The Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD R&E) is seeking input from those who know, who have researched, and even have practiced Trusted Autonomy. The overall question to answer is, “What is it about an autonomous system that would lead a warfighter to trust in its use?”

From this perspective, OUSD R&E is undertaking Operational Trust in Mission Autonomy (OPTIMA).

BLUF: Operational Trust in Mission Autonomy (OPTIMA) is an initiative to deliver trusted autonomy for Robotic and Intelligent Autonomous Systems in complex, contested missions on the multi-domain battlefield, and enable deployment of effective human-machine teams.

Through an IN3-intiated Request for Information (RFI), OUSD R&E is seeking to collect input from the Tradewind member community regarding any elements felt to contribute to learning what would allow a warfighter to “trust” an autonomous system. The results of this survey will be provided to a working group comprised of a DoD-only based user community during the upcoming Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) XPONENTIAL convention in Orlando, FL, and become the basis of roundtable discussions ultimately used to frame future requirements.

If you’re a seasoned business developer, you know what this means. If you’re just getting started in the DoD market, this is how requirements that end up in a “Request for Proposal” are born, and is your chance to ensure the DoD understands the art of the possible from industry’s point of view, to get your organization recognized as a contributor, and to appear on the radar.  This means our very own Tradewind members will have a chance to contribute to the requirements development process. The goal of this survey is to provide OUSD R&E and the autonomy user community across DoD with considerations about how best to approach the concept of Trust as it relates to the development of autonomous policy, technology, systems, and operational CONOPS.

While we will ask for your identifying information, the data will be provided to the government in a sanitized manner. Discussions during the working group session will be held using Chatham House Rules (no attribution) in order to protect potential intellectual property concerns.

The submission form is the only input needed at this time (please request access to it if you haven’t received an email about it), and the government may or may not move forward with an active requirement as a result of this activity. At this point, Tradewind is simply gathering discussion material for the government to consider. Please provide your input no later than 17:00 ET on 20 APR 2022. As always, we welcome your questions at

A more comprehensive description of OPTIMA can be found in the draft document linked to the right.

If you’d like to respond and are not yet a member of Tradewind, register here! Upon registering please email us and insert “I want to respond to IN3-22-0003” in the subject line!