DARPA Subterranean Challenge Proposers Day
Special Notice (SN) DARPA-SN-18-11: DARPA Subterranean Challenge Proposers Day
DATE: January 18, 2018
E-mail: SubTChallenge@darpa.mil

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Tactical Technology Office (TTO) is sponsoring a Proposers Day to provide information to potential proposers on the objectives of the DARPA Subterranean Challenge in advance of a planned Broad Agency Announcement (BAA). The Proposers Day will be held on January 18, 2018 at 950 North Glebe Rd., Suite 210, Arlington, VA 22203 and via webinar from 9:00AM to 4:30PM Eastern Time. Advance registration is required.

The goals of the Proposers Day are:
(a) To introduce the science and technology community to the DARPA Subterranean Challenge program vision and goals;
(b) To facilitate interaction between researchers and developers with capabilities and interests relevant to the DARPA Subterranean Challenge goals; and
(c) To encourage and promote the formation of cross-cutting teams possessing exceptional expertise and development capabilities for executing research and development responsive to the DARPA Subterranean Challenge program goals.

The goal of the DARPA Subterranean Challenge is to discover innovative solutions to rapidly and remotely map, navigate, and search complex underground environments, including human-made tunnel systems, urban and municipal underground infrastructure, and/or natural cave networks. The representative backdrop for the competition events is a disaster-related search and rescue response to a developing and time-sensitive situation where the layout of the course is unknown, could degrade or change over time (i.e., dynamic terrain), and is too high-risk and hazardous to send in human first-responders. The DARPA Subterranean Challenge seeks to advance technologies through both Systems and Virtual competitions that will dramatically outperform current approaches of manually and laboriously mapping and searching subterranean environments.

The DARPA Subterranean Challenge envisions multi-disciplinary teams cutting across the core systems technology areas of autonomy, perception, networking, and mobility. DARPA intends to solicit innovative research proposals to develop integrated solutions that overcome the severe challenges of underground environments and other systems and environmental limitations. Specifically excluded is research that primarily results in evolutionary improvements to the existing state of practice.

The DARPA Subterranean Challenge Proposers Day will include lightning talks and interactive poster sessions with presentations by invitees selected from DARPA-SN-18-10 Request for Information (RFI) responses. All Proposers Day participants are invited to attend this expo-style event. This format is intended to lead to more interaction among potential proposers and provide opportunities to showcase innovative capabilities and build strong teams to compete in the DARPA Subterranean Challenge. Detailed instructions for presenting have been sent via separate correspondence to RFI respondents. Any other questions should be directed to the e-mail address listed above.


Proposers Day will be held at 950 North Glebe Rd., Suite 210, Arlington, VA 22203 and via webinar on January 18, 2018 from 9:00AM to 4:30PM Eastern Time. Check-in begins at 8:15AM for onsite attendees.

The Proposers Day will be unclassified and open only to registered potential proposers, and is closed to the general public. Media with inquiries should contact DARPA Public Affairs at outreach@darpa.mil.

Upon entry to the event, all attendees will be required to present Government-issued photo identification. Due to space limitations of the facility, attendance will be limited to the first 125 registrants, and no more than two representatives per organization, with determination of what constitutes an organization decided by the program manager.

Participants must register for the Proposers Day through the registration website.

PLEASE NOTE: REGISTRATION CLOSES ON January 10, 2018 at 12:00 PM Eastern Time or when capacity is reached for physical participation. Webinar registration closes on January 16, 2018 at 12:00 PM Eastern Time or when capacity is reached.

DARPA hosts Proposers Days to provide potential performers with information on whether and how they might respond to DARPA’s research and development solicitations; to increase efficiency in proposal preparation and evaluation; and to promote teaming arrangements between researchers. Therefore, Proposers Days are open only to registered potential proposers. To maximize the pool of innovative proposal concepts, DARPA strongly encourages participation in these events and subsequent solicitations by non-traditional performers, including small businesses, academic and research institutions, foreign entities, and first-time Government contractors.

Attendance at the DARPA Subterranean Challenge Proposers Day is voluntary and is not required to propose to subsequent BAAs (if any) on this topic. The Proposers Day does not constitute a formal solicitation for proposals or abstracts. This announcement is issued solely for information and program planning purposes and is not a Request for Information (RFI). Since this is not an RFI, no submissions against this notice will be accepted by the Government. DARPA will not provide reimbursement for costs incurred to participate in this Proposers Day.

The Program Manager for this effort is:

Dr. Timothy H. Chung
DARPA Tactical Technology Office