With assistance from Barone Consulting teamed with Schafer a Belcan Company, DARPA’s Hallmark Program enters Phase 1, awarding contracts to eleven companies that are transforming how commanders manage space-based assets.  

In shear volume, the Earth’s operational space domain dwarfs the oceans. Throw in thousands of objects hurtling at 17,000 miles per hour, and you have a situational-awareness and command-and-control nightmare. Given that complexity—and the growing importance of protecting U.S. space assets—DARPA, aided by Barone Consulting teamed with Schafer a Belcan Company, is developing a breakthrough approach known as Hallmark for the rapid acquisition and development of capabilities in this critical domain. In 2017, the Agency successfully completed initial research demonstrations for the Hallmark program and awarded Phase One contracts to eleven companies.

The ultimate goal of Hallmark is to arm U.S. commanders with new technologies for rapidly planning, assessing, and executing military operations in space. Hallmark is particularly innovative for being both a set of technologies and a framework, or “software testbed,” for developing new technologies to meet future challenges. The key to this agility and adaptability is ongoing, behind-the-scenes simulation and forecasting.

During the research demonstrations, military space operators worked through hypothetical scenarios involving U.S. space assets and evaluated what kinds of software tools and operating environments would be most useful in each case. The goal for each scenario: Chart only the most useful data path through a near-infinite cloud of inputs.

Hallmark is taking a multi-pronged approach to its research. The Agency has awarded Phase One contracts for the Hallmark Software Testbed (Hallmark-ST) to two teams. Hallmark-ST aims to build an advanced enterprise software architecture to facilitate a testbed for tools that will integrate a full spectrum of real-time space-domain systems and capabilities. The testbed would be used to develop a comprehensive set of new and improved technologies that can be spun off into near-term operational use.

Hallmark is also developing its first set of technologies to run through the testbeds. DARPA has awarded Phase One contracts for the Hallmark Tools, Capabilities, and Evaluation Methodology (Hallmark-TCEM) research thrust to eight organizations.

DARPA has awarded a second set of Hallmark-TCEM Phase One contracts to two teams to perform cognitive evaluation of the testbeds, tools, and technologies. By using cognitive evaluation, DARPA aims to help improve decision making by showing whether information has been effectively conveyed to operators, whether operators have been properly assigned tasks that contribute to understanding the situation, and whether given tools facilitate their ability to act on that information.

Subject Matter Experts from Barone Consulting will continue to provide technical SETA support to DARPA as the Hallmark program enters its next phase. Barone Consulting excels in test planning, management, and execution for command and control research projects like Hallmark.

About Barone Consulting

Founded in 2009, Barone Consulting provides technical assistance and systems engineering services to the Department of Defense and the intelligence community.

Barone Consulting is actively recruiting and encourages strong candidates with Top Secret security clearances, systems integration, flight test, and aeronautical engineering to contact us regarding DARPA opportunities.