Completed in 1963 and stewarded by U.S. National Science Foundation since the 1970s, Arecibo Observatory has contributed to many important scientific discoveries, including the demonstration of gravitational waves from a binary pulsar, the first discovery of an extrasolar planet, composition of the ionosphere, and the characterization of the properties and orbits of a number of potentially hazardous asteroids.
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Today, we recognize and celebrate Antarctica Day and the signing of the Antarctic Treaty in 1959. The Antarctic Treaty designated the continent as a place for peace and international collaboration to progress science and is the foundation upon which decades of scientific achievements rest. Despite the challenges presented by the global pandemic, we continue to support cutting-edge research through NSF’s U.S. Antarctic Program that improves our understanding of the Antarctic region and ...
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Launched in 2021, DARPA's ReSource program aims to revolutionize how the military procures critical supplies on the battlefield by engineering self-contained, integrated systems that rapidly produce large quantities of supplies from feedstock collected on-site. Performer teams are tasked with developing systems to break down mixed waste, including common plastics, reformulate the waste at the molecular level into strategic materials and chemicals, and recover purified usable products such as oils, lubricants (POLs), and edible macronutrients. The program is now entering its second phase.
The DoD has a role in orbital and lunar missions as defined by the US Space Force (USSF) Space Capstone Publication . In this document, USSF notes the "inherent value of the space domain and the tremendous influence space has on U.S. prosperity and security." There is a critical DoD need for the continued development and future expansion of orbital manufacturing to enable and ensure supply chain resiliency, sustained technological superiority, and asset security and repair for current and future operations. To meet this unique challenge, DARPA announced today that it was taking an initial step to explore and de-risk manufacturing capabilities that leverage biological processes in resource limited environments with its Biomanufacturing: Survival, Utility, and Reliability beyond Earth (B-SURE) program.
An unmanned air vehicle demonstrated successful airborne recovery during the DARPA Gremlins program's latest flight test deployment last month. During the deployment, two X-61 Gremlin Air Vehicles (GAV) successfully validated all autonomous formation flying positions and safety features before one GAV ultimately demonstrated airborne recovery to a C-130.
In this episode of the Voices from DARPA podcast, Sergey Bratus, a program manager since 2018 in the agency's Information Innovation Office, shares his educational and professional journey, beginning in the late 1970s as a computer-smitten middle-schooler in the former Soviet Union and leading to his current and prominent role among those who aim to render the increasingly prevalent and perilous software, hardware, and networks in our lives much safer to use.
DARPA's SIGMA+ program, in collaboration with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD), recently concluded a three-month-long pilot study with new sensors intended to support early detection and interdictions of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) threats. The pilot involved integrating highly sensitive chemical, biological, radiological/nuclear, and explosive (CBRNE) sensors into several IMPD vehicles and gathering real-world environmental background data over a large part of the Indianapolis metropolitan region, building on a smaller event conducted in Indianapolis in August 2020.
Materials with novel optical properties developed under DARPA's Extreme Optics and Imaging (EXTREME) program are providing new capabilities for government and military imaging systems.
DARPA's System Security Integration Through Hardware and firmware (SSITH) program is exploring hardware security architectures and tools that protect electronic systems against common classes of hardware vulnerabilities exploited through software, with the goal of breaking the endless cycle of software patch-and-pray. To date, research on the program has focused on developing approaches and proving out concept that system-on-chip (SoC) designers can use to limit computer hardware to states that are secure while maintaining performance and power.
This past week, the Nobel Assembly and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced the 2021 Nobel Prize recipients. Among the prize recipients in physiology or medicine, physics, and economic sciences are researchers who have been supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation.
"We extend our congratulations to all the recipients of this year's Nobel Prizes for their bold thinking and transformative discoveries," said NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan. "For 70 years, NSF's ...
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Dispersing clouds of obscurants in battle is a common military tactic that U.S. forces use to protect themselves from detection by adversary vision and sensor systems. The problem with current obscurants, however, is that they also degrade visibility and sensor performance of friendly troops. Additionally, obscurants designed to counter infrared systems are made of metallic flakes that are dangerous to breathe, requiring troops to wear respirators in combat.
In this episode of the Voices from DARPA podcast, Gordon Keeler, a program manager since 2017 in the agency's Microsystems Technology Office, takes listeners on a scenic tour of his efforts to integrate electrons and photons in ways that do more computing, more sensing, more decision-making, and more artificial intelligence in cheaper, smaller, lighter, and more energy-efficient packages than has been possible previously.
The Department of Defense (DOD) must solve many complex optimization problems to enable mission capabilities - from determining the most efficient way to distribute supplies to minimizing warfighters' exposure to hostile forces. Solving these intricate scenarios is difficult, largely owing to the limitations of existing computing resources. Today, many optimization problems are solved on conventional computers running both heuristic and approximate algorithms, extracting the best solutions allowed by the limited time and energy that is available.
DARPA, in partnership with the U.S. Air Force, completed a free flight test of its Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC) last week. The missile, built by Raytheon Technologies, was released from an aircraft seconds before its Northrop Grumman scramjet (supersonic combustion ramjet) engine kicked on. The engine compressed incoming air mixed with its hydrocarbon fuel and began igniting that fast-moving airflow mixture, propelling the cruiser at a speed greater than Mach 5 (five times the speed of sound).
It may come as a surprise that even with precise weather forecasting, supercomputers, satellites, and exquisite maritime sensing instruments we know very little about how currents move on the surface of the ocean. Models exist for subsurface ocean currents and weather activity above the surface, but the air-ocean interface is not a fully understood realm. Being able to accurately model the ocean's surface currents could yield a variety of benefits such as more accurately predicting movement of an oil spill, supporting search and rescue operations for a man overboard or vessel adrift, and could even help with planning more efficient global shipping routes by circumnavigating areas with adverse currents.
CERBERUS won the Systems Competition and Dynamo topped the leaderboard in the Virtual Competition as roboticists and engineers from eleven countries participated in the Final Event of the DARPA Subterranean (SubT) Challenge this week at the Louisville, Kentucky Mega Cavern. With $5 million in total prize money at stake, the Systems and Virtual winners won $2 million and $750,000, respectively.
The U.S. National Science Foundation has selected Susan S. Margulies to head the Directorate for Engineering. She is the first biomedical engineer to lead the engineering directorate, which supports fundamental research in emerging and frontier basic research areas.
Since 2017, Margulies has been professor and chair of the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, housed jointly at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University. Previously, she held positions ...
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While much attention is paid to detecting and remedying flaws or vulnerabilities in software, the way a system is designed can also create large opportunities for attackers. System designers primarily focus on ensuring a program is adept at executing a specific task, focusing on how a design can best support intended features and behaviors and on how they will be implemented within the design. Attackers have also discovered that these design structures and implementation behaviors can be repurposed for their own malicious purposes.