DARPA

July 20, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
DARPA's Spectrum Collaboration Challenge (SC2) aims to ensure that the exponentially growing population of military and civilian wireless devices will have full access to the increasingly crowded electromagnetic spectrum.

The Defense Department’s futuristic research agency has finalized its contest plans—backed by nearly $4 million in prizes—for the creation of a radio that can withstand wireless congestion.

It’s an ambitious competition led by the Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency (DARPA) to expand the communications capacity of the electromagnetic spectrum, especially at a time when the explosion of wireless devices and the dawning of the Internet of Things era has placed such a heavy demand for access to such a finite resource.

May 13, 2016
 

LGS Innovations, Herndon, Virginia, has been awarded a contract to develop a prototype pair of lightweight, low-power optical communication terminals that will allow for light-based communication between micro-satellites in low-earth orbit. Under the terms of the contract, LGS will be responsible for developing a pair of laser communication terminals to be launched on two Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) small satellites. The terminals are to be extremely lightweight, weighing less than 2 pounds each, and will operate on less than 3 watts of power.

 

May 1, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Two EA-6B Prowler electronic warfare aircraft fly over Turkey to support combined task force operations. The analog-to-digital converter chip being developed by DARPA ultimately could benefit a wide range of communications, radar and electronic warfare systems.

U.S. Defense Department researchers recently announced the development of an analog-to-digital converter chip that processes spectrum at the previously unheard of rate of 60 billion times per second—fast enough to potentially ensure the uninterrupted operation of spectrum-dependent military systems, including communications and radar, in contested and congested electromagnetic environments.

April 7, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
DARPA's Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) prototype makes a dry run in Portland, Oregon. Officials christened Sea Hunter on Thursday.

The Defense Department's futuristic research agency reached a huge milestone in its robot sea vessel program Thursday, christening the unmanned prototype "Sea Hunter" and entering a two-year extended test phase.

April 18, 2016
By George I. Seffers

Aurora Flight Sciences, Manassas, Virginia, announced today company personnel successfully flew a subscale version of its LightningStrike vertical take-off and landing experimental plane (VTOL X-plane) for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The flight of the subscale aircraft met a DARPA risk reduction requirement, focusing on validation of the aerodynamic design and flight control system.

April 14, 2016
 

Vencore Labs Inc., doing business as Applied Communication Sciences, Basking Ridge, New Jersey, has been awarded a $7,719,472 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for a research project under the Extreme DDoS Defense (XD3) program solicited under DARPA-BAA-15-56. The XD3 program seeks to develop revolutionary advances in the area of resilient defenses against distributed denial of services (DDoS) attacks on computer networks. Fiscal 2015 research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E) funds in the amount of $725,155; and fiscal 2016 RDT&E funds in the amount of $1,429,743 are being obligated at time of award.

April 5, 2016
 

International Business Machines Corp. (IBM), Yorktown Heights, New York, has been issued a ceiling decrease modification in the amount of $7,397,671 (P00017) to previously awarded HR0011-12-C-0015, for research under the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) I20 Broad Operational Language Translation (BOLT) program. The modification decreases the total cumulative face value of the contract from $32,761,127 to $25,363,456.

March 14, 2016
 

System High Corp., Chantilly, Virginia, has been awarded a ceiling $21,035,502 cost-plus-award-fee modification (P00033) to exercise Option Year 4 of previously awarded HR0011-12-C-0024 for the Security and Intelligence Directorate (SID) Systems Engineering and Technical Assistance (SETA) Support program. The SID SETA Support program develops and uses state-of-the-art tools and concepts to find solutions to emerging security issues while maintaining compliance with applicable security requirements. Fiscal 2015 research and development funds in the amount of $7,263,033 are being obligated at time of award.

March 4, 2016
 
DARPA has awarded funds to Aurora Flight Services for the next two phases of the X-plane program.

Aurora Flight Sciences, Manassas, Virginia, has been awarded an $89,444,166 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for Phases II and III of the vertical take-off and landing X-plane research portfolio. Work will be performed in Manassas, Virginia (62 percent); Indianapolis (31 percent); Tucson, Arizona (3 percent); and Ventura, California (4 percent), with an expected completion date of September 2018. Fiscal 2015 research and development funds in the amount of $2,692,858; and fiscal 2016 research and development funds in the amount of $50,674,897 are being obligated at time of award. This contract was a competitive acquisition and three offers were received.

February 26, 2016
 

SRI International, Menlo Park, California, has been awarded an $8.5 million contract by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Brandeis program through the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) to explore how privacy-preserving technologies can be applied to enable information sharing while safeguarding sensitive data across large-scale enterprises. The vision of the Brandeis program is to break the tension between the need for maintaining privacy and sharing data for collaboration.

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.

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