U.S. DOD wants edge computing, fog computing tech to improve decision making

U.S. DOD wants edge computing, fog computing tech to improve decision making

The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) is eyeing transformational edge computing and fog computing technologies that could revolutionize how the agency processes and shares data.

The Department of Defense is interested in both computing capabilities, particularly as the organization seeks to put its nascent Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) idea into action. JADC2 is a Department of Defense project aiming to improve communication between the military’s sensors, shooters, and networks to enhance decision-making.

In a recent solicitation, the DOD’s Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) outlined its interest in various technologies, including new AI-based sensing and fusion architectures. The agency says these capabilities are essential for meeting the challenges of tomorrow’s complex operational environments.

“The DoD needs transformational computing technologies to increase on-board data analytics, limit communications latency and cost, increase human situational awareness and enable adaptive decisions, and provide energy-efficient computing and architectures for data collection and processing,” the DoD said in the document. “Additionally, the DoD needs collaborative computing and cutting-edge networking for fusion of multi-spatial, multi-signal, and multi-reports.”

To that end, the AFRL is looking for technologies that include:

  • Technology that senses and adapts to users’ cognitive, physiological, and physical states, their tasks and specific locations. Other goals involve evaluating assets that may provide automatic and interpretable explanations for data.
  • Energy-efficient computing and architecture to connect signals, features, data, and information across the network to enable decision-making at the speed of conflict
  • Advances in approaches, networking, equipment, AI and ML to allow sensing and sense-making at the edge.

The submission deadline was August 10, 2022. According to the statement, the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Capability Prototypes Office and AFRL’s Transformational Capabilities Office will hold a virtual meeting in the fall of 2022 dedicated to fog and edge computing.

During that meeting, representatives from select tech organizations can make short technical presentations to government officials about technologies that may assist with military computing efforts. If a firm’s technology matches DoD’s needs, they may choose the firm to participate in pilot projects or experimentation.


To make the DOD’s project JADC2 a reality, it may need transformational computing technologies that can, for example, sense and adapt to users’ cognitive, physiological, and physical states, explain data and enable collaborative computing solutions. The AFRL’s solicitation indicates that the agency is serious about finding these technologies.

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