ARL launches Internet of Battlefield Things CRA

On March 3, the Army Research Lab announces plans to establish an Internet of Battlefield Things (IoBT) Collaborative Research Alliance (CRA) (Solicitation Number: W911NF-17-S-0005).

The ability of the Army to understand, predict, adapt, and exploit the vast array of internetworked things that will be present of the future battlefield is critical to maintaining and increasing its competitive advantage. The explosive growth of technologies in the commercial sector that exploits the convergence of cloud computing, ubiquitous mobile communications, networks of data-gathering sensors, and artificial intelligence presents an imposing challenge for the Army.

These Internet of Things (IoT) technologies will give our enemies ever increasing capabilities that must be countered, but commercial developments do not address the unique challenges that the Army will face in using them. The U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) has established an Enterprise approach to address the challenges resulting from the Internet of Battlefield Things (IoBT) that couples multi-disciplinary internal research with extramural research and collaborative ventures.

ARL intends to establish a new collaborative venture (the IoBT CRA) that seeks to develop the foundations of IoBT in the context of future Army operations. The Collaborative Research Alliance (CRA) will consist of private sector and government researchers working jointly to solve complex problems. The overall objective is to develop the fundamental understanding of dynamically-composable, adaptive, goal-driven IoBTs to enable predictive analytics for intelligent command and control and battlefield services.

The Future Army will operate in a highly complex and rapidly changing environment, thus the U.S. Army’s Operating Concept is to “Win in a Complex World”. The Army must tackle wicked problems wherein objectives and constraints evolve in unpredictable ways. Complexity arises from the increasing heterogeneity, connectivity, scale, dynamics, functionality and interdependence of networked elements, and from the increasing velocity and momentum of human interactions and information. Events now unfold in internet time, as noted by the Defense Science Board (DSB) 2014 Study on Decisive Army Strategic and Expeditionary Maneuver.

In this context, future IoBTs will be significantly more complex that today’s networked systems, and novel mathematical approaches and techniques will be needed to represent them, reason about them, understand their behaviors, and to provide predictive analytics in diverse and dynamic environments.

The CRA is intended to create a collaborative environment that enables the Alliance to advance the state-of-the-art and to take advantage of the diverse scientific capabilities and viewpoints of both the private sector and government researchers. The CRA will work collaboratively with ARLs Enterprise research programs to identify areas where joint, multi-disciplinary, collaborative research is advantageous. Continuous collaboration, technical exchanges, site visits, and staff rotations will strengthen and improve the CRA research and its Army relevance.

Full information is available here.

Source: FedBizOpps