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2019/04/10 Three Teams Qualify to Compete in DARPA Launch Challenge

Wed, 2019-04-10 00:00
The DARPA Launch Challenge aims to fundamentally shift military space capabilities to enable on-demand, flexible, and responsive launch of small payloads. Three competitors successfully completed the qualification phase and will attempt to launch to low-Earth orbit from two different U.S. locations within a matter of weeks. Teams will receive notice of the first launch site a few weeks prior to launch and exact details on the payload and intended orbit just days before launch. DARPA is targeting both launches for early 2020.
Categories: Department of Defense

2019/04/05 DARPA Announces Second Annual ERI Summit

Fri, 2019-04-05 00:00
Since its official announcement on June 1, 2017, DARPA's Electronics Resurgence Initiative (ERI) has sought to advance the development of a specialized, secure, and heavily automated electronics industry. ERI – a five-year, upwards of $1.5B investment to enable far-reaching improvements in electronics performance – has fostered collaborations among the commercial electronics sector, defense industrial base, and university researchers. As ERI enters its second year, DARPA seeks to reconvene the electronics community at the second annual ERI Summit in Detroit, Michigan, July 15–17. The Summit will allow electronics innovators to share their vision for the future, review technical progress, and provide input into future research directions.
Categories: Department of Defense

2019/04/01 OFFSET Seeks Proposals to Accelerate Swarm Tactics in Virtual Environments

Mon, 2019-04-01 00:00
DARPA is soliciting creative proposals for the fourth swarm sprint in its OFFensive Swarm-Enabled Tactics (OFFSET) program. OFFSET envisions swarms of 250 collaborative autonomous systems providing critical capabilities to ground units in urban areas where challenges such as tall buildings, tight spaces, and limited sight lines constrain essential communications, sensing, maneuverability, and autonomous operations.
Categories: Department of Defense

2019/03/25 DARPA Seeks to Make Scalable On-Chip Security Pervasive

Mon, 2019-03-25 00:00
For the past decade, cybersecurity threats have moved from high in the software stack to progressively lower levels of the computational hierarchy, working their way towards the underlying hardware. The rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) has driven the creation of a rapidly growing number of accessible devices and a multitude of complex chip designs needed to enable them. With this rapid growth comes increased opportunity for economic and nation-state adversaries alike to shift their attention to chips that enable complex capabilities across commercial and defense applications. The consequences of a hardware cyberattack are significant as a compromise could potentially impact not millions, but billions of devices.
Categories: Department of Defense

2019/03/22 In the Sky and on the Ground, Collaboration Vital to DARPA’s CODE for Success

Fri, 2019-03-22 00:00
On a brisk February morning in the Yuma, Arizona, desert, a swarm of unmanned aerial vehicles equipped with DARPA's Collaborative Operations in Denied Environment system, or CODE, successfully carried out mission objectives, even when communications were offline and GPS was unavailable.
Categories: Department of Defense

2019/03/21 Using AI to Build Better Human-Machine Teams

Thu, 2019-03-21 00:00
The inability of artificial intelligence (AI) to represent and model human partners is the single biggest challenge preventing effective human-machine teaming today. Current AI agents are able to respond to commands and follow through on instructions that are within their training, but are unable to understand intentions, expectations, emotions, and other aspects of social intelligence that are inherent to their human counterparts. This lack of understanding stymies efforts to create safe, efficient, and productive human-machine collaboration.
Categories: Department of Defense

2019/03/21 Designing Chips for Real Time Machine Learning

Thu, 2019-03-21 00:00
The current generation of machine learning (ML) systems would not have been possible without significant computing advances made over the past few decades. The development of the graphics-processing unit (GPU) was critical to the advancement of ML as it provided new levels of compute power needed for ML systems to process and train on large data sets. As the field of artificial intelligence looks towards advancing beyond today's ML capabilities, pushing into the realms of "learning" in real-time, new levels of computing are required.
Categories: Department of Defense

2019/03/19 DARPA Launches Social Media Platform to Accelerate R&D

Tue, 2019-03-19 00:00
DARPA aims to apply the power of social networks to research and development via a novel social media platform purpose-built to quicken the pace of U.S. technology development. Polyplexus, which was recently launched as a public platform, is designed to increase access to scientific evidence and accelerate hypothesis development, research proposal generation, and research sponsor engagement. The platform's real-time interactions and functionality are designed to dramatically shorten the time between the emergence of concepts and the submission of worthy proposals.
Categories: Department of Defense

2019/03/12 Progress on Lifelong Learning Machines Shows Potential for Bio-Inspired Algorithms

Tue, 2019-03-12 00:00
Today's machine learning systems are restricted by their inability to continuously learn or adapt as they encounter new situations; their programs are fixed after training, leaving them unable to react to new, unforeseen circumstances once they are fielded. Adding new information to cover programming deficits overwrites the existing training set. With current technology, this requires taking the system offline and retraining it on a dataset that incorporates the new information. It is a long and arduous process that DARPA's Lifelong Learning Machines (L2M) program is working to overcome.
Categories: Department of Defense

2019/03/07 DARPA Seeks Tools to Capture Underground Worlds in 3D

Thu, 2019-03-07 00:00
DARPA is seeking information on state-of-the-art technologies and methodologies for advanced mapping and surveying in support of the agency's Subterranean (SubT) Challenge. Georeferenced data – geographic coordinates tied to a map or image – could significantly improve the speed and accuracy of warfighters in time-sensitive active combat operations and disaster-related missions in the subterranean domain. Today, the majority of the underground environments are uncharted or inadequately mapped, including human-made tunnels, underground infrastructure, and natural cave networks.
Categories: Department of Defense

2019/03/01 DARPA Modernizes Small Business Innovation Research Program

Fri, 2019-03-01 00:00
Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) are the principal set-aside programs for small business participation in federal research and development funding, yet the requirements for administering and managing these programs have not changed significantly in decades. To keep pace with discovery in science and technology worldwide, DARPA now intends to release SBIR/STTR opportunities on an out-of-cycle basis, separate from the three pre-determined announcements traditionally issued directly through the Department of Defense (DoD). The change is expected to reduce the overall time from opportunity announcement to contract award.
Categories: Department of Defense

2019/02/27 Taking the Next Step in Quantum Information Processing

Wed, 2019-02-27 00:00
Universal quantum computers with millions of quantum bits, or qubits – which can represent a one, a zero, or a coherent linear combination of one and zero – would revolutionize information processing for commercial and military applications. Realizing that vision, however, is still decades away. The problem is the performance and reliability of quantum devices depend on the length of time the underlying quantum states can remain coherent. If you wait long enough, interactions with the environment will make the state behave like a conventional classical system, removing any quantum advantage. Often, this coherence time is significantly short, which makes it difficult to perform any meaningful computations.
Categories: Department of Defense

2019/02/19 A New Layer of Medical Preparedness to Combat Emerging Infectious Disease

Tue, 2019-02-19 00:00
DARPA has selected five teams of researchers to support PREventing EMerging Pathogenic Threats (PREEMPT), a 3.5-year program first announced in January 2018 to reinforce traditional medical preparedness by containing viral infectious diseases in animal reservoirs and insect vectors before they can threaten humans. Through studies in secure laboratories and simulated natural environments, the PREEMPT researchers will model how viruses might evolve within animal populations, and assess the safety and efficacy of potential interventions.
Categories: Department of Defense

2019/02/15 Five Teams of Researchers Will Help DARPA Detect Undersea Activity by Analyzing Behaviors of Marine Organisms

Fri, 2019-02-15 00:00
Goliath grouper, black sea bass, and snapping shrimp, along with bioluminescent plankton and other microorganisms, are set to be the unlikely heroes of DARPA's Persistent Aquatic Living Sensors (PALS) program. Five teams of researchers are developing new types of sensor systems that detect and record the behaviors of these marine organisms and interpret them to identify, characterize, and report on the presence of manned and unmanned underwater vehicles operating in strategic waters.
Categories: Department of Defense

2019/02/14 Teaching AI Systems to Adapt to Dynamic Environments

Thu, 2019-02-14 00:00
Current AI systems excel at tasks defined by rigid rules – such as mastering the board games Go and chess with proficiency surpassing world-class human players. However, AI systems aren't very good at adapting to constantly changing conditions commonly faced by troops in the real world – from reacting to an adversary's surprise actions, to fluctuating weather, to operating in unfamiliar terrain. For AI systems to effectively partner with humans across a spectrum of military applications, intelligent machines need to graduate from closed-world problem solving within confined boundaries to open-world challenges characterized by fluid and novel situations.
Categories: Department of Defense

2019/02/11 Architecting a New Breed of High Performance Computing for Virtual Training Environments

Mon, 2019-02-11 00:00
The testing, evaluation and training of future military systems will increasingly take place in virtual environments due to rising costs and system complexity as well as the limited availability of military ranges. Virtual simulators are already used to augment real-world training for modern fighter aircraft pilots, and they hold significant promise for addressing the rigorous demands of testing and training AI-enabled technologies. Current simulated environments, however, rely on conventional computing that is incapable of generating the computational throughput and speed to accurately replicate real-world interactions, model the scale of physical test ranges or meet the technical requirements of more complex systems.
Categories: Department of Defense

2019/02/06 Intelligent Healing for Complex Wounds

Wed, 2019-02-06 00:00
Blast injuries, burns, and other wounds experienced by warfighters often catastrophically damage their bones, skin, and nerves, resulting in months to years of recovery for the most severe injuries and often returning imperfect results. This long and limited healing process means prolonged pain and hardship for the patient, and a drop in readiness for the military. However, DARPA believes that recent advances in biosensors, actuators, and artificial intelligence could be extended and integrated to dramatically improve tissue regeneration. To achieve this, the new Bioelectronics for Tissue Regeneration (BETR) program asks researchers to develop bioelectronics that closely track the progress of the wound and then stimulate healing processes in real time to optimize tissue repair and regeneration.
Categories: Department of Defense

2019/02/06 Defending Against Adversarial Artificial Intelligence

Wed, 2019-02-06 00:00
Today, machine learning (ML) is coming into its own, ready to serve mankind in a diverse array of applications – from highly efficient manufacturing, medicine and massive information analysis to self-driving transportation, and beyond. However, if misapplied, misused or subverted, ML holds the potential for great harm – this is the double-edged sword of machine learning.
Categories: Department of Defense

2019/01/31 Building Trusted Human-Machine Partnerships

Thu, 2019-01-31 00:00
A key ingredient in effective teams – whether athletic, business, or military – is trust, which is based in part on mutual understanding of team members' competence to fulfill assigned roles. When it comes to forming effective teams of humans and autonomous systems, humans need timely and accurate insights about their machine partners' skills, experience, and reliability to trust them in dynamic environments. At present, autonomous systems cannot provide real-time feedback when changing conditions such as weather or lighting cause their competency to fluctuate. The machines' lack of awareness of their own competence and their inability to communicate it to their human partners reduces trust and undermines team effectiveness.
Categories: Department of Defense

2019/01/22 Teams Will Test Concepts for Exploring Underground in SubT Integration Exercise

Tue, 2019-01-22 00:00
In early April, nine qualified teams will attempt to remotely navigate the dark and dirty corridors of Edgar Experimental Mine in Idaho Springs, Colorado, in preparation for the Circuits Stage of the DARPA Subterranean (SubT) Challenge later this year. The SubT Integration Exercise, known as STIX, offers teams an opportunity to try out their technologies, including robotics, sensors, and communications solutions, in a representative environment. The locations for the Circuits Stage events have not been announced.
Categories: Department of Defense

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