DARPA Collaborative Air Combat Autonomy program makes strides

DARPA’s Air Combat Evolution (ACE) program is half way through Phase 1 and has notched several key accomplishments in anticipation of live subscale aircraft dogfights in Phase 2 later this year. Achievements to date include: advanced virtual AI dogfights involving both within visual range (WVR) and beyond visual range (BVR) multi-aircraft scenarios with updated simulated weapons; live flights of an instrumented jet to measure pilot physiology and trust in AI; and initial modifications to the first full-scale jet trainer scheduled to host an onboard AI “pilot” in Phase 3 of the program.

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The goal of the ACE program, which kicked off last year, is to develop trusted, scalable, human-level, AI-driven autonomy for air combat by using human-machine collaborative dogfighting as its challenge problem (Picture source: DARPA)



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