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Updated: 8 hours 31 min ago

2021/01/13 Episode 38: The Oceanic Defender

Wed, 2021-01-13 00:00

In this episode of the Voices from DARPA podcast, John Waterston, a program manager since 2017 in the agency's Strategic Technology Office, lets listeners in on his oceanic immersions both as a naval officer and a technology developer. Now a commander in the U.S. Naval Reserves, John offers snapshots of living, working, and serving on our nation's nuclear submarines before describing his current work at DARPA to develop technologies to better understand, monitor, and navigate the planet's most prevalent environment-the oceans. In one of his ambitious programs, John seeks to deliver what has been a coveted but elusive capability-the equivalent of GPS that operates even in the deep ocean. In a related program, John explains how very low-frequency (VLF) electromagnetic signals from lightning that occurs relentlessly around the world can become a key to a back-up positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) system in case our must-have GPS goes down.

Categories: Department of Defense

2021/01/12 Teams Selected to Produce Critical, On-Demand Stocks from Military Waste

Tue, 2021-01-12 00:00
Warfighters are burdened with transporting and disposing of single-use materials, and have limited ability to create valuable materials when and where needed. To address these challenges, DARPA has selected teams from Battelle, Iowa State University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Michigan Technological University, in addition to government partners from the Idaho, Savannah River, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories to support the ReSource Program. Performers are tasked with engineering user-friendly, self-contained, integrated systems that rapidly produce large quantities of supplies from materials that would otherwise be considered waste.
Categories: Department of Defense

2021/01/11 DARPA’s Operational Fires Ground-Launched Hypersonics Program Enters New Phase

Mon, 2021-01-11 00:00
DARPA's Operational Fires (OpFires) program, which is developing a ground-launched intermediate-range hypersonic weapons system, is advancing to a new phase. Phase 3b will involve full-scale missile fabrication, assembly, and flight testing from a launch vehicle. Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control was awarded this new contract modification after leading a successful Phase 3a integrated system preliminary design review that resulted in a comprehensive design and test plan.
Categories: Department of Defense

2021/01/08 DARPA Seeks Compact, Deployable Electron Accelerator

Fri, 2021-01-08 00:00
Linear accelerators, LINACs for short, are devices that accelerate electrons or other sub-atomic particles along a straight line to generate a beam of high energy. LINACs have a variety of commercial uses such as generating X-rays for cargo inspection, medical diagnostics, food sterilization, and even enabling precise external radiation treatments to destroy cancer cells without damaging surrounding tissue. To generate more powerful electron beams using current technology, however, requires building larger LINACs that can grow to dozens of meters or longer depending on the application. Unfortunately, powerful LINACs are too large and heavy to be practical for military use in the field.
Categories: Department of Defense

2021/01/07 DARPA Announces Subterranean (SubT) Challenge Final Event Site and Date

Thu, 2021-01-07 00:00
After three years of development, DARPA Subterranean (SubT) Challenge teams will get the chance to compete in the Final Event being held at the Louisville Mega Cavern in Louisville, Kentucky on September 21-23, 2021.
Categories: Department of Defense

2021/01/07 Night-Vision Revolution: Less Weight, Improved Performance

Thu, 2021-01-07 00:00
For decades U.S. warfighters have benefitted from advanced night-vision technology, allowing pilots to fly low-level missions on pitch-black nights and ground forces to conduct operations against adversaries in the dark. But current night-vision goggle (NVG) technology requires cumbersome binocular-like optics mounted on a helmet, offering limited field of view (FOV) and putting unhealthy strain on the wearer's neck. Building on recent scientific advances in photonics and optical materials pioneered in DARPA's Defense Sciences Office (DSO), a new effort seeks to develop next-generation NVGs that are as lightweight and compact as a pair of regular eyeglasses or sunglasses.
Categories: Department of Defense

2020/12/21 Episode 37: Sounds of Innovation 1

Mon, 2020-12-21 00:00

Welcome to Sounds of Innovation, a new intermittent feature of our Voices from DARPA podcast. Rather than hearing the voices of program managers, which is normally what you get in a Voices from DARPA podcast, in each Sounds of Innovation episode, you will hear some of the soundscapes of research and development…and learn just a little bit about what new world-changing capabilities those sounds could lead to.

Categories: Department of Defense

2020/12/18 DARPA Selects Teams to Capture Potable Water from Air

Fri, 2020-12-18 00:00
DARPA recently awarded five contracts and selected one Government partner to develop technology to capture potable water from the air in quantities sufficient to meet critical DoD needs, even in extremely dry climates. GE Research, Physical Sciences Inc., Honeywell International Inc., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Texas at Austin, and U.S. Naval Research Laboratory were chosen to develop next-generation, scalable sorbent materials and prototypes under DARPA's Atmospheric Water Extraction (AWE) program.
Categories: Department of Defense

2020/12/17 DARPA Launches Program to Mitigate Coastal Flooding, Erosion and Storm Damage

Thu, 2020-12-17 00:00
Sea level rise and wave-induced flooding during increasingly frequent storm events threaten sustainability of the more than 1,700 Department of Defense (DoD) managed military installations in coastal areas worldwide.1 Despite previous efforts to implement storm mitigation solutions, damage due to storm surge and flooding continues to impact military infrastructure.
Categories: Department of Defense

2020/12/16 DARPA Successfully Demonstrates, Transitions Advanced RF Networking Program

Wed, 2020-12-16 00:00
A DARPA network technology program recently concluded field tests demonstrating novel software that bridges multiple disparate radio networks to enable communication between incompatible tactical radio data links - even in the presence of hostile jamming. The technology is transitioning to Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) and the Marine Corps, which plans to put the software on a software reprogrammable multi-channel radio platform for use on aircraft and ground vehicles.
Categories: Department of Defense

2020/12/16 DARPA Increases Access to Critical Tools, IP to Accelerate Innovation

Wed, 2020-12-16 00:00
As the world continues to change and advance at a rapid pace, the need for continuous innovation has never been greater. DARPA's open innovation model leverages the expertise and novel ideation found in large and small businesses, government organizations, and academic institutions. However, resource constraints across these organizations can limit their participation in cutting-edge research opportunities. Within the microelectronics arena in particular, skyrocketing costs for designing integrated circuits are stifling participation in the innovation process.
Categories: Department of Defense

2020/12/10 DARPA Gremlins Project Completes Third Flight Test Deployment

Thu, 2020-12-10 00:00
Attempts at airborne retrieval of three unmanned air vehicles, nicknamed Gremlins, were just inches from success in DARPA's latest flight test series that started on October 28. Each X-61A Gremlins Air Vehicle (GAV) flew for more than two hours, successfully validating all autonomous formation flying positions and safety features. Nine attempts were made at mechanical engagement of the GAVs to the docking bullet extended from a C-130 aircraft, but relative movement was more dynamic than expected and each GAV ultimately, safely parachuted to the ground.
Categories: Department of Defense

2020/12/01 DARPA Looks to Light up Integrated Photonics with Chip-Scale Laser Development

Tue, 2020-12-01 00:00
First demonstrated sixty years ago, the laser has become an essential technology in today's world. It has transformed diverse fields including communications, sensing, manufacturing, and medicine. More recently, innovations in integrated photonics have allowed the miniaturization of key optical components and the ability to arrange several elements on a single silicon chip. When combined with lasers, these photonic integrated circuits (PICs) have the potential to replace large and costly optical systems with chip-scale solutions. However, due to differences in the properties of the materials that compose them, lasers and PICs are difficult to combine onto the same platform, limiting the benefits of integration and preventing broad technology impact.
Categories: Department of Defense

2020/12/01 Episode 36: The Hypersonic Materialist

Tue, 2020-12-01 00:00
In this episode of the Voices from DARPA podcast, William (Bill) Carter, a program manager since 2018 in the agency's Defense Sciences Office, recounts his scientific journey. It began with childhood wonder amidst star-blazoned New Mexico skies and high-school summer jobs at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and has taken him now, literally, to leading edges of materials science and engineering.
Categories: Department of Defense

2020/11/17 Teams Coordinated Robotics, BARCS, and Dynamo On Top in DARPA Subterranean Challenge Cave Circuit Virtual Competition

Tue, 2020-11-17 00:00
The ability to communicate between multiple robots proved a key to success in the Subterranean (SubT) Challenge Cave Circuit Virtual Competition, with self-funded Coordinated Robotics topping the leaderboard and taking home a $250,000 prize using a team of nine autonomous virtual robots. DARPA-funded BARCS earned the second spot, while two other self-funded teams, Dynamo which came in third overall and Robotika, which earned a fourth place finish, will receive $150,000 and $100,000 respectively. Only self-funded teams are eligible for the monetary prizes in the Circuit events, including Cave Circuit. In the Final Event, all teams are eligible to win monetary prizes.
Categories: Department of Defense

2020/11/11 DARPA Expands Opportunities for Computer Science Researchers with New Post-doc Program

Wed, 2020-11-11 00:00
Through its Young Faculty Award program, DARPA has provided funding opportunities since 2006 as a forward-looking way to familiarize rising researchers in junior positions with national-security-relevant work within the Department of Defense (DoD). Building on that effort, the agency today announced it would broaden the scope of its commitment to talented young scientists, engineers, and mathematicians through a new fellowship program focused specifically on postdoctoral researchers in the field of computer science with grants sized to support each fellow for up to two years.
Categories: Department of Defense

2020/11/11 DARPA Selects Teams to Further Advance Dogfighting Algorithms

Wed, 2020-11-11 00:00
DARPA recently awarded contracts to five companies to develop algorithms enabling mixed teams of manned and unmanned combat aircraft to conduct aerial dogfighting autonomously.
Categories: Department of Defense

2020/11/10 DARPA’s Early Investment in COVID-19 Antibody Identification Producing Timely Results

Tue, 2020-11-10 00:00
DARPA's Pandemic Prevention Platform (P3) program, launched in 2017, focuses on rapid discovery, characterization, production, testing, and delivery of efficacious DNA- and RNA-encoded medical countermeasures against infectious disease. This foundational technology pioneered by DARPA under the Autonomous Diagnostics to Enable Prevention and Therapeutics (ADEPT) program provides the body with instructions on how to immediately begin producing protective antibodies against a given threat. Just two years into a four-year program, P3 has performers at AbCellera Biologics, AstraZeneca, Duke University, and Vanderbilt University, all of whom have been able to quickly pivot to rapidly identify antibodies for COVID-19 in less than 90-days. This process traditionally takes several years to complete.
Categories: Department of Defense

2020/11/09 DARPA Awards Contracts for Work on Spinal Cord Injury Treatment

Mon, 2020-11-09 00:00
Spinal cord injury (SCI) is of significant concern to the Department of Defense. Of the 337,000 Americans with serious SCIs, approximately 44,000 are veterans, with 11,000 new injuries occurring each year.1 SCI is a complex condition - the injured often face lifelong paralysis and increased long-term morbidity due to factors such as sepsis and autonomic nervous system dysfunction. While considerable research efforts have been devoted toward restorative and therapeutic technologies to SCIs, significant challenges remain.
Categories: Department of Defense

2020/11/06 DARPA Selects Teams to Modify Skin Microbiome for Disease Prevention

Fri, 2020-11-06 00:00
The American Society for Microbiology estimates that there are trillions of microbes living in or on the human body that constitute the human microbiome. The human skin microbiome (HSM) acts as a barrier between humans and our external environment, protecting us from infection, but also potentially producing molecules that attract mosquitos. Mosquitos are of particular concern to the Department of Defense, as they transmit pathogens that cause diseases such as chikungunya, Zika, dengue, West Nile virus, yellow fever, and malaria. The ReVector program aims to maintain the health of military personnel operating in disease-endemic regions by reducing attraction and feeding by mosquitos, and limiting exposure to mosquito-transmitted diseases.
Categories: Department of Defense

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