DARPA’s Latest Drone Swarm Sprint Focuses on Virtual Environments

(Image courtesy: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency)

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency  (DARPA) has kicked off the fourth ‘sprint’ for its OFFensive Swarm-Enabled Tactics (OFFSET)  program. Through OFFSET, DARPA envisions swarms of 250 collaborative autonomous systems – including unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) – providing critical capabilities to ground units in urban areas where challenges such as tall buildings, tight spaces, and limited sight lines constrain essential communications, sensing, maneuverability, and autonomous operations.

This is OFFSET program’s fourth sprint and is designed to encourage rapid innovation and continuous incorporation of breakthrough technologies with a focus on virtual environments. The sprint is divided into two topic areas: developing synthetic technologies in the OFFSET virtual environments and identifying applications of artificial intelligence (AI) to discover and learn novel swarm tactics.

William Kucinski  is content editor at SAE International, Aerospace Products Group in Warrendale, Pa. Previously, he worked as a writer at the NASA Safety Center in Cleveland, Ohio and was responsible for writing the agency’s System Failure Case Studies. His interests include literally anything that has to do with space, past and present military aircraft, and propulsion technology.

Contact him regarding any article or collaboration ideas by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..