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DARPA – Request for Information – Advanced Ice Sensing and Classification (DARPA-SN-23-85)

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DARPA – Request for Information – Advanced Ice Sensing and Classification (DARPA-SN-23-85)


DARPA is seeking a better understanding of concepts and technologies suitable for persistent real-time situational awareness of the Arctic sea ice surface.

Specifically, DARPA is interested in ideas to help frame future ice sensors and sensing architectures. One potential idea may be the demonstration of real-time ice data collection to enable immediate landing locations for exploratory science aircraft and identification and prediction of ice fracturing events without embedding or emplacing physical sensors in or on the ice.

This RFI encourages participants to provide ideas addressing all of the identified challenges and any others related to snow and ice data collection and processing at scale for real-time use. DARPA encourages participants to provide rationale for any other challenges which should be considered for a potential demonstration.

Areas to be Addressed

  1. Technical description of applicable ice detection and classification component level technologies and how they scale to different platforms for employment, with an emphasis on solutions that can be executed for real-time applications.
  2. An assessment of the confidence in sensor technologies of various ice attributes including those that can discern between multi-year ice and new ice, ice thickness, voids or other non-homogeneities, snow verses ice thicknesses, and ice fracturing event prediction based on the current state of the art modeling and simulation tools.
  3. Detailed descriptions of completed testing (eg benchtop, ground test facility, flight) and results compared to modeling and simulation predictions that demonstrate feasibility of predicting the above ice attributes.
  4. Initial existence proof concepts to demonstrate a platform or sensor(s) at a relevant scale and operating conditions

Responses to this RFI are due 5 September 2023.

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Request for Information – Advanced Ice Sensing and Classification: DARPA-SN-23-85

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