Frequently Asked Questions
All your answers for the DARPA FANG Challenges on VehicleFORGE
- › What is FANG?
- › What is DARPA?
- › What is Adaptive Vehicle Make (AVM)?
- › What is META?
- › What is iFAB?
- › What is VehicleFORGE?
- › Who will be able to use the VehicleFORGE platform?
- › How does VehicleFORGE differ from other collaborative environments?
- › What is the role of VehicleFORGE in DARPA's Adaptive Vehicle Make portfolio?
- › Is there a fee to participate?
What is FANG?
DARPA has created the FANG (Fast, Adaptable, Next-Generation Ground Vehicle) program to design and develop a new heavy, amphibious infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) with functional requirements mirroring those of the Marine Corps’ Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) program.
DARPA, through the FANG program, is undertaking a radically novel approach to the design and manufacture of complex defense systems, and is hosting a series of prize-based design competitions. These are called the FANG Challenges, and their products will be progressively more complex vehicle subsystems, culminating in the design of a full IFV. They will leverage the META design tools and the VehicleFORGE collaboration environment to significantly change the design experience and widen the aperture for design innovation.
What is DARPA?
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is an agency of the United States Department of Defense. DARPA’s mission is to maintain the technological superiority of the U.S. military and prevent technological surprise from harming our national security by sponsoring revolutionary, high-payoff research bridging the gap between fundamental discoveries and their military use.
Over the years, DARPA has worked to enhance our national security by funding research and technology development that not only have improved our military capabilities but have changed the way we live. Since the very beginning, DARPA has been the place for people with innovative ideas that lead to groundbreaking discoveries.For more information on DARPA, visit darpa.mil »
What is Adaptive Vehicle Make (AVM)?
Adaptive Vehicle Make (AVM) is a portfolio of programs that address revolutionary approaches to the design, verification and manufacturing of complex defense systems and platforms. The portfolio consists of programs including: META, iFAB (Instant Foundry Adaptive through Bits), C2M2L (Component, Context, and Manufacturing Model Library), VehicleFORGE, and FANG (Fast, Adaptable Next-Generation Ground Vehicle). The FANG Challenges will test, at scale, the tools and capabilities developed within the other AVM programs.Find out more information on AVM »
What is META?
The META toolset has been developed to support the DARPA FANG Challenges and will deliver an integrated capability using free, open source tools for:
- compositional design synthesis at multiple levels of abstraction;
- design trade space exploration and metrics assessment with structural and information-based metrics of system complexity;
- formal semantic integration of models across multiple physical and electronic control domains; and
- probabilistic verification of system correctness with respect to realistic context models providing correct-by-construction capability.
The META tools will be made available to DARPA FANG Challenge competitors and teams to use in order to develop designs and simulate performance that will be submitted for scoring and review. There are two primary META tool suites available for use by FANG Competitors, and the use of one or both is required for participation.Find out more information about META »
What is iFAB?
The Instant Foundry Adaptive through Bits (iFAB) program is laying the groundwork for the development of a foundry-style manufacturing capability—taking as input a verified system design specified in an appropriate metalanguage—capable of rapid reconfiguration to accommodate a wide range of design variability and specifically targeted at the fabrication of military ground vehicles. The principal objective of iFAB—coupled with META—is to enable substantial compression of the time required to go from idea to product through a shift in the product value chain for defense systems from "little m" manufacturing (i.e., fabrication) to the other elements of "big M" Manufacturing (i.e., design, customization, after-market support, etc.).
The iFAB vision is to move away from wrapping a capital-intensive manufacturing facility around a single defense product, and toward the creation of a flexible, programmable, potentially distributed production capability able to accommodate a wide range of systems and system variants with extremely rapid reconfiguration timescales. The specific goals of the iFAB program are to rapidly design and configure manufacturing capabilities to support the fabrication of a wide array of infantry fighting vehicle models and variants.Find out more information about iFAB »
What is VehicleFORGE?
VehicleFORGE is focused on generating an open source development collaboration environment and website for the creation of large, complex systems by numerous unaffiliated designers--with the goal of democratizing the design innovation process by engaging several orders of magnitude more talent than the current industry model. The development of complex software systems has benefitted significantly from the ability to leverage collaborative design innovation in the form of open source code development. VehicleFORGE aims to significantly expand the open source collaborative development of defense systems by employing the tools being developed under the META program. The FANG Challenges will be executed within the VehicleFORGE environment.Find out more information about VehicleFORGE »
Who will be able to use the VehicleFORGE platform?
The primary purpose of the VehicleFORGE platform is to support the FANG prize challenges as part of DARPA’s Adaptive Vehicle Make program through 2015. The source code, documentation, etc. for the web platform itself will be released under a modified MIT/X11 license by DARPA.
How does VehicleFORGE differ from other collaborative environments?
The VehicleFORGE platform is intended to provide for the versioning, collaboration and project management of whole system design which includes software but is not limited to software. The tools provided by VehicleFORGE have been optimized for the management and utility of design artifacts (e.g. CAD data) specifically focused around the development of ground vehicles.
The level of effort associated with VehicleFORGE has allowed it to provide substantial capability, security and robustness beyond what currently exists in many of the nascent hardware forges. For example, users and components can both accumulate reputation over time.
Lastly, the VehicleFORGE effort is intended to be used in support of the Adaptive Vehicle Make prize challenges and therefore has specific integration points where it is loosely coupled with other AVM software tools.
What is the role of VehicleFORGE in DARPA's Adaptive Vehicle Make portfolio?
The VehicleFORGE effort is part of DARPA's Fast Adaptable Next-Generation Ground Vehicle (FANG) program. As one of three primary programs in the agency's Adaptive Vehicle Make (AVM) portfolio, FANG seeks to develop the infrastructure for and conduct a series of design challenges intended to precipitate open source design for a next-generation infantry fighting vehicle. The FANG program will apply META, iFAB, and VehicleFORGE capabilities to a series of design challenges of increasing complexity, seeking to leverage fab-less design, foundry-style manufacturing, and a crowd-sourced innovation model and culminating in a complete design and fabrication of a new heavy and potentially amphibious infantry fighting vehicle in the span of one year.
Adaptive Vehicle Make (AVM) is a portfolio of programs that address revolutionary approaches to the design, verification and manufacturing of complex defense systems and vehicles. The portfolio consists of three primary programs: META, Instant Foundry Adaptive through Bits (iFAB) and Fast Adaptable Next-Generation Ground Vehicle (FANG).
Is there a fee to participate?
No – there are no fees associated with participating in the FANG Challenges.