The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has asked industry to submit proposals for a new program that seeks to develop aerial platforms designed to deliver food and medical supplies and physically disappear after the delivery mission.
DARPA said Friday the Inbound, Controlled, Air-Releasable, Unrecoverable Systems initiative will dole out approximately $8 million in funds over a period of 26 months for research and development work on vanishing aerial delivery vehicles made of transient materials.
The two-phase ICARUS program is based on the Vanishing Programmable Resources initiative, which focuses on the development of electronic components designed to self-destruct on the battlefield.
ICARUS also aims to address the logistical challenge that response teams and troops face when transporting vehicles out of difficult-to-access areas.
“Vanishing delivery vehicles could extend military and civilian operational capabilities in extenuating circumstances where currently there is no means to provide additional support,” said Troy Olsson, ICARUS and VAPR program manager.
“Inventing transient materials, devising ways of scaling up their production, and combining those challenges with the hard control and aerodynamic requirements to reach the precision and soft-landing specs we need here makes for a challenging and compelling engineering problem.”
DARPA will accept proposals for the ICARUS program through Nov. 23, according to a broad agency announcement on the FedBizOpps website.