Tim Chung: DARPA’s Subterranean Challenge Aims to Improve Safety in Underground Operations

Jeff Brody

Tim Chung, program manager for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Subterrenean Challenge, said that the program is focused on the need to mitigate human involvement in hazardous underground operations, National Defense magazine reported Monday.

Chung noted in an interview with the publication at the agency’s Arlington, Va. headquarters that the agency developed the challenge to identify how new tools can be leveraged in evironments that lack lighting and navigation technologies such as GPS.

He added that the challenge will focus on autonomy, mobility, perception and networking capabilities which participants must combine for the program’s tunnel, urban and underground circuits.

DARPA selected 11 teams for the challenge’s first circuit in May and is continuing to accept applications for the urban and cave circuits in 2020 ahead of the final event in August 2021.

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