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Updated: 11 hours 50 min ago

2021/10/12 Seeing through the Fog of War

Tue, 2021-10-12 00:00
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.
Categories: Department of Defense

2021/10/12 Episode 50: The Photonicist

Tue, 2021-10-12 00:00
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.
Categories: Department of Defense

2021/10/04 Solving Defense Optimization Problems with Increased Computational Efficiency

Mon, 2021-10-04 00:00
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.
Categories: Department of Defense

2021/09/27 DARPA’S Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC) Achieves Successful Flight

Mon, 2021-09-27 00:00
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).
Categories: Department of Defense

2021/09/24 Adrift at Sea: How wind, waves, currents interact on ocean’s surface still a mystery

Fri, 2021-09-24 00:00
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.
Categories: Department of Defense

2021/09/24 Team CERBERUS and Team Dynamo Win DARPA Subterranean Challenge Final Event

Fri, 2021-09-24 00:00
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.
Categories: Department of Defense

2021/09/22 Disrupting Exploitable Patterns in Software to Make Systems Safer

Wed, 2021-09-22 00:00
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.
Categories: Department of Defense

2021/09/15 Episode 49: A Decade of Living Foundries

Wed, 2021-09-15 00:00
This episode of the Voices from DARPA podcast takes listeners on a tour of an audacious, decade-long project to merge biology and engineering into one of the most powerful engines of molecular invention the world has known. Although plenty of work remains to be done, the program, Living Foundries, is winding down. But not before its community of research performers and collaborators already has delivered a new and versatile biotechnology platform whose consequences have begun to ripple out. New companies. Follow-on investments. Chemical- and materials-based technologies for the Department of Defense … and perhaps one day for the public at large.
Categories: Department of Defense

2021/09/14 Better Living with Beneficial Biofilms

Tue, 2021-09-14 00:00
Bacteria are the most abundant and diverse lifeform on Earth, coating almost every surface, with the majority spending their lives in biofilms. This lifestyle is universally perceived as problematic since biofilms contribute significantly to equipment degradation, including billions of dollars yearly in DoD assets, through corrosion, mold or increased drag.
Categories: Department of Defense

2021/09/13 Adaptable Optical Communications to Facilitate Future Low-Earth Orbit Networks

Mon, 2021-09-13 00:00
As government and commercial small-satellite constellations continue to proliferate in low-earth orbit (LEO), DARPA has unveiled a new effort to create a novel optical communications terminal to interconnect diverse constellations into a resilient "space layer" - an internet of small satellites.
Categories: Department of Defense

2021/09/03 DARPA Announces Research Teams to Advance Fundamental Science of Atomic Vapors

Fri, 2021-09-03 00:00
DARPA has announced its selection of eight industry and university research teams to support the Science of Atomic Vapors for New Technologies (SAVaNT) program that kicked off this week:
Categories: Department of Defense

2021/09/02 DARPA Announces Researchers Selected to INCAS Program

Thu, 2021-09-02 00:00
Today, DARPA announced the researchers selected to its Influence Campaign Awareness and Sensemaking (INCAS) program. Research teams led by Smart Information Flow Technologies (SIFT), Protagonist Technology, University of Southern California Information Sciences Institute (ISI), University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and Uncharted Software will work to develop automated techniques and tools that aid U.S. analysts in the detection and sensemaking of geopolitical online influence campaigns. Additionally, teams led by Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Laboratories and University of Maryland Applied Research Laboratory for Intelligence and Security (ARLIS) will support test, evaluation, and transition efforts of the resulting INCAS technologies.
Categories: Department of Defense

2021/08/31 DARPA Transitions Next-Generation Phased Array System to Support Future Defense R&D

Tue, 2021-08-31 00:00
DARPA today announced that a first-of-its-kind sensor system developed under the Arrays at Commercial Timescales - Integration and Validation (ACT-IV) program has transitioned to the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) for continued advancement and experimentation. Northrop Grumman, the primary research team on the ACT-IV program, facilitated the transition of the advanced digital active electronically scanned array (AESA) to the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, OH.
Categories: Department of Defense

2021/08/27 Taking Guess Work out of Vaccine Development

Fri, 2021-08-27 00:00
Military service members rely on effective vaccination for the prevention of communicable disease and to guard against biothreat exposure, but current vaccine development is expensive, time-consuming and prone to failure. Many current vaccines do not provide effective protection over long periods of time, and there are multiple pathogens that lack prophylactic options. Immune response to vaccines is unpredictable, transient and ineffective, largely due to a lack of understanding of the complex mechanisms of action underlying immune memory. The Assessing Immune Memory (AIM) program seeks to develop a platform capability to predict immune memory informed by a systems-level view of the host response to vaccination and its mechanisms.
Categories: Department of Defense

2021/08/26 DARPA Selects Teams to Develop Active Flow Control X-Plane

Thu, 2021-08-26 00:00
DARPA has selected multiple performers to continue the Control of Revolutionary Aircraft with Novel Effectors (CRANE) program. Aurora Flight Sciences and Lockheed Martin Corporation are now entering Phase 1, which includes system requirements development, initial design work, software development, and initial airworthiness activities that culminate in a preliminary design review.
Categories: Department of Defense

2021/08/25 Delivering Next-Gen Biomanufacturing Capability

Wed, 2021-08-25 00:00
Slow production methods and reliance on a global supply chain currently limit DoD access to critical proteins such as medical countermeasures (MCMs) (i.e. antibodies, vaccines, and clotting factors), diagnostic components, and key enzymes for producing nucleic acids. State-of-the-art protein-based MCM production calls for massive centralized infrastructure and complex pipelines that require lengthy cellular engineering, sufficient growth of cells, and intensive purification and quality control.
Categories: Department of Defense

2021/08/19 Episode 48: The Inner-Machine Therapist

Thu, 2021-08-19 00:00
In this episode of the Voices from DARPA podcast, John-Francis Mergen, a program manager since 2020 in the agency's Information Innovation Office, recounts how his interest in science took off as a child when he received a gift of a low-power magnifier from a family friend who was a geologist. From that gift, Mergen says, he learned about the power of observation and of the mindset one brings into that elemental component of the scientific enterprise.
Categories: Department of Defense

2021/08/12 Stage is Set for DARPA’s Subterranean Challenge Final Event

Thu, 2021-08-12 00:00
With the final selection of ten Virtual Competition teams, competitors are set for the DARPA Subterranean (SubT) Challenge Final Event, to be held September 21-24 in Kentucky. Qualified virtual teams submitted autonomy software to explore three simulated underground worlds in the Preliminary Round of the Final Event. The top ten virtual teams from the Preliminary Round have been invited to submit updated software solutions for the Prize Round, which will be broadcast in tandem with the Systems Competition in which physical robots compete.
Categories: Department of Defense

2021/08/06 DARPA Selects Teams to Develop Novel Therapeutics for Combating Multi-Drug Resistant Microbial Infections

Fri, 2021-08-06 00:00
DARPA today announced that it has selected three performer teams to support the Harnessing Enzymatic Activity for Lifesaving Remedies (HEALR) program. Groups from Yale University, University of Washington, and Broad Institute plan to utilize a new therapeutic approach and novel protein degradation strategies/modalities to permit a flexible and rapid response for targeting emerging microbial threats.
Categories: Department of Defense

2021/08/04 DARPA Selects Research Teams to Enable Quantum Shift in Spectrum Sensing

Wed, 2021-08-04 00:00
DARPA today announced the research teams selected for the Quantum Apertures (QA) program, which seeks to develop a fundamentally new way of receiving radio frequency (RF) waveforms to improve both sensitivity and frequency agility for defense applications. The selected teams will be led by Honeywell, Northrop Grumman, ColdQuanta, and SRI International.
Categories: Department of Defense