Current technologies fail to provide persistent situational awareness of the diverse subterranean operating environments, including tunnels, urban underground, and cave networks.
Drive novel approaches and technologies to allow warfighters and first responders to rapidly map, navigate, and search dynamic underground environments.
Teams will compete for more than $3 million in prizes in the three circuit events and an integrated final course.
Interested teams may register their intent to compete in either Systems or Virtual competitions here.
Complex underground settings present significant challenges for military and civilian first responders. The hazards vary drastically across domains that can degrade or change over time and are often too high-risk for personnel to enter.
The DARPA Subterranean or “SubT” Challenge seeks novel approaches to rapidly map, navigate, and search underground environments during time-sensitive combat operations or disaster response scenarios.
DARPA encourages participation from multidisciplinary teams from around the world to address the autonomy, perception, networking and mobility technologies necessary to map subsurface networks in unpredictable conditions. To attract a broader range of participants, the SubT Challenge includes both a physical Systems competition, as well as a software-only Virtual competition.
Teams can compete in one or both of two complementary research tracks: the Systems track, and/or the Virtual track.
Teams will develop and demonstrate physical systems to compete in live competitions on physical, representative subterranean courses, and focus on advancing and evaluating novel physical solutions in realistic field environments.
Teams will develop software and algorithms using virtual models of systems, environments, and terrain to compete in simulation-based events, and explore larger-scale runs in simulated environments that explore significantly expanded scenario sizes and durations.
Teams in the Systems track will compete for up to $2 million in the Systems Final event, with additional prizes available for self-funded teams in each of the Systems Circuit events. Teams in the Virtual track will compete for up to $1.5 million in the Virtual Final event, with additional prizes for self-funded teams in each of the Virtual Circuit events.
Teams will compete in three preliminary circuit events and a final integrated challenge course pursuing high-risk and high-reward approaches. The final event, planned for 2021, will put teams to the test with courses that incorporate diverse challenges from all three environments.
Virtual track teams will compete remotely via online submissions for each circuit event. The final event for Virtual competitors will be co-located and concurrent with the Systems final event.
In early April, nine qualified teams will attempt to remotely navigate the dark and dirty corridors of Edgar Experimental Mine in Idaho Springs, Colorado, in preparation for the Circuits Stage of the DARPA Subterranean (SubT) Challenge later this year.
DARPA has selected nine teams to compete in the Subterranean (SubT) Challenge – seven in the physical Systems track and two in the Virtual track – to develop new approaches to rapidly map, navigate, and search underground environments.
DARPA will host a competitors day September 27, 2018, to communicate the vision and timeline of the DARPA Subterranean (SubT) Challenge, engage potential competitors, and provide a space for technical and operational exchange.