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Tuesday, April 20th, 2021

DARPA unveils subterranean environment training initiative

© DARPA

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) officials have unveiled an initiative designed to afford first responders and warfighters an opportunity to test their skill set in subterranean environments.

DARPA officials said in April nine teams will participate in the SubT Integration Exercise (STIX) in anticipation of the DARPA Subterranean (SubT) Challenge later this year.

The STIX endeavor will be executed at Edgar Experimental Mine in Idaho Springs, Colo. It presents an opportunity to utilize a vast array of technologies, including robotics, sensors and communications solutions, in a representative environment.

Qualifying teams were required to demonstrate baseline performance capabilities and appropriate safety measures, per organizers, noting teams will compete in three preliminary Circuit events and a Final event pursuing high-risk and high-reward approaches.

The Final event, which is slated for 2021, includes courses incorporating challenges from three environments, with Systems track teams competing for up to $2 million in the Systems Final event.

DARPA officials said up to $200,000 in additional prizes would be available for self-funded teams in each of the Systems Circuit events while Virtual track teams will be vying for up to $1.5 million in the Virtual Final event, with additional prizes of up to $500,000 for self-funded teams in each of the Virtual Circuit events.