DARPA

February 26, 2016

General Dynamics C4 Systems Inc., San Antonio, has been awarded a $25,440,610 cost-plus-award-fee contract with options for classified network support services for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA's) Mission Services Office, Information Technology Directorate. The support services include classified office computing, networking, communications services, desktop support, technical support, infrastructure, equipment, software and data. Fiscal 2016 research and development funds in the amount of $20,730,150 are being obligated at the time of award. Work will be performed in Arlington, Virginia, with an estimated completion date of February 2017.

February 22, 2016

Lockheed Martin Corp., Missiles and Fire Control, Grand Prairie, Texas, has been awarded an $8,433,827 agreement modification (P00004) to previously awarded other transaction agreement HR0011-15-9-0008 exercising Phase I option for the Multi Azimuth Defense Fast Intercept Round Engagement System (MAD-FIRES) program. The Phase I option will involve preliminary risk reduction demonstrations to identify and mature critical enabling technologies. The modification brings the total cumulative face value of the agreement to $14,879,792 from $2,229,051. Total Lockheed Martin Corp. cost share is $4,959,931, and the total estimated government funding of the agreement is $9,919,861.

February 22, 2016

The Raytheon Co., Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, Arizona, has been awarded a $17,228,124 modification (P00003) to previously awarded contract HR0011-15-C-0081, exercising option one for the Multi Azimuth Defense Fast Intercept Round Engagement System (MAD-FIRES) program. The modification brings the total cumulative face value of the contract to $18,944,780 from $1,716,656. Work will be performed in Tucson, Arizona (73 percent); Cambridge, Massachusetts (14 percent); Gainesville, Virginia (6 percent); East Amherst, New York (3 percent); and McKinney, Texas (4 percent), with an estimated completion date of February 2017.

February 10, 2016
By Sandra Jontz

The U.S. Defense Department's fiscal 2017 budget carves out the same appropriation that it did last year for its futuristic research arm, asking Congress to again allocate $2.97 billion to pay for a range of seemingly science fiction endeavors, such as launching swarms of autonomous drones to a program to turn chemical weapons into fertilized dirt and efforts to address memory deficits caused by traumatic brain injuries.

The annual funding pays for hundreds of ongoing programs that leaders at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, have placed into three key strategic areas driving their work, said director Arati Prabhakar. The three are:

January 1, 2016
By Sandra Jontz

It has the trappings of a science-fiction film: Robot pods soundlessly lie in wait on the ocean floor until summoned to the surface, launching drones capable of hibernating inside the capsules for years at a time. But this scenario is far from fantasy thanks to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Upward Falling Payload program.

December 28, 2015

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. Aerospace Systems, El Segundo, California, has been awarded a $93,076,636 Other Transaction Agreement for prototype project - Tactically Exploited Reconnaissance Node (TERN) program, Phase III. The TERN program will design, develop and demonstrate enabling technologies and system attributes for a medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned air vehicle and shipboard-capable launch and recovery system allowing operations from smaller ships. The TERN Phase III program will focus on the design, fabrication and testing of a prototype TERN Demonstration System.

December 8, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
A diver descends along a deep water mooring buoy off of the coast of Guam to conduct inspection, maintenance and repair of various underwater assets.

Move over Charlie, the seas could be getting a new kind of tuna.

LGS Innovations secured a contract to support a program launched by the Defense Department’s futurist research arm to develop the Tactical Undersea Network Architectures, or TUNA, program.

December 9, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
Even lush forest canopies could became effectively transparent with a future generation of light detection and ranging (LiDAR) technologies. Source: Shutterstock/DARPA

The Defense Department’s primary research agency seeks flat optics that could revolutionize a number of industries, from surveillance technologies to how autonomous systems sense obstacles in their surroundings, to name a few.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, put out a call for “pancaking the telescope” when it announced its Modular Optical Aperture Building Blocks (MOABB) program. That’s fancy speak for its challenge to create ultra-compact, light detection and ranging (LiDAR) systems that would be flat, lightweight, easily transportable and inexpensive, the agency states.

December 1, 2015
By Sandra Jontz

Most of the world was blindsided three years ago when the democratically elected president of Paraguay was unseated in a parliamentary coup that unnerved leaders across the globe. It was a surprise to most of the world, but not all of it. Three months before the June 2012 ambush impeachment, intelligence analysts forecasted that a domestic political crisis might besiege the South American nation.

While the technology certainly is no crystal ball, the Integrated Crisis Early Warning System, or ICEWS (pronounced IQs), can harness the power of data analytics to forecast such global unrest.

October 5, 2015

Northrop Grumman Space & Mission Systems, Redondo Beach, California, has been awarded a $12,188,262 cost-plus-fixed-fee modification (P00004) to exercise Option 1 of previously awarded HR0011-15-C-0022 for Phase 2 of a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency research program, Power Efficiency Revolution for Embedded Computing Technologies (PERFECT). The modification brings the total cumulative face value of the contract to $14,078,090 from $1,889,828.

September 30, 2015

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Redondo Beach, California has been awarded a $22,028,188 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for a research project under the 100 Gb/s RF backbone (100G) Phase 2 program. Building on work that was performed under Phase 1 of the program, the contractor will develop and test an integrated prototype airborne datalink system that leverages state-of-the-art advances in high-order modulation, spatial multiplexing and other power and spectral efficiency technologies to achieve program goals. Fiscal 2015 research and development funds in the amount of $8,771,476 are being obligated at the time of award.

September 23, 2015

Amyris Inc., Emeryville, California, has been awarded a $34,167,843 cost-share technology investment agreement for the research and development of a state-of-the-art open bio-fabrication facility under the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Living Foundries program. The goal of Living Foundries is to create a revolutionary, biologically-based technology platform to provide new materials, capabilities, and manufacturing paradigms for the Department of Defense. Fiscal 2015 research and development funds in the amount of $6,035,686 are being obligated at the time of award.

September 14, 2015
By Sandra Jontz

The ease at which criminals can reverse engineer software makes for lucrative transgressions with national security implications, prompting government-backed researchers to seek innovations to shore up vulnerabilities, officials say.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, turned to academia and awarded a multiyear mission to develop obfuscation technology to better safeguard software intellectual property, both for commercial and government endeavors. The aim of DARPA’s SafeWare program is to find a solution that would render the software, such as proprietary algorithms, incomprehensible to a reverse engineer.

September 2, 2015

IBM Corp., Yorktown Heights, New York, has been award a $10,193,876 modification (P00006) exercising the second option to previously awarded HR0011-13-C-0022 for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Power Efficiency Revolution For Embedded Computing Technologies (PERFECT) program. The modification brings the total cumulative face value of the contract to $17,056,647. Work will be performed in Yorktown Heights, New York (66 percent); Cambridge, Massachusetts (12 percent); Charlottesville, Virginia (12 percent); and Stanford, California (10 percent), with an expected completion date of March 2018.

September 2, 2015

Leidos Inc., Reston, Virginia, has been awarded a $7,890,740 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for a research project under the Shared Spectrum Access for Radar and Communications (SSPARC) program (Coexistence Phase 2). The contractor will continue research in the area of spectrum sharing between radar and communications systems to build on prior work carried out in the coexistence thrust of Phase 1. Fiscal 2015 research and development funds in the amount of $5,352,607 are being obligated at the time of award.

August 19, 2015

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., Stratford, Connecticut, has been awarded a $9,787,539 agreement modification (P00002) to exercise the phase II option of previously awarded other transaction HR0011-15-9-0004 for the Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System (ALIAS) program. Phase II will involve ALIAS requirements update and concept evolution, ALIAS ACES V2.0 technology development and verification, ALIAS system integration, and Phase II capability demonstrations. During Phase II, Sikorsky will conduct UH-60L based flight demonstration of the Autonomous Crew Enhancement System (ACES) cargo-resupply mission and full demonstration of ACES system on a representative fixed-wing aircraft.

August 19, 2015

SRI International, Menlo Park, California, is being awarded an $8,520,257 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to provide research and development services for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Support includes innovative research proposals in the areas of data privacy and privacy science to provide tools to capture, test and evaluate technologies. Work will be performed in Menlo Park, California, and is expected to be completed Feb.

June 4, 2015

Raytheon BBN Technologies Corp., Cambridge, Massachusetts, has been awarded a $12,211,473 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract (HR0011-15-C-0097), for a research project under the Edge-Directed Cyber Technologies for Reliable Mission program. Fiscal 2015 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $2,331,395 are being obligated at time of award. Vencore Labs Inc., doing business as Applied Communication Sciences (ACS), Basking Ridge, New Jersey, has been awarded an $11,762,572 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract (HR0011-15-C-0098).The period of performance is 36 months, with two 18-month phases.

June 1, 2015
By Sandra Jontz

Give researchers about five years, and people will be communicating with machines—a far cry from today’s clicking, swiping and typing, says one scientist working with the Defense Department’s futuristic research arm. While improvements in algorithms helped develop artificial intelligence over the past several years so vast amounts of data from videos, signals and human intelligence could be deciphered quickly, the progress amounts to little more than fancy math.

May 18, 2015
By George I. Seffers
DARPA has developed a variety of robotic systems, including the Boston Dynamics Big Dog, though traditional developers. The RFT effort aims to engage developers who do not usually work with the government.

Small-scale robot developers who do not normally work with the federal government will be given a chance to do just that under the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA’s) new Robotics Fast Track (RFT) effort. Through the RFT, which currently is a pilot program, DARPA officials seek to enable rapid, cost-effective development of new robotics capabilities in response to—or in anticipation of—rapidly evolving warfighter needs.

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