The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has chosen teams led by the General Electric Research Center, Colorado School of Mines and Sandia National Laboratories to create methods and platforms for constructing underground logistics infrastructure.
DARPA said Wednesday it aims to combine trenchless boring, robotics and horizontal drilling approaches to create a set of underground access systems through the Underminer program.
The GE research organization and Mines school will focus on developing an integrated system to address the program's technology and operational requirements.
Sandia's will explore and integrate technology to address current logistics tunnel system and process challenges.
“The Underminer program aims to develop and demonstrate tactical uses for rapidly created underground infrastructure in contested environments,” said Andrew Nuss, a program manager in DARPA's Tactical Technology Office.
“The ability to quickly bore tactical tunnels could benefit contingency operations such as rapid ammunition resupply, rescue missions, or other immediate needs," Nuss added.