DARPA

May 7, 2018
 
DARPA is asking BAE Systems to demonstrate a cost-effective optical seeker for precision-guided munitions, that will reportedly improve the navigation of munitions, as well as automate target location and homing. Photo credit: BAE Systems

Under a $13.1 million contract award, BAE Systems will demonstrate a new optical seeker for precision-guided munitions for the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), through the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory. The seeker is intended to improve navigation, as well as automate target location and homing, for different types of munitions used in GPS-denied and other contested environments, according to the company. BAE Systems tested the seeker during the first phase of DARPA's Seeker Cost Transformation (SECTR) program. The seeker enables autonomous precision guidance via passive electro-optical and infrared sensors.

April 25, 2018
 

Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., McLean, Virginia, has been awarded a $24,092,510 modification (P00025) to previously awarded contract HR0011-16-F-0005 for enterprise support services. The modification brings the total cumulative face value of the contract to $70,367,678 from $46,275,168. Work will be performed in Arlington, Virginia, with an expected completion date of May 2019. Fiscal year 2018 research and development funds in the amount of $6,016,387 are being obligated at time of award. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

April 25, 2018
Posted by George I. Seffers
Technology developed under DARPA’s Vertical Lift and Takeoff Experimental Plane program has gained approval to transition to the commercial sector. Photo credit: Aurora Flight Sciences

The Defense Advanced Research Agency (DARPA) has agreed to allow Aurora Flight Sciences to transition its X-Plane program technology to commercial applications, including expanding its research into commercial electronic vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) systems, the company has announced.

April 23, 2018
 

The KeyW Corp. of Hanover, Maryland, was awarded a $17,365,667 cost-plus-fixed-fee completion contract for a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency research project. Work will be performed in Hanover, with an expected completion date of April 2022. Fiscal year 2017 research, development, test and evaluation funding in the amount of $762,102 are being obligated at time of award. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity (HR001118C0085). "KeyW is passionate about securing our nation and its allies," the company said.

April 11, 2018
 

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) selected Systems Technology & Research, Woburn, Massachusetts, for a research project under the Harnessing Autonomy for Countering Cyberadversary Systems (HACCS) program. The HACCS program aims to develop technologies for accurately identifying malicious cyber-adversary infiltrated networks, generating reliable software exploits for large numbers of known (n-day) vulnerabilities, and creating effective autonomous software agents that can be inserted in the compromised networks via the n-day exploits to safely and reliably neutralize cyber-adversary software agents.

April 11, 2018
 

Kudu Dynamics, Chantilly, Virginia, was awarded a $7,913,091 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for a research project on the Harnessing Autonomy for Countering Cyberadversary Systems (HACCS) program. The HACCS program aims to develop technologies for accurately identifying malicious cyberadversary infiltrated networks, generating reliable software exploits for large numbers of known (n-day) vulnerabilities, and creating effective autonomous software agents that can be inserted in the compromised networks via the n-day exploits to safely and reliably neutralize cyberadversary software agents. Work will be performed in Chantilly, Virginia (85 percent); and Arlington, Virginia (15 percent), with an expected completion date of April 2022.

April 9, 2018
 

Sotera Defense Solutions Inc., Herndon, Virginia, was awarded a $7,284,383 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for a research project under the Harnessing Autonomy for Countering Cyber-adversary Systems (HACCS) program. The HACCS program aims to develop technologies for accurately identifying malicious cyber-adversary infiltrated networks, generating reliable software exploits for large numbers of known (n-day) vulnerabilities, and creating effective autonomous software agents that can be inserted in the compromised networks via the n-day exploits to safely and reliably neutralize cyber-adversary software agents. Work will be performed in Herndon, Virginia, with an expected completion date of April 2022.

March 16, 2018
By Maryann Lawlor
 DARPA’s Collection and Monitoring via Planning for Active Situational Scenarios (COMPASS) program aims to develop advanced decision-making tools for commanders and other decision makers in complex and dynamic gray-zone conflicts. (Image by DARPA)

The Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency has begun a program to address an emerging conflict in a nebulous area between peace and conventional warfare. Dubbed the “gray zone,” actions in this space occur slower and are executed more subtly using social, psychological, religious, informational, cyber and other means to achieve physical or cognitive objectives with or without violence.

March 6, 2018
 

Five companies, including Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., McLean, Virginia; CENTRA Technology Inc., Burlington, Massachusetts; ECS Federal LLC, Fairfax, Virginia; ManTech SRS Technologies Inc., Herndon, Virginia; and Schafer Government Services LLC, Arlington, Virginia, received indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee, performance-based contracts, with provisions for firm-fixed-price delivery/task orders. Under the combined $204,308,895 multiple award contracts, the companies will provide technical, programmatic, financial, and administrative support services for existing and future Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Tactical Technology Office programs.

February 16, 2018
Posted by Maryann Lawlor
Northrop Grumman’s team is launching an open architecture testbed and seeking participants to create and test their own swarm-based tacking on the platform as part of DARPA’s OFFensive Swarm-Enabled Tactics program.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is moving into the first development phase of its OFFensive Swarm-Enabled Tactics (OFFSET) program, a capability that will empower dismounted troops to control scores of unmanned air and ground vehicles simultaneously. Once fully evolved, the technology will provide small-unit infantry forces with small, unmanned aircraft and ground systems to support diverse missions in urban areas. The program also seeks to integrate modern swarm tactics and leverage emerging technologies in swarm autonomy and human-swarm teaming.

February 8, 2018
 

Steven H. Walker has been selected to be the director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

February 1, 2018
By Henry S. Kenyon
Researchers say they must be explicit when describing the results they seek or artificial intelligence may deliver the wrong solutions.

Artificial intelligence has a trust problem. While adoption is increasing in both the government and commercial sectors, artificial intelligence-infused technologies have not reached their full potential in many critical applications because their opaque nature does not give users a window into the decision-making process.

January 18, 2018
 

Sotera Defense Solutions Incorporated, Herndon, Virginia, was awarded a $10,271,933 modification (P00012) to contract W911NF-16-C-0005 for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency research and development effort titled "Technology Demonstrations and Assessments Using a Data Science Approach to Situation Understanding for Counter Insurgency Operations (TDA for COIN)." Work will be performed in Herndon, Virginia, with an estimated completion date of January 20, 2019. Fiscal 2017 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $2,276,839 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

January 17, 2018
 

Systems & Technology Research LLC,* Woburn, Massachusetts, has been awarded a $10,569,653 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for a research project for undersea sensing systems. Fiscal year 2017 and 2018 research and development funds in the amount of $3,216,772 are being obligated at the time of award. Work will be performed in Groton, Connecticut (45 percent); Arlington, Virginia (36 percent); North Falmouth, Massachusetts (10 percent); Reston, Virginia (5 percent); McLeansville, North Carolina (3 percent); and Columbia, Maryland (1 percent). The contract has an estimated completion date of August 2019. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity (HR001118C0004). *Small Business

January 11, 2018
 

BAE Systems Information and Electronic Systems Integration Incorporated of Merrimack, New Hampshire, has been awarded a $7,859,853 contract with an option for a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency research program. Fiscal year 2017 research and development funds in the amount of $1,300,000 are being obligated at the time of award. Work will be performed in Columbus, Ohio (2 percent); Basking Ridge, New Jersey (2 percent); Quincy, Massachusetts (5 percent); Arlington, Virginia (5 percent); Reston, Virginia (28 percent); and Merrimack, New Hampshire, (58 percent) with an estimated completion date of July 2019. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

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.

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