaviors. Here, the AI developed for the local behaviors will extend to include battle management coordination between systems and individuals. SoarTech will be developing, integrating, and testing autonomous behaviors for both defensive and offensive air missions.

“SoarTech understands autonomy and AI’s ability to be game-changing technologies as well as any contractor I know,” said Tim Keeter, Dynetics’ Program Manager for the DARPA ACE TA3 effort. “We are thrilled to have them on the Dynetics team for this exciting and important program!”

“Working on aircraft autonomy circles us back to the heart of SoarTech, as we began the company with TacAir-Soar, an intelligent system that can execute the missions of a fixed-wing aircraft,” said Andrew Dallas, Vice President of SoarTech’s Autonomous Platforms. “Our core strength is in applying AI techniques to complex problems within the DoD, such as the one being addressed by the ACE program, where we are now scaling our aircraft autonomy to address highly uncertain environments and at mission speeds. It is, and will be, a pleasure to work alongside Dynetics on this exciting opportunity to develop intelligent agents capable of sophisticated, transparent reasoning. That transparency will be vital in ensuring trust between human and machine.”

For more information about this award, please contact Lauren Sypniewski at lauren.sypniewski@soartech.com.

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