DARPA Hallmark program aims to better manage space assets

ARLINGTON, Va. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Hallmark program -- which the agency describes as a plan to develop revolutionary tools and technologies to plan, assess, and execute U.S. military operations in space -- has completed initial research and awarded Phase 1 contracts to 11 organizations. DARPA is now seeking additional technologies for potential inclusion in the Hallmark program.

DARPA officials assert that the increasing complexity of operations, coupled with an increased need for timely decisions, calls for innovative approaches to battle management command and control (BMC2) technologies.

Lt. Col. Jeremy Raley, program manager in DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office (TTO), said of the Hallmark program: "Twenty-first-century space BMC2 must enable commanders to quickly understand and handle situations by optimizing delivery and presentation of crucial information to make decisions, then provide flexible options for effective, timely response. Hallmark aims to more quickly, collaboratively, and cost-effectively develop unprecedented space BMC2 tools.”

The Agency's Hallmark Tools, Capabilities and Evaluation Methodology (Hallmark-TCEM) is working on developing an initial set of tools and technologies, as well as providing one of the first instances of using cognitive evaluation to inform development of tools for U.S. military command and control. According to DARPA information, cognitive evaluation involves well-established research methods for assessing situational understanding and awareness, including qualitative (interviews) and quantitative (logging human-machine interaction) data collection during and after testing. DARPA is using this technique to more quickly discover which tool and task combinations most effectively convey information, contribute to operators’ understanding of situations, and enhance real-time decision making.

The Hallmark Tools and Capabilities 2 (Hallmark-TC2) Broad Agency Announcement aims to develop and validate additional technologies to complement and augment the Hallmark-TCEM tools and capabilities currently being integrated into the Hallmark software testbeds. A Proposers Day for Hallmark-TC2 is scheduled for Tuesday, January 30, 2018 at the DARPA Conference Center in Arlington, Virginia; registration information is available at https://www.schafertmd.com/darpa/tto/hallmark/p2pd/. Questions regarding the Proposers Day may be directed to HR001118S0008@darpa.mil.

Topics covered in this article