19:21 GMT30 May 2020
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    A follow-up tweet from DARPA clarified that the agency is looking for man-made underground environment which spans several city blocks and features a complex layout.

    The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA for short, has recently demonstrated an uncanny knack for capturing the attention of social media when the organisation suddenly expressed an interest in procuring a large underground facility for some sort of "testing."

    The tweet, posted on 28 August, states that the agency seeks responses by 30 August (though the actual RFI was apparently published on 20 August), with a follow up message clarifying that "the ideal space would be a human-made underground environment spanning several city blocks w/ complex layout & multiple stories, including atriums, tunnels & stairwells."

    ​The message quickly elicited a wave of puzzled and amused responses from netizens, with DARPA responses indicating that the agency’s personnel appears to be well aware of how it all looks.

    According to Gizmodo, a DARPA representative told them via email that “complex urban underground infrastructure can present significant challenges for situational awareness in time-sensitive scenarios, such as active combat operations or disaster response.”

    "DARPA is interested in exploring this domain for researchers to analyse and enhance approaches to improve situational awareness and response times in emergency scenarios," the agency spokesperson said. “Locations submitted could help the research community identify relevant sites for further field experimentation to accelerate their development of such technologies."

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