SIS Wins DARPA Contract for Autonomous Anti-Submarine Tracking

KINSTON, N.C., Oct. 26

Spatial Integrated Systems, Inc. (SIS) announced that it has won a major proof-of-concept contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in response to its recent solicitation for the Anti-Submarine Warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) program. The award builds on SIS's successful development to date of an autonomous maritime navigation and control system in partnership with NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (NASA JPL) and Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division (NSWCCD).

"This is a significant milestone in the evolution of SIS's maritime unmanned surface vessel capabilities," said Rick Simon, director of SIS's Autonomous Maritime Navigation (AMN) program. "The DARPA award underscores that SIS has taken maritime autonomy to a level of sophistication unmatched by its competitors."

Under the initial six-month contract, SIS will demonstrate the technical feasibility of a beyond-state-of-the-art cognitive capability for tracking quiet diesel-electric submarines for long periods of time under sparse remote supervisory control. The results of this demonstration will be used to generate preliminary performance specifications for the autonomy system of the ACTUV.  

SIS's AMN system represents the current state of the art in unmanned vessel autonomy. Providing a platform-independent executive function that can be used with any USV, the heart of AMN's cognitive capabilities is an artificial intelligence engine originally developed by NASA JPL for the Mars Exploration Rovers.

"This is a win-win for taxpayers and for the development of advanced unmanned surface vessels," said Dr. Ali Farsaie, President and CEO of SIS. "We've taken the federal government's investment in Mars Rover technology and transitioned it to maritime autonomy. This DARPA project will leverage these capabilities and prior investment even further."

Based in Arlington, VA, DARPA's mission is to maintain the technological superiority of the US military and prevent technological surprise from harming our national security by sponsoring revolutionary, high-payoff research. The ACTUV program will develop a beyond-state-of-the art platform that never sees a person step aboard in its operating cycle as an independently deploying naval vessel. It will operate under sparse remote supervisory control and have a dominant propulsive overmatch against threat submarines to provide the US Navy with a game-changing ASW operational capability.

About Spatial Integrated Systems: SIS is a leader in the development and integration of solutions incorporating novel digital technologies. SIS develops, implements, and deploys high-end system and business solutions that incorporate Digital 3D Imaging and Modeling, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and 3D Visualization. In addition to its headquarters in North Carolina, SIS has offices in Gaithersburg, MD; Bremerton, WA; Virginia Beach, VA; and Charleston, WV. SIS serves both the federal and commercial sectors. For more information, visit

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