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Global aerospace and national security solutions provider Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has been contracted by the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).

The $8m valued contract will support SNC’s Phase I development of the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Intent-Defined Adaptive Software (IDAS) programme.

The IDAS programme aims to develop technologies that capture software engineering intentions. This will enable rapid and continual adaptation of the Department of Defense (DoD) software-enabled systems.

The programme is divided into four technical areas (TAs), including Automated Software Generation, Problem Set Generation, Integrated Test & Evaluation and Experimental Control & Transition.

The research and initial prototype phase has a duration of 18 months. SNC will evaluate the emerging auto-code-generating capabilities.  

Specifically, it will lead the Experimental Control & Transition TA to develop and implement problem sets and changes, exercises, prototype toolchains and execution guidance from other TAs.

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SNC will develop an example project of Cloud Agility Baseline with related agile process improvements. It will be used to compare prototype workflows and software.

Phase I of the programme will focus on identifying and constructing prototypes, methods, tools and workflow.

The following phases will primarily involve the automation of the Phase I process, followed by the building of a robust system that will be moved into adapting to real-world applications.

SNC Integrated Mission Systems business area executive vice-president Tim Owings said: “SNC is looking forward to providing DARPA with an IDAS software solution that implements state-of-the-art software design and architecture.”