Research scientist Michael Day and Warren Lee, branch head for GTRI’s Unmanned Flight Operations, co-led support efforts for the DARPA Service Academies Swarm Challenge, which pitted mixed groups of up to 25 highly autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) on a side against one another in a next-generation version of the traditional “capture the flag” game. The friendly live-fly competition involved student teams from the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Military Academy, and the U.S. Naval Academy, with each team developing and testing their own innovative offensive and defensive tactics to conduct mock swarm-on-swarm battles.
Day and Lee worked with the teams to help them operate the swarms, which included fixed-wing, propeller-driven Marcus UAV Zephyr aircraft and DJI Flame Wheel quadcopters. GTRI coached the teams and shared its simulation software to help the competitors develop tactics for both protecting their own space and invading another team’s base.
You can watch highlights from the competition in the video above.