What's DARPA Up to With Its Request to Lease Underground Urban Tunnels?

DARPA has sent out a request to lease underground urban tunnels and facilities, prompting speculation as to what it might be up to.

What's DARPA Up to With Its Request to Lease Underground Urban Tunnels?
The type of underground tunnels DARPA is looking for DARPA photo on Twitter 

In what could be a plotline for the next season of Netflix's smash hit "Stranger Things," the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency's Tactical Technology Office announced on Twitter it's looking to lease underground urban tunnels and facilities to support research experiments related to ongoing future initiatives. 

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DARPA wants the underground tunnels to be in urban settings

DARPA is looking for university-owned or commercially managed underground urban tunnels. In a request for information, the government agency said human-made tunnels that lie beneath underground infrastructure or natural cave networks are becoming relevant for global security and disaster relief efforts.

As a result, DARPA wants to better understand advanced technologies that could quickly map, navigate and search unknown subterranean environments to find objects of interest. DARPA is looking for locations where scientists can conduct undisclosed experiments to improve their technology. 

"Human-made underground environments that span several city blocks with complex layouts and multiple stories, including atriums, tunnels, and stairwells are ideal. Spaces that are currently closed off from pedestrians or can be temporarily used for testing are of interest," DARPA wrote in its request for information.  Responses are due 30 August by 5:00 p.m. EDT. 

 

DARPA said it's not hiding demongorons

The request had people wondering on Twitter why DARPA needs large underground tunnels by tomorrow.  The government agency told one media outlet that while the turnaround is quick, it sent out the original request last week. DARPA declined to say what experiments require an underground facility in such a short time frame. 

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

DARPA's caginess when it comes to this immediate need for an underground science lab has led people to speculate about what it's up to. In response to one Twitter user who said the government agency is probably hiding demongorons, the monsters from "Stranger Things," DARPA said that's the domain of the Department of Energy. Let the speculation abound. 

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