Charles River to develop Picassa tool for DARPA’s Hallmark programme

8 May 2018 (Last Updated May 8th, 2018 12:16)

Intelligent systems solutions developer Charles River Analytics has secured a contract to develop a tool under the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) Hallmark programme.

Charles River to develop Picassa tool for DARPA’s Hallmark programme
Artist’s concept of DARPA’s Hallmark programme. Credit: DARPA.mil.

Intelligent systems solutions developer Charles River Analytics has secured a contract to develop a tool under the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Hallmark programme.

The Picassa tool, which is being developed by Charles River and its partners at Operational Intelligence and the Space Strategies Center, can enable the US military commanders to better understand potential threats in space.

Charles River principal software engineer Daniel Stouch said: “The space environment is both challenging and critical for our nation’s security.

“We are developing a tool to rapidly detect and characterise threatening space activity.”

DARPA’s Hallmark programme has been designed to allow combatants to collect, assess and interpret space situational awareness (SSA) data that would help them make better decisions in the ever-changing space environment.

SSA refers to a clear understanding of indications and warnings of potential threats to the thousands of satellites that are travelling at extreme velocities through space.

The newly developed Picassa tool can be used to generate precise and enhanced threat indicators by fusing SSA data in a probabilistic model.

“The tool will help escalate notifications about potential threats in space, enabling commanders to better understand the ramifications of potential courses of actions.”

The tool will help escalate notifications about potential threats in space, enabling commanders to better understand the ramifications of potential courses of actions (COAs) that respond to threats in space.

In order to improve SSA, Charles River intends to develop probabilistic models with the Figaro open-source probabilistic programming language.

The company has also applied Figaro to other efforts for DARPA such as developing causal models in the US agency’s Explainable Artificial Intelligence programme.

The current DARPA contract is valued at $1.3m.

The Hallmark programme has been designed to offer a full spectrum of breakthrough real-time space-domain systems and capabilities, and to significantly reduce the overall time required to make and execute decisions and observe results.