The Arctic region is poised for greater regional significance as polar ice retreats in coming decades. Ship traffic likely will increase during summer months, and commercial activity focused on the sea floor is expected to grow. The Arctic is largely isolated, vast, and environmentally extreme. Remote sensing may offer affordable advantages over traditional methods of monitoring the region—aircraft, satellites or manned ships and submarines—due to the great distances in the Arctic.
To enable future capability for regional situational awareness and maritime security, DARPA’s Assured Arctic Awareness (AAA) program plans to develop new technologies for an advanced distributed sensor system to monitor the Arctic both above and below the ice, providing year-round situational awareness without the need for forward-basing or human presence. The program seeks advances in sensor systems and related technologies—such as station-keeping capabilities—that are rugged enough to withstand Arctic conditions, economical to operate and environmentally responsible with minimal impact.
The program’s goal is to identify compelling system concepts enabled by new technologies which enhance future maritime security in a cost-effective and responsible manner.
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