SNC Awarded $8 Million AFRL Contract to Support DARPA IDAS Program

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has been awarded an $8 million contract under the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) to set in motion SNC’s Phase I development of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Intent-Defined Adaptive Software (IDAS) program.

The IDAS program leverages SNC’s agile development and model-based systems engineering to enable rapid software development. The overall IDAS goal is to automate code generation, derived from software intent and associated constraints, to rapidly adapt to late changes in requirements and operating environments. SNC’s team serves as the experimental control to evaluate emerging auto-code-generating capabilities.

IDAS is divided into four Technical Areas (TAs):

+ Automated Software Generation
+ Problem Set Generation
+ Integrated Test & Evaluation
+ Experimental Control & Transition

“SNC is looking forward to providing DARPA with an IDAS software solution that implements state-of-the-art software design and architecture,” said Tim Owings, executive vice president of SNC’s Integrated Mission Systems business area. “SNC has a long history of providing reliable and mission-critical software to the DoD and is excited about the opportunity to grow its relationship with DARPA.”

During the 18-month research and initial prototype phase, SNC will lead the Experimental Control & Transition TA to develop and implement problem sets and changes, exercises, prototype toolchains and execution guidance from other TAs. The final objective is to provide abstraction layers and software frameworks used for evaluation, along with exemplary use cases. SNC will also develop a “Cloud Agility Baseline” example project, with associated agile process improvements, to use as the basis for comparing prototype workflows and software.

Phase I of the IDAS program focuses on identifying and constructing prototypes, methods, tools, and workflow. Phases II and III center around automating the Phase I process and producing a robust system to transition and scale to real-world applications. The framework SNC creates for IDAS will test and evaluate the effectiveness of technologies supporting the continual adaptation of DOD software-enabled systems.

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