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Autonomy Software Aids Air Mission Planning

Software being developed by BAE Systems and partners for DARPA’s RSPACE program will help tactical planners to more efficiently manage complex air battlespaces.

Complex, congested air battlespaces can challenge the most innovative air mission planning. For that reason, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) recently awarded BAE Systems a Phase 3 contract worth $3.1 million to continue developing autonomy software to improve the resiliency of air mission planning for the military. As part of the Resilient Synchronized Planning and Assessment for the Contested Environment (RSPACE) program, the software is meant to assist air mission operators to better understand and control operations in complex battlespaces.

Air battlespace

Software being developed for DARPA’s RSPACE program will help tactical planners to more efficiently manage complex air battlespaces. (Courtesy: BAE Systems) 

According to the needs of the RSPACE program, BAE Systems has created its Distributed, Interactive, Command-and-Control Tool (DIRECT) software to improve air battlespace awareness. The software analyzes battlespace data and provides an easy-to-use visual graphical user interface (GUI) to generate real-time warnings to operators about areas of concern during the planning and execution of air-based missions. The software is also designed to automatically adjust to changes in operating environments to minimize consumption of bandwidth when communications are limited and/or being jammed.

“New users have found DIRECT easy to learn, indicating we are well on our way to providing a software decision aid that will help planners adapt to plan changes, make real-time decisions faster, and more effectively execute their missions,” said Chris Eisenbies, product line director of the Autonomy, Controls, and Estimation group at BAE Systems. Work for the RSPACE program is being conducted at BAE facilities in Burlington, Mass. and Arlington, Va. and by teammate Uncharted Software, Inc.

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