Focus Area ForumImage - Focus Area Forum
Autonomy and Unmanned Systems

Decision-makers at the Office of Naval Research (ONR) delivered updates on priority autonomy research, key challenges in unmanned systems development, and the impact of fiscal constraints Jan. 15 at the Focus Area Forum: Unmanned Systems and Autonomy.

Discussion Topics:

Unmanned systems, together with well-trained personnel, form a "hybrid force" capable of performing difficult missions in contested environments, expand the Department of the Navy's ability to meet anti-access/area denial (A2/AD), logistics, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance challenges (ISR), and reduce risks for Sailors and Marines. This forum, the first in a series of small-group events, advanced common understanding about naval science and technology investments in autonomy; addressed complex challenges in unmanned systems and autonomy programs; and provided a unique opportunity to learn, share new ideas and develop partnerships.

Agenda / Presentations:

Time Topic Presenters
9:30–10 a.m. Strategic Dialogue on Autonomy Focus Area Innovation

Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder
Chief of Naval Research

10–10:15 a.m. Science of Autonomy: Tough Problems List Overview Marc Steinberg
10:15–11:30 a.m.

Panel: Autonomy Emerging Technologies, Research Challenges and Initiatives


  • Undersea: Dan Deitz, Terri Paluszkiewicz, Jason Stack
  • Surface: Bob Brizzolara
  • Air: Marc Steinberg, Max Snell, Julie Marble
  • Expeditionary: Keith Hammack
  • Novel Platforms: Tom McKenna
11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. One-on-one appointments/sessions ONR program officers and forum participants
2:30–3:30 p.m. Final Remarks Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder
Chief of Naval Research

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