MONTEREY, Calif. — The Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC) has awarded a $42 million contract to Adams Communication and Engineering Technology (ACET) to support the Navy Postgraduate School (NPS) in its effort to expand partnerships in developing and fielding of autonomous systems and robotics, a July 28 NPS release said.
ACET, with support from their exclusive subcontractor Arizona State University Research Enterprise (ASURE), will provide NPS coordination and management for the contract’s deliverables.
Military students at the NPS have firsthand experience with complex challenges in the fleet and the field. They come to NPS to work alongside expert faculty researchers to develop solutions to key operational problems.
Combining the art and science of their NPS education, students engage in solutions-focused experimentation, invention and innovation to realize the full potential of emerging technologies, many of which are in the growing arena of intelligent autonomous systems.
NPS is already the largest single contributor to the DTIC library, which supports all the Defense Department, and this contract ensures that the knowledge generated by NPS and its partners will be rapidly incorporated and accessible.
The new contract vehicle increases access to work with NPS alongside student-faculty teams and collaboratively reach optimal results faster leveraging the readily accessible test ranges, labs and facilities. Sponsoring activities send funded projects to NPS who will work with DTIC to place task orders on the contract.
“NPS provides the interdisciplinary, defense-focused environment needed for the right mix of development and exploratory innovation,” said Ray Buettner, NPS associate professor of information sciences and director of the Sea Land Air Military Research initiative. “The Navy has many labs full of scientists and engineers, but the one thing they need, that NPS has, is the experience of our military student body to help guide development, and this new contract makes working with NPS very easy to do.”
The new contract award is timely. Recognition of NPS’ ability to combine operational experience with research came in two recent developments: first, an update to the school’s mission directing it to be more outcome-focused on “technological leadership,” and second, the formal inclusion of NPS into the Naval Research and Development Establishment (NR&DE), which comprises all Naval Warfare Centers, the Naval Research Laboratory and the Office of Naval Research.
A new memorandum of understanding between NPS and the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) in Keyport, Washington, builds upon existing research relations in unmanned systems and will focus on expanding technical coordination with NR&DE labs.