DARPA

April 1, 2021
By George I. Seffers
DARPA’s Squad X program has taught researchers that artificial intelligence offers advantages not related to faster decision-making, and that electronic warfare systems can behave smartly without being equipped with artificial intelligence.  DARPA

Researchers have learned some surprising lessons from the technologies developed under the Defense Department’s Squad X program, which will end this year. For example, artificial intelligence may not help warfighters make faster decisions, but it does provide a planning advantage over adversaries. Furthermore, when it comes to detecting and electronically attacking enemy signals, systems can make smart decisions without artificial intelligence.

March 30, 2021
 

General Dynamics Mission Systems Inc., San Antonio, Texas, has been awarded a $15,246,565 modification (P00058) to previously awarded contract HR0011-16-C-0001 for classified information technology services. The modification brings the total cumulative face value of the contract from $172,708,013 to $187,954,578. Work will be performed in Arlington, Virginia, with an expected completion date of July 2021. Fiscal 2021 research and development funds in the amount of $7,691,810 are being obligated at time of award. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

March 30, 2021
 

Agile Defense Inc.,* Reston, Virginia, has been awarded a $15,825,698 modification (P00059) to previously awarded task order HR0011-15-F-0002 for unclassified information technology services. The modification brings the total cumulative face value of the task order from $211,027,983 to $226,853,681. Work will be performed in Arlington, Virginia, with an expected completion date of July 2021. Fiscal 2021 research and development funds in the amount of $7,324,021 are being obligated at time of award. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity. *Small Business

March 15, 2021
 

SEAKR Engineering Inc.,* Centennial, Colorado, has been awarded a $60,487,495 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the Blackjack Pit Boss Phase Two and Phase Three program. Work will be performed in Centennial, Colorado, with an estimated completion date of March 2022. Fiscal 2020 and 2021 research and development funds in the amount of $8,063,914 are being obligated at the time of award. This contract is a competitive acquisition in accordance with the original broad agency announcement HR0011-19-S-0012. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity (HR0011-21-C-0054). *Small Business

March 1, 2021
By George I. Seffers
The DARPA OPS-5G program has set some ambitious goals, including adoption of the technology by a mobile carrier near a military base and machine translation of open source standards. Credit: ZinetroN/Shutterstock

If all goes as planned, a major mobile cellphone carrier will ultimately adopt technology developed under the Defense Advanced Research Project’s Agency’s Open, Programmable, Secure 5G program. Doing so will allow the open-source, secure technology to proliferate as so-called Internet of Things technologies become more ubiquitous.

March 1, 2021
By George I. Seffers
A signal support system specialist prepares a radio system used to allow soldiers and airmen to keep in constant communications with one another during their missions. Graphic illustration by Regina Ali, U.S. Defense Department

The U.S. Defense Department already is looking beyond its massive $600 million investment in 5G experiments announced in October. Plans include a second round of experiments and the potential for expanding efforts with other government agencies and with international partners.

February 10, 2021
 

Raytheon Co., Tewksbury, Massachusetts, has been awarded a $7,580,414 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the Airspace TacticaL Automation System (ATLAS) effort supporting the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Air Space Total Awareness for Rapid Tactical Execution (ASTARTE) program, Phase One. This contract provides for the research, development and demonstration of virtual and live testbed for airspace management systems, a series of algorithms for airspace planning and operations and a sensor network for delivering real-time spatial and temporal tracking of airborne platforms.

January 20, 2021
 

Raytheon Co., Tewksbury, Massachusetts, was awarded a $10,448,906 cost-plus-fixed-fee completion contract for a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency research project for the Joint All-Domain Warfighting Software (JAWS) program.  JAWS seeks to develop a software suite to maximize the effectiveness of military force through theater scale battle management command and control with automation and predictive analytics. This capability would develop the enabling software for the warfighter to adaptably setup and execute synchronized kill webs encompassing the undersea, sea surface, land, air, space and electromagnetic domains. Work will be performed in Tewksbury, Massachusetts (59%); Cambridge, Massachusetts (11%); Richardson, Texas (3%);

January 12, 2021
 

Lockheed Martin Corp., Missiles and Fire Control, Grand Prairie, Texas, is being awarded a $58,905,062 modification (P00006) to previously awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee contract HR0011-20-C-0038 to exercise the contract line item number 0003 option for development of the integrated OpFires system. This includes risk reduction testing to achieve a system-level critical design maturity. Fiscal 2020 and 2021 research and development funds in the amount of $18,505,167 will be obligated at the time of award. Work will be performed in Grand Prairie, Texas (57%); Huntsville, Alabama (11%); and Elkton, Maryland (32%), with an estimated completion date of January 2022.

November 3, 2020
 

Victoria Coleman has been appointed as director of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Arlington, Virginia.

November 1, 2020
By George I. Seffers
DARPA’s Gremlin program completed its first test flight last year. Earlier this year, DARPA and the Air Force opted to add a fourth phase to the program to prepare it to transition from research and development to operational status.  Photo: Courtesy of DARPA

The fourth and final phase of the Gremlins unmanned aerial system program will include collaborative autonomy software that allows one person to control multiple unmanned air vehicles. The technology extends the capability of unmanned aircraft systems to conduct long-distance engagements of mobile ground and maritime targets in areas with poor communications or limited navigational signals.

September 11, 2020
 

Analog Photonics LLC,* Boston, Massachusetts, was awarded a $10,266,430 modification (P00011) to exercise the Phase 3 option to previously awarded HR0011-16-C-0108 for the Modular Optical Aperture Building Blocks (MOABB) research program. This modification brings the total cumulative face value of the contract to $25,579,196. Work will be performed in Boston, Massachusetts, with an expected completion date of May 2022.  Fiscal 2020 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $10,266,430 are being obligated at time of award. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity. *Small Business

September 10, 2020
 

Applied Physical Sciences Corp., Groton, Connecticut, has been awarded a $13,876,535 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to support the Sea Train Phase 1 program, which will develop and demonstrate approaches to overcome the range limitations inherent in medium unmanned surface vessels by exploiting wave-making resistance reductions. Fiscal 2020 research and development funds in the amount of $1,317,264 are being obligated at the time of award. Work will be performed in Hunt Valley, Maryland (43%); Groton, Connecticut (26%); Hanover, Maryland (23%); Concord, Massachusetts (5%); Arlington, Virginia (1%); Reading, Massachusetts (less than 1%); Jeanerette, Louisiana (less than 1%); and San Diego, California (less than 1%), with an estimated comple

August 26, 2020
 

S2 Corp., Bozeman, Montana, is awarded a $9,003,679 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract (N65236-20-C-8019) for a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) project to prototype and demonstrate a broadband, electro-magnetic spectrum receiver system. The contract includes an 18-month base period and an 18-month option period. The option period, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to an estimated $20,964,010. Fiscal 2020 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $4,501,840 will be obligated at the time of award.

August 26, 2020
 

Radiance Technologies Inc,* Huntsville, Alabama, was awarded a $10,110,811 cost-plus-fixed-fee completion contract for a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency research project for the Secure Advanced Framework for Simulation and Modeling (SAFE-SiM) program. SAFE-SiM seeks to build a government-owned and controlled, faster-than-real time modeling and simulation (M&S) capability for theater-wide, mission-level M&S. This capability would enable rapid analysis supporting senior-level decisions for concept of operations development, force structure composition, resource allocation and targeted technology insertion.

August 25, 2020
Posted by: George I. Seffers
The X-61A unmanned aerial system successfully completed its second series of flight tests in July. The system is being developed by a Dynetics-led team under the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Gremlins program. Photo courtesy of DARPA

DARPA’s Gremlins program is targeting additional tests of the X-61A vehicle later this year after meeting several primary objectives during risk reduction flights at the U.S. Army’s Dugway Proving Ground in Utah in late July. The Gremlins program seeks to develop and demonstrate air launch and air recovery of up to four unmanned aerial systems (UASs), known as Gremlins Air Vehicles, within 30 minutes.

July 30, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
A DARPA cubesat placed into orbit from the International Space Station contains an experiment in which microelectronic mechanical systems (MEMS) change the mirror shape of an optical system to generate high-quality imagery. Space is just one area in which the agency is boosting its research to meet new challenges. Credit: NASA photo

New research areas and greater emphasis on existing sciences define the way ahead for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Longstanding areas such as artificial intelligence, quantum sciences and directed energy systems now are sharing the spotlight with antiviral research, space systems and operational biotechnology as the agency aims deeper into the new decade.

July 13, 2020
 

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Baltimore, Maryland, has been awarded a $19,660,934 cost-plus-fixed fee contract for the base period of a research project for hypersonic boost glide systems. Work will be performed in Baltimore, Maryland, with an estimated completion date of March 2023. Fiscal 2019 research and development funds in the amount of $549,419; and fiscal 2020 research and development funds in the amount of $17,449,429 are being obligated at time of award. This contract is a sole-source award. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity (HR0011-20-C0-0054).

June 17, 2020
 

PAR Government Systems Corp., Rome, New York, was awarded an $11,920,160 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for a research project under the Semantic Forensics (SemaFor) program. The SemaFor program will develop methods that exploit semantic inconsistencies in falsified media to perform tasks across media modalities and at scale. Work will be performed in Rome, New York, with an expected completion date of June 2024. Fiscal 2020 research, development, test and evaluation funding in the amount of $1,500,000 are being obligated at time of award. This contract was a competitive acquisition under a full and open broad agency announcement and 37 proposals were received.

June 12, 2020
 

Raytheon Co., El Segundo, California, has been awarded a $37,442,009 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the Blackjack program, Phase 2. This contract provides for the research, development, and demonstration of an Overhead Persistent Infrared (OPIR) payload for Blackjack. Raytheon will complete design, fabricate, test, and deliver in quantity space-flight ready OPIR payloads capable of integrating with multiple Blackjack buses and Pit Boss subsystem supporting an on-orbit constellation level demonstration. Work will be performed in El Segundo, California, with an estimated completion date of April 2023.

June 2, 2020
 

Agile Defense Inc.,* Reston, Virginia, has been awarded a $31,225,244 modification (P00052) to previously awarded task order HR0011-15-F-0002 for unclassified information technology services. The modification brings the total cumulative face value of the task order from $176,513,865 to $207,739,109. Work will be performed in Arlington, Virginia, with an expected completion date of February 2021. Fiscal 2019 and 2020 research and development funds in the amount of $12,224,558 are being obligated at time of award. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity. *Small Business

June 1, 2020
By George I. Seffers
DARPA’s Optimization with Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum (ONISQ) program intends to leapfrog current computing technology by combining classical and quantum computing capabilities to tackle a widespread class of problems known as combinatorial optimization problems, which have national security, commercial and global implications. Credit: Yurchanka Siarhei and Boex Design/Shutterstock. Edited by Chris D’Elia​

In the future, anyone trying to figure out how to use limited resources may reap the benefits of computers that are a hybrid of quantum and classical systems.

Such hybrid computers might prove especially efficient and effective at solving certain kinds of problems, such as strategic asset deployment, global supply chains, battlefield logistics, package delivery, the best path for electronics on a computer chip and network node placement. Research also could impact machine learning and coding theory.

May 22, 2020
 

Leland Stanford Junior University, Stanford, California, was awarded a $30,114,182 cost reimbursement contract for a research project to study the securing of our national internet infrastructure using measurement, control, and verification for closed-loop control of networks, also known as the Pronto project. The Pronto project will research the creation and deployment of a network, to include 5G, under verifiable closed-loop control as an exemplar for others in government, industry, and education to replicate. Work will be performed in Stanford, California (17%); Menlo Park, California (68%); Ithaca, New York (8%); and Princeton, New Jersey (7%), with an expected completion date of May 2023.

May 19, 2020
 

Applied Physical Sciences Corp., Groton, Connecticut, has been awarded an $18,822,358 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the base period of a research and development effort for undersea sensing systems. Work will be performed in Groton, Connecticut (60%); Woburn, Massachusetts (20%); Arlington, Virginia (7%); Pawcatuck, Connecticut (4%); Northridge, California (3%); Waltham, Massachusetts (3%); Orange, California (2%); and Concord, Massachusetts (1%), with an estimated completion date of October 2021. Fiscal year 2020 research and development funds in the amount of $15,062,029 are being obligated at the time of award.

April 14, 2020
By George I. Seffers
DARPA's Detect It with Gene Editing Technologies program may prove to be a game changer for future pandemics. And the program has not yet even begun. Credit: U.S. Army photo

A U.S. Defense Department research program that has not yet even officially begun may contribute advanced testing devices for COVID-19 and other future pandemics.

The program is being run by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and is called the Detect It with Gene Editing Technologies. The acronym, DIGET, is pronounced “dig it.”

March 31, 2020
 

Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., McLean, Virginia, has been awarded a $23,361,698 modification (P00039) to previously awarded contract HR0011-16-F-0005 for enterprise support services. The modification brings the total cumulative face value of the contract to $119,076,169 from $95,714,471. Work will be performed in Arlington, Virginia, with an expected completion date of May 2021. Fiscal year 2020 research and development funds in the amount of $20,714,282 are being obligated at time of award. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

March 20, 2020
 

RadiaBeam Technologies LLC,* Santa Monica, California, has been awarded a $10,202,941 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Gamma Ray Inspection Technology (GRIT) program. In Phase I, RadiaBeam Technologies LLC proposes a Laser-Compton approach for meeting GRIT program objectives and carrying out relevant system demonstrations. Work will be performed in Santa Monica, California (80%); Menlo Park, California (9%); Los Angeles, California (7%); and Paris, France (4%), with an estimated completion date of March 2021.  Fiscal year 2019 and 2020 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $3,718,701 are being obligated at time of award.

February 19, 2020
 

Two Six Labs LLC,* Arlington, Virginia, has been awarded a $7,970,711 modification (P00008) to previously awarded contract HR0011-18-C-0134 for additional in-scope work under a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency research project. Work will be performed in Arlington, Virginia, with an expected completion date of September 2022. Fiscal year 2020 research, development, test and evaluation funding in the amount of $850,108 is being obligated at time of award. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity. *Small Business

February 11, 2020
 

ECS Federal LLC, Fairfax, Virginia, was awarded an $85,422,289 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for research and development of artificial intelligence algorithms. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work will be performed in Fairfax, Virginia, with an estimated completion date of January 26, 2023. Fiscal year 2020 research, development, test and evaluation funds, Army in the amount of $85,422,289 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity (W911QX-20-C-0019).

January 13, 2020
 

Lockheed Martin Corp., Missiles and Fire Control, Grand Prairie, Texas, has been awarded a $31,938,845 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to support the Operational Fires Integrated Weapon System Phase 3 program, which will enable capabilities for a mobile, ground-launched tactical weapon delivery system capable of carrying a variety of payloads to a variety of ranges. Fiscal 2019 and 2020 research and development funds in the amount of $12,920,000 are being obligated at the time of award. Work will be performed in Grand Prairie, Texas (68%); Huntsville, Alabama (21%); Toledo, Ohio (5%); Elkton, West Virginia (5%); Kirkland, Washington (less than 1%); and Camden, Arkansas (less than 1%) with an estimated completion date of January 2021.

December 1, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
Members of Team Co-STAR from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and South Korea’s KAIST Lab prepare to send their autonomous systems into one of the coal mine tunnels during the Subterranean Challenge.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is experimenting with underground robotic capabilities through its three-year contest—the Subterranean Challenge, also called SubT. This competition aims to spur tactical communications, mapping and search-related robotic technologies for use in subterranean environments.

November 1, 2019
By George Seffers
DARPA’s Ocean of Things program may be the largest effort for deploying sensors in the ocean, but others are interested in gathering oceanic data.  Willyam Bradberry/Shutterstock

The U.S. Defense Department could one day place thousands of low-cost, floating sensors into the ocean to collect environmental data, such as water temperature, as well as activity data about commercial vessels, aircraft and even fish or maritime mammals moving through the area. But others also are dropping similar sensors in the world’s oceans, and defense researchers suggest many of those systems could be integrated into an even more comprehensive ocean-based Internet of Things.

October 11, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
DARPA’s Blackjack program wilDARPA’s Blackjack program will leverage commercial low Earth orbit solutions, says Paul “Rusty” Thomas, Blackjack program manager. Concept graphic courtesy of DARPAl leverage commercial low Earth orbit solutions, says Paul “Rusty” Thomas, Blackjack program manager. Credit: Concept graphic courtesy of DARPA

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is seeing initial success from its Blackjack program, according to Paul “Rusty” Thomas, program manager. The research agency is developing a subset of a constellation, 20 low Earth orbit (LEO) globe-to-globe satellites, to demonstrate a new way of building out space systems.

“We are looking at how we might do space architecture differently,” said Thomas. “We want to limit the integration time, so we can actually get to the point where a payload might not even know what bus it is going to go on, and you can actually think of the payload as the mission.”

September 1, 2019
By George I. Seffers
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Next-Generation Nonsurgical Neurotechnology (N3) program is developing technology that improves the ability to control machines using only the brain—without surgical implants. Credit: Fer Gregory, Shutterstock

In four years, researchers funded by the U.S. military may develop a working prototype of a system that allows for a nonsurgical interface between the human brain and technology. Such a system could improve brain control of unmanned vehicles, robots, cybersecurity systems and mechanical prosthetics while also improving the interface between humans and artificial intelligence (AI) agents.

August 28, 2019
 

Packet Forensics LLC, Virginia Beach, Virginia, was awarded a $10,000,000 modification (P00004) to previously awarded HR0011-18-C-0056 for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Harnessing Autonomy for Countering Cyberadversary Systems (HACCS) research project. The modification brings the total cumulative face value of the contract to $21,200,000 from $11,200,000. Work will be performed at Virginia Beach, Virginia, with an expected completion date of August 2020. Fiscal year 2019 research and development funds in the amount of $10,000,000 are being obligated at time of award. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

 

August 26, 2019
 

The University of Southern California, Marina del Rey, California, was awarded a $19,843,137 cost-no-fee contract for a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency research project. Work will be performed in Marina del Rey, California; Arlington, Virginia; and Columbia, Maryland, with an expected completion date of August 2023. Fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation funding in the amount of $2,905,000 are being obligated at time of award. The contract was a competitive acquisition under a broad agency announcement and nine offers were received. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity (HR0011-19-C-0084).

August 23, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
Timothy Chung, program manager, Tactical Technology Office, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), briefs SIGNAL Magazine and other reporters on August 20 during DARPA's Subterranean Challenge at a coal mine research facility in Pittsburgh.

In a dark, wet and rocky research coal mine in western Pennsylvania, teams from around the globe put their robotic systems to the test in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s, or DARPA’s, latest contest. The agency designed the Subterranean Challenge, also known as the SubT Challenge, to spur the advancement of technologies that work well underground, including autonomous and other robotic systems, which could benefit first responders and the military, explained Timothy Chung, program manager, Tactical Technology Office, DARPA, to the media in attendance at the event.

August 6, 2019
 

Raytheon Co., Goleta, California, was awarded a modification to exercise an option totaling $8,263,421 to previously awarded contract HR0011-19-C-0010 for a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency research project. The modification brings the total cumulative face value of the contract from $4,334,736 to $12,598,157. Work will be performed in Goleta, California; Waltham, Massachusetts; Irvine, California; Oxnard, California; and Joplin, Missouri, with an expected completion date of November 4, 2020. Fiscal year 2018 and 2019 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $6,723,915 are being obligated at time of award. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity

July 23, 2019
 

Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, was awarded a $9,107,025 cost-no-fee contract for the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency-based proposal titled "Diagnostic Epigenetics of Infectious agents and Chemical Toxicity." Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work will be performed in Tempe, Arizona, with an estimated completion date of July 21, 2021. Fiscal year 2018 and 2019 Defense Advanced Research Project Agency funds in the amount of $5,222,714 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity (W911NF-19-C-0039).

July 12, 2019
 

Paradromics Inc.,* Austin, Texas, is being awarded a contract option in the amount of $8,275,758 from a previously awarded cost type of contract. Support includes development of a neural interface system capable of performing continuous, simultaneous full-duplex (read and write) interaction with at least one thousand neurons in regions of the human sensory cortex. The option builds on the designs and prototypes developed from the base award, and provides in vivo animal testing and human studies. The option has a one-year period of performance from July 12, 2019, through July 11, 2020. Work will be performed at the contractor's facilities in Austin, Texas.

July 1, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
Some of DARPA’s research into microelectronics is creating automatic security mechanisms integrated into the design of microchips, which are smaller than a grain of sand.  Connect world/Shutterstock

The colossal reliance on semiconductor chips by the military and commercial industry reaches across weapons, machines and systems that perform key defense and national security functions. And while the Defense Department and the industry use secure chips, they are expensive and hard to design. To remedy that, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, known as DARPA, is looking to automatically include defense mechanisms into the design of microchips. The agency is creating tools to manage the supply chain custody throughout the life cycle of a microchip and increase the availability and economics of secure microelectronics.

June 10, 2019
 

Systems & Technology Research, LLC*, Woburn, Massachusetts, has been awarded a $7,043,368 cost-plus-fixed-fee modification (P00007) to previously awarded contract HR001118C0004 for a research project for undersea sensing systems. The modification brings the total cumulative face value of the contract to $19,273,602 from $12,230,234. Work will be performed in Woburn, Massachusetts (8%); Arlington, Virginia (8%); Groton, Connecticut (81%), Middletown, Rhode Island (1%); and Seattle, Washington (2%) with an estimated completion date of March 2020. Fiscal year 2019 research and development funds in the amount of $7,043,368 are being obligated at time of award.

June 1, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s distributed planning software tool, known as RSPACE, offers some automation to Air Force planners developing air missions. Credit: BAE Systems

Air Force officers in charge of creating air tasking orders have long developed mission plans at air operations centers, known as AOCs, or centralized hubs in a specific command. The Air Force is looking at diversifying and decentralizing how and where those plans are created to add depth and resiliency to the process. This may be needed as designing air battle plans against potential peer threats will only grow in complexity in the future, experts say.

June 1, 2019
By George I. Seffers
Currently in development, the X-60A will serve the hypersonic flight test and suborbital research communities with an air-launched single-stage liquid booster.  Original image by Generational Orbit. Edited by Chris D’Elia.

Achieving and maintaining hypersonic flight—Mach 5 and above—remains a major challenge, but officials at U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory envision a day when hypersonic technologies are developed and deployed much more quickly and affordably than is currently possible.

The X-60A hypersonic flight test vehicle is central to that goal. The Generation Orbit system will be used to test technologies at hypersonic speeds. The idea is to increase the frequency of flight testing while lowering the cost of maturing hypersonic technologies in relevant flight conditions.

May 23, 2019
 

Galois Inc., Portland, Oregon, was awarded a $16,479,920 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for a research project under the Safe Documents (SafeDocs) program. The SafeDocs program aims to develop novel verified programming methodologies for building high assurance parsers for extant electronic data formats, and novel methodologies for comprehending, simplifying, and reducing these formats to their safe, unambiguous, verification-friendly subsets (safe sub-setting). SafeDocs will address the ambiguity and complexity obstacles to the application of verified programming posed by extant electronic data formats. Work will be performed in Portland, Oregon, with an expected completion date of May 2023.

April 29, 2019
 

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory LLC, a not-for-profit University Affiliated Research Center, Laurel, Maryland, has been awarded a ceiling $100,000,000 modification (P00003) to previously awarded indefinite delivery indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract HR0011-17-D-0001 for engineering, development and research capabilities. The modification brings the total cumulative face value of the contract to $198,000,000 from $98,000,000. Work will primarily be performed in Laurel, Maryland, with an expected completion date of November 2021. IDIQ task orders can extend an additional six months until May 2022. No funds are being obligated at time of award.

April 18, 2019
 

Agile Defense Inc.,* Reston, Virginia, has been awarded a $33,095,787 modification (P00043) to previously awarded task order HR0011-15-F-0002 for unclassified information technology services. The modification brings the total cumulative face value of the task order to $172,149,790 from $139,054,004. Work will be performed in Arlington, Virginia, with an expected completion date of June 2020. Fiscal year 2019 research and development funds in the amount of $20,741,665 are being obligated at time of award. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

 *Small Business

March 18, 2019
 

Agile Defense Inc.,* Reston, Virginia, has been awarded a $7,157,890 modification (P00042) to previously awarded task order HR0011-15-F-0002 for unclassified information technology services. The modification brings the total cumulative face value of the task order to $139,054,004 from $131,896,114. Work will be performed in Arlington, Virginia, with an expected completion date of June 2019. Fiscal year 2019 research and development funds in the amount of $7,157,890 are being obligated at time of award. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity. *Small Business

March 8, 2019
By George I. Seffers
Artificial intelligence-enabled radio technology developed with DARPA funding, could help manage scarce spectrum resources. Credit: Photo illustration created with images by geralt/Pixabay

A U.S. military-funded artificial intelligence (AI) contest that wraps up later this year may result in radio devices capable of autonomously and collaboratively sharing radio frequency spectrum for the next generation of mobile devices.

Fifth-generation (5G) cellular services are widely expected to hail a new era of greater speed, reduced latency and the ability to connect many more devices—think smart cities and the Internet of Things—and move vastly more data. The wireless revolution is fueling a voracious global demand for access to the radio frequency spectrum, but managing that increasing demand in a way that avoids interference is a challenge.

March 11, 2019
 

Galois Inc., Portland, Oregon, was awarded a $9,925,508 modification to previously awarded contract HR0011-18-C-0013 for the System Security Integrated Through Hardware and firmware (SSITH) program. The modification brings the total cumulative face value of the contract to $16,553,298 from $6,627,790. Work will be performed in Portland, Oregon (88 percent); Menlo Park, California (7 percent); Framingham, Massachusetts (4 percent); and San Francisco, California (1 percent), with an expected completion date of March 2020. Fiscal year 2019 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $2,949,500 are being obligated at time of award.