DARPA

November 15, 2017
DARPA’s Nascent Light-Matter Interactions (NLM) program aims to develop theory-anchored models that could yield new structures for materials with never-before-seen electromagnetic properties. This artist's concept depicts an example of how an engineered material might be able to convert, generate, or harvest electromagnetic fields exploiting interactions that could have far-reaching effects in areas such as sensing, thermal control, frequency conversion and dynamics.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has announced a new program designed to better understand and ultimately improve metamaterials. The program could lead to improvements in a number of areas, including imaging, thermal control and frequency conversion.

November 1, 2017
By Henry S. Kenyon
The Tactically Exploited Reconnaissance Node, aka Tern, is an unmanned aerial system (UAS) that can launch and land vertically. Photo illustration by DARPA

In the next few years, the U.S. Navy may finally realize a dream it has had since World War II: the ability to vertically launch and recover a fixed-wing aircraft from a ship deck. A prototype unmanned aerial system is now capable of hovering and launching vertically with a pair of nose-mounted, counter-rotating propellers, and then transitioning to high-speed horizontal flight as the propellers shift to propulsion mode and push air over its large fixed-wing surfaces. If the aircraft becomes operational, it will provide Navy ships a long-range, high-endurance surveillance and strike platform—something smaller surface units lack, absent an aircraft carrier or an amphibious assault ship.

November 1, 2017
By George I. Seffers

U.S. Defense Department researchers are testing cognitive electronic warfare technologies that within the next decade could autonomously counter adversary systems without preprogramming. The capability may allow the military to eclipse its adversaries in the electronic warfare domain.

Three closely related Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) programs apply artificial intelligence to the electromagnetic spectrum and will likely result in electronic warfare (EW) systems with unprecedented autonomy. The first two—Adaptive Radar Countermeasures (ARC) and Behavioral Learning for Adaptive Electronic Warfare (BLADE) are considered sister programs. Both apply artificial intelligence, or AI, to EW systems.

October 6, 2017
By Kimberly Underwood
At the recent Starburst Aerospace Accelerator event held at DARPA, entrepreneurs presented emerging technologies for military applications. One innovator, Star Simpson, is working on a more rugged drone for light weight critical supply deliveries, building off of the experience designing the ASPARA cardboard disposable drone at Otherlab in San Francisco.

Entrepreneurs developing products for entry into the aerospace and military industry in the next one to three years are focusing on improved battery efficiencies, 3-D metal printed antennas, software for manufacturing improvements and drone delivery applications, among other cutting-edge technologies.

Trying to break into the potentially lucrative market of aerospace, the prospective business men and women presenting their nascent product ideas and discoveries at a pitch meeting hosted by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) on October 5 are searching for venture capital investments and partnership, positing that their technologies will be, if not groundbreaking, useful and more efficient.

August 23, 2017

Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation, Linthicum Heights, Maryland, has been awarded a $7,134,347 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for a research project under the Common Heterogeneous Integration and Intellectual Properties Reuse Strategies (CHIPS) program solicited under broad agency announcement number DARPA-BAA-16-62. The CHIPS program seeks to develop the design tools and integration standards required to demonstrate modular integrated circuit designs that leverage the best of Department of Defense and commercial designs and technology. Work will be performed in Linthicum Heights with an expected completion date of September 2021.

August 21, 2017
By Robert K. Ackerman

Geospatial imagery as well as facial recognition and other biometrics are driving the intelligence community’s research into artificial intelligence. Other intelligence activities, such as human language translation and event warning and forecasting, also stand to gain from advances being pursued in government, academic and industry research programs funded by the community’s research arm.

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) is working toward breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, or AI, through a number of research programs. All these AI programs tap expertise in government, industry or academia.

Lockheed Martin Corporation, Grand Prairie, Texas, has been awarded a $12,933,908 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the Squad X Experimentation program to design, develop and validate system prototypes for a combined-arms squad. Bids were solicited via the Internet with one received. Work will be performed in Grand Prairie, Texas; Rome, New York; Menlo Park, California; Woburn, Massachusetts; Ann Arbor, Michigan; and Cherry Hill, New Jersey, with an estimated completion date of August 14, 2019. Fiscal 2016 and 2017 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $7,506,796 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S.

July 1, 2017
By Sandra Jontz
Roboteam’s Zachary Lucas maneuvers the PROBOT Military Robot, a lightweight, all-terrain carrier and reconnaissance robot that hauls three times its own weight and allows hands-free operation. The adaptable plug-and-play platform can conform to troops’ missions to carry explosives, equipment, weapons and even troops themselves.

Robots have done their fair share of safeguarding troops on the battlefield, from defusing bombs to scouting out caves for insurgents. In spite of their success, or perhaps because of it, the U.S. Defense Department now wants its unmanned ground vehicles to be more than one-trick ponies. 

June 26, 2017
By Maryann Lawlor

The military agency known for its bleeding-edge technology capabilities is reaching out to small, innovative, tech-savvy companies and research teams that they have not worked with in the past. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Strategic Technology Office (STO) invites companies and university researchers to attend Sync with STO, taking place August 2 and 3 at its conference center in Arlington, Virginia.

June 21, 2017
By George I. Seffers
A new Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program seeks to converge radio frequency communications, electronic warfare and radar capabilities on compact unmanned aerial systems.

Over the next five years U.S. Defense Department researchers plan to build a prototypical system that will converge radar, communications and electronic warfare functions for a range of unmanned aerial systems, including the RQ-7 Shadow and the RQ-21 Blackjack. A do-it-all system will efficiently switch between intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; command and control; networking; and combat operations support missions without changing payloads.

June 14, 2017
By Sandra Jontz
Steven Walker, acting director of DARPA, speaks at AFCEA's Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium.

It might be true that the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) invented the Internet. And so, in some way, the agency could be considered at fault for the burgeoning ecosystem of cyberthreats, the agency's acting director joked Wednesday. But DARPA also shoulders some of the responsibility for finding protective solutions for the vulnerable space.

June 9, 2017
By Breann Pendleton

Researchers hope to transform military communications with blockchain technology, the backbone of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

To realize this vision, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded a phase 1 grant to Indiana Technology and Manufacturing Companies (ITAMCO) to develop a secure, unhackable messaging and transaction platform for the U.S. military. ITAMCO will work to create robust and efficient technology for Defense Department communications. Uses will include communication between ground troops and their headquarters or between intelligence officers and the Pentagon.

May 25, 2017
By Julianne Simpson
Paul Tilghman, program manager, Microsystems Office, DARPA, speaks at the AFCEA/GMU Critical Issues in C4I Symposium.

The world of spectrum is exploding and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) wants in. Paul Tilghman, program manager, Microsystems Office, DARPA, believes that collaborative use of spectrum can make this scarce resource available to everybody but many challenges exist.

“We are not nimble right now with spectrum. We need to move away from worrying about spectrum availability and think about how we can automate it,” Tilghman said during his morning keynote address at the AFCEA/GMU Critical Issues in C4I Symposium.

May 5, 2017
By Sandra Jontz
U.S. soldiers conduct cyberspace operations during a training rotation last January at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California. They are among several cyber organizations taking part in pilot programs to help the Army develop how it will build and employ cyber in its tactical formations.

Zipping past a Plan B for cyber defense solutions to the end of the alphabet, the U.S. Defense Department's research arm launched Plan X and advanced platforms to conduct and assess cyber warfare like kinetic warfare. 

After five years of development by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Plan X is scheduled to transition in September to the Army's Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS) Project Manager Installation Information Infrastructure–Communications and Capabilities (I3C2). 

May 1, 2017
By Sandra Jontz

You might think that homomorphic cryptography, obfuscation techniques and privacy concerns have nothing in common. You would be mistaken. 

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), a division of the U.S. Defense Department that creates breakthrough technologies, is advancing these complex but intrinsically connected concepts in a series of efforts that could alter the art of making and breaking code. 

April 17, 2017
The Defense Advanced Research Projects is seeking information on advanced war gaming and modeling and simulation concepts.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Defense Sciences Office is requesting information on scalable, interactive gaming or war gaming approaches simultaneously spanning a large number of space and time scales with the goal of assessing a wide range of possible competitive outcomes and strategies using a range of human decision-making strategies.

April 19, 2017

BAE Systems Inc., Burlington, Massachusetts, was awarded a $9,725,094 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract (HR001117C0048) for a research project under the Dispersed Computing (DCOMP) program solicited under Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency broad agency announcement 16-41 (DARPA-BAA-16-41). The DCOMP program will produce software instantiations of algorithms and protocol stacks that leverage pervasive, physically dispersed computing platforms to boost application and network performance by orders of magnitude. Work will be performed in Burlington, Massachusetts, with an expected completion date of April 2021.

April 18, 2017
By Sandra Jontz

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Tactical Technology Office (TTO) will hold a two-day virtual proposers event May 3 and 4 to provide detailed information to vendors about an array of plans and projects for the year.

April 17, 2017
Boeing has been awarded a contract modification to continue supporting DARPA’s Hydra program, which seeks to develop a network of unmanned vehicles.

The Boeing Co., Huntington Beach, California, has been awarded a $7,576,425 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract modification (P00003) for a within-scope change to a previously awarded contract (HR0011-16-C-0114) to provide continued support for a research project under the Hydra Phase 2 program. Fiscal 2017 research and development funds in the amount of $645,510 are being obligated at the time of award.

April 1, 2017
By Sandra Jontz

Society’s insatiable appetite for connecting objects in the physical world to the Internet has industry’s wheels turning to fuel the materializing disruptive ecosystem called the Internet of Things, or IoT. But the good of convenience goes hand in hand with the bad of cyber risks, experts warn, spurring the U.S. government’s search for the self-healing networks of the future based on the automation tools of today.

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