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Updated: 5 hours 36 min ago

2020/09/28 DARPA’s PALS Program Enters Second Phase

Mon, 2020-09-28 00:00
Because marine organisms observe changes in their environment using a combination of senses, they offer unique insights into the underwater world that are difficult to replicate using traditional engineering techniques. DARPA's Persistent Aquatic Living Sensors (PALS) program aims to leverage this phenomenon to augment the Department of Defense's existing, hardware-based maritime monitoring capabilities. The program, launched in November 2018, is now entering its second phase.
Categories: Department of Defense

2020/09/28 Subterranean Challenge Identifies Qualified Teams for Cave Circuit Virtual Competition

Mon, 2020-09-28 00:00
DARPA's Subterranean (SubT) Challenge will host its Cave Circuit Virtual Competition, which focuses on innovative solutions to map, navigate, and search complex, simulated cave environments November 17. Previously, DARPA held Tunnel Circuit and Urban Circuit events featuring both Virtual and Systems (physical) Competitions in which teams demonstrated their autonomy, networking, perception, and mobility capabilities in human-made tunnel and urban underground environments.
Categories: Department of Defense

2020/09/24 Victoria Coleman Sworn In as 22nd DARPA Director

Thu, 2020-09-24 00:00
The Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, Mr. Michael Kratsios, today administered the oath of office to Dr. Victoria Coleman, who was recently appointed as the 22nd director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Coleman succeeds Dr. Steven Walker who left the agency in January 2019. Dr. Peter Highnam, who had been DARPA deputy director since January 2018, had been serving as acting director since Walker's departure.
Categories: Department of Defense

2020/09/23 Episode 33: The Verification Virtuoso

Wed, 2020-09-23 00:00
In this episode of the Voices from DARPA podcast, Matt Turek, a program manager since 2018 in the agency's Information Innovation Office, discusses his portfolio of artificial intelligence (AI) programs that could not be more timely. Two of these programs map onto this harrowing moment in history where one of the most precious assets we can have as a society - trust in media and in various channels and modes of communications - is evaporating. Another program gets at a different kind of crucial trust: human trust in the AI tools that are becoming embedded and influential in our everyday lives and in government responsibilities including national security and defense.
Categories: Department of Defense

2020/09/18 Creating Cross-Domain Kill Webs in Real Time

Fri, 2020-09-18 00:00
Two DARPA-developed technologies – a novel decision aid for mission commanders and a rapid software integration tool – played a critical role in the recent Air Force demonstration of the Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS).
Categories: Department of Defense

2020/09/18 Teams Demonstrate Swarm Tactics in Fourth Major OFFSET Field Experiment

Fri, 2020-09-18 00:00
DARPA OFFensive Swarm-Enabled Tactics (OFFSET) researchers recently tested swarms of autonomous air and ground vehicles at the Leschi Town Combined Arms Collective Training Facility (CACTF), located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) in Washington. The Leschi Town field experiment is the fourth of six planned experiments for the OFFSET program, which seeks to develop large-scale teams of collaborative autonomous systems capable of supporting ground forces operating in urban environments.
Categories: Department of Defense

2020/09/04 DARPA’s SIGMA Program Transitions to Protect Major U.S. Metropolitan Region

Fri, 2020-09-04 00:00
On a blustery winter day last December, a car carrying radioactive material approached one of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's major transportation hubs. As the car got closer, an alarm flashed and sounded on a large monitor in the police operations center, identifying on a digital map the exact location of the vehicle and the specific radioactive isotope radiating from the car – Cesium-137. Within minutes, officers in the Port Authority Police Department – equipped with vehicle-mounted and pocket-sized radiation sensors displaying the same real-time digital map – tracked the vehicle and apprehended the suspects in a parking lot. Thankfully, the potential terrorists and radiation-emitting isotope were not a threat, as the scenario was only a drill.
Categories: Department of Defense

2020/09/02 Episode 32: The Opportunity Hunter

Wed, 2020-09-02 00:00
In this episode of the Voices from DARPA podcast, Air Force Lt. Col. C. David Lewis, a program manager since 2018 in the agency's Defense Sciences Office, takes listeners on a tour of the amazingly diverse portfolio of programs he oversees. The foci of these range from the deep math underlying optimization challenges, such as planning complex routes and managing supply chains, to using untapped signals in the atmosphere as indicators of both natural and human activities on the planet's surface.
Categories: Department of Defense

2020/09/01 DARPA Completes Key Milestone on Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapons Program

Tue, 2020-09-01 00:00
DARPA and the U.S. Air Force (USAF) today announced successful completion of captive carry tests of two variants of the Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC) and are ready to proceed to first free-flight testing within the calendar year. The joint Agency and Service effort seeks to develop and demonstrate critical technologies to enable an effective and affordable air-launched hypersonic cruise missile.
Categories: Department of Defense

2020/09/01 Harnessing Quantum Technologies at Room Temperature

Tue, 2020-09-01 00:00
Quantum research in both information science and sensing shows great promise for enabling a host of new defense applications. A major hindrance to transitioning breakthroughs from the laboratory to practical use, however, is the extensive equipment needed to cool and trap atoms to exploit their quantum features.
Categories: Department of Defense

2020/08/26 AlphaDogfight Trials Foreshadow Future of Human-Machine Symbiosis

Wed, 2020-08-26 00:00
A small Maryland company took first place in last week's AlphaDogfight Trials Final event, a three-day competition designed to demonstrate advanced algorithms capable of performing simulated, within-visual-range air combat maneuvering – commonly known as a dogfight. Heron Systems' F-16 AI agent defeated seven other companies' F-16 AI agents and then went on to dominate the main event – a series of simulated dogfights against an experienced Air Force F-16 pilot – winning 5-0 through aggressive and precise maneuvers the human pilot couldn't outmatch.
Categories: Department of Defense

2020/08/25 DARPA’s Gremlins Program Completes Second Flight Test in Demonstration Series

Tue, 2020-08-25 00:00
After meeting several primary objectives during risk reduction flights at the U.S. Army's Dugway Proving Ground in Utah in late July, DARPA's Gremlins program now is targeting additional tests of its X-61A vehicle later this year. The program seeks to develop and demonstrate air launch and air recovery of up to four unmanned aerial systems (UASs), known as Gremlins Air Vehicles (or just Gremlins), within 30 minutes.
Categories: Department of Defense

2020/08/17 Episode 31: Science 2.0

Mon, 2020-08-17 00:00
In this thematic episode of the Voices from DARPA podcast, three program managers discuss the possibility that emerging technologies in the arena of artificial intelligence (AI) are converging toward an "artificial science" toolset that could open an era we might designate as Science 2.0. The prospect of AI scientists making Nobel-prize-caliber discoveries is not around the corner, but it is a distinct possibility for the future, suggests program manager Jiangying Zhou of the agency's Defense Sciences Office (DSO).
Categories: Department of Defense

2020/08/07 AlphaDogfight Trials Go Virtual for Final Event

Fri, 2020-08-07 00:00
The third and final competition in DARPA's AlphaDogfight Trials will take place virtually August 18-20 instead of in person due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Participating teams and audience members will watch online as artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms control simulated F-16 fighters in aerial combat, culminating in a matchup on August 20 between the top AI and an experienced Air Force fighter pilot flying a virtual reality F-16 simulator.
Categories: Department of Defense

2020/07/30 Enhancing Understanding of Legacy Code to Simplify Software Re-engineering Process

Thu, 2020-07-30 00:00
Defense and commercial systems alike are riddled with legacy software that is difficult to modernize, enhance, and re-engineer, largely due to a lack of effective understanding of the underlying legacy code, which makes predicting the effect of modifications a challenge. From a defense perspective, there is a growing need to enhance or replace components of existing software in critical platforms and systems with more secure and performant code, as well as a desire to use legacy software on new hardware to improve system performance. When introducing enhancements or replacements into large legacy code bases however, there is a high risk that the new code will not safely compose with the rest of the system. Existing means of verifying that updated software is correct-by-construction focus on clean-slate software development, essentially limiting their effectiveness to software that is developed from scratch. Further, these methods assume an existing formal specification that is typically not available for a legacy system, and they require a certain level of expertise in formal methods not readily found in most developers.
Categories: Department of Defense

2020/07/28 Miniature Telescope Demonstration Focuses on Sharpening View of Distant Objects in Space

Tue, 2020-07-28 00:00
A recently deployed DARPA CubeSat seeks to demonstrate technology that could improve imaging of distant objects in space and allow powerful space telescopes to fit into small satellites. DARPA's Deformable Mirror (DeMi) CubeSat deployed from the International Space Station July 13, beginning the technology demonstration of a miniature space telescope with a small deformable mirror called a microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) mirror.
Categories: Department of Defense

2020/07/24 Subterranean Challenge Pivots to All-Virtual Competition for Cave Circuit

Fri, 2020-07-24 00:00
DARPA's Subterranean (SubT) Challenge focuses on discovering innovative approaches to map, navigate, and search complex underground environments across three diverse subdomains: human-made tunnels, urban underground, and natural cave systems. Two previous scored events – Tunnel and Urban Circuits – featured both Virtual and Systems Competitions. DARPA has made the difficult decision to proceed only with the Virtual Competition for the Cave Circuit, due to safety considerations surrounding COVID-19. The date for the Cave Circuit Virtual Competition webcast/public event will be announced in the coming weeks.
Categories: Department of Defense

2020/07/20 DARPA Awards Contracts for New X-Plane Program Based on Active Flow Control

Mon, 2020-07-20 00:00
DARPA has selected three performers to work on the Control of Revolutionary Aircraft with Novel Effectors (CRANE) program, which aims to demonstrate an aircraft design based on active flow control (AFC), an area not fully explored compared to traditional flight controls. The goal is to demonstrate significant efficiency benefits of AFC, as well as improvements in aircraft cost, weight, performance, and reliability.
Categories: Department of Defense

2020/07/17 Parts Come Together This Year for DARPA’s Robotic In-Space Mechanic

Fri, 2020-07-17 00:00
Eyeing a launch in 2023, DARPA's Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites (RSGS) program will focus the remainder of this year on completing the elements of the robotic payload. The objective of RSGS is to create an operational dexterous robotic capability to repair satellites in geosynchronous Earth orbit (GEO), extending satellite life spans, enhancing resilience, and improving reliability for the current U.S. space infrastructure.
Categories: Department of Defense

2020/07/15 DARPA FETT Bug Bounty Goes Live

Wed, 2020-07-15 00:00
DARPA today announced that its first bug bounty program–Finding Exploits to Thwart Tampering (FETT)–has opened its virtual doors to a community of ethical hackers and cybersecurity researchers to uncover potential weaknesses within novel secure processors in development on the System Security Integration Through Hardware and Firmware (SSITH) program. DARPA has partnered with the Department of Defense's Defense Digital Service (DDS) and Synack, a trusted crowdsourced security company on this effort.
Categories: Department of Defense

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