research and development

August 7, 2018
Posted by George I. Seffers
A new fabrication process enables the creation of soft robots at the millimeter scale with features on the micrometer scale as shown here with the example of a soft robotic spider with moving body parts and colored eyes and abdomens. Credit: Wyss Institute at Harvard University

Researchers have developed an integrated fabrication process that for the very first time enables the design of soft robots on the millimeter scale with micrometer-scale features. To demonstrate the capabilities of their new technology, they created a robotic soft spider from a single elastic material with body-shaping, motion and color features.

The research team members are from Harvard University's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and Boston University. The study is published in Advanced Materials.

May 1, 2018
By George I. Seffers
An electronic warfare specialist trains on the Versatile Radio Observation and Direction system at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. Credit: Staff Sgt. Armando R. Limon, USA, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division

After years of lagging behind competitors in the battle for electromagnetic spectrum dominance, the U.S. Army may be catching up with reinforcement from technology researchers. But it may be the application of technology rather than the systems themselves that truly gives the Army an edge.

Service leaders say they lost focus on electronic warfare and information warfare capabilities while preoccupied with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, where cutting-edge technologies were not a necessity. Now, they contend, the next war likely will be against a foe capable of formidable offense and defense in the electromagnetic domain.

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 3, 2018
Posted by George I. Seffers
U.S. Army CERDEC is extending the registration deadline for its technical interchange with industry at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. Credit: U.S. Army CERDEC

The U.S. Army's Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center, or CERDEC, is extending the registration deadline for its technical interchange with industry to 5 p.m. EST, April 13.

The meeting, which is an opportunity for industry to learn about CERDEC's core mission and research and development activities, is scheduled for May 2-4 at the Myer Auditorium at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.

Those interested should register immediately at https://www.cerdec.army.mil/industryday/.

April 1, 2018
By George I. Seffers
NASA’s development of new communications satellites began in 1960 based on the theory that placing them in a geosynchronous orbit would keep the satellites in the same area of the sky relative to the rotating Earth. Just 17 months later, NASA launched Syncom I, but the satellite stopped sending signals a few seconds before it reached its final orbit and was soon replaced by Syncom II.  NASA

Researchers working on behalf of the U.S. intelligence community are kicking off a program designed to develop a revolutionary capability for monitoring objects in geostationary orbit, including functioning satellites and hundreds of thousands of bits of space debris. The program will attempt to provide low-cost approaches for passive ground-based interferometric imaging of space objects, a technique using two or more telescopes or lenses.

March 1, 2018
By George I. Seffers
The Air Force Distributed Common Ground Station is receiving a new open architecture that will allow more rapid adoption of new capabilities and is destined to obtain deep learning technology to enhance data analysis and multidomain command and control.

The U.S. Air Force is deploying a new open architecture for its primary intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance system. At the same time, Air Force researchers are developing deep learning capabilities that will allow the decades-old system to sort through reams of data more easily, enabling faster decision making on the battlefield and enhancing multidomain command and control.

April 17, 2017
 

The Department of Defense (DoD) will issue 23 awards totaling $163 million to academic institutions to perform multidisciplinary basic research. The awards are for a five-year period, subject to satisfactory research progress and the availability of funds.

March 27, 2017
By George I. Seffers
DARPA’s Vanishing Programmable Resources program is developing electronics that disappear.

Troy Olsson, a program manager in the Microsystems Technology Office of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, says providing technologies to support warfighters is the most satisfying part of his job.

Olsson's connection to warfighters comes in part from his relationship with his grandfather, a former Navy man who taught him right from wrong, valued hard work and never forgot how to navigate by the stars.

November 1, 2016
By George I. Seffers
U.S. forces in the Pacific need robotic systems capable of operating in tunnels and underground facilities. U.S. Army researchers in the region have coordinated an effort to modify existing systems to counter subterranean weapons of mass destruction.

A U.S. Army research and development organization in Tokyo is forming partnerships across the Asia-Pacific region—including in India, Malaysia and Vietnam—to help support warfighter needs and strengthen ties to neighboring nations.

One partnership involves multiple U.S. organizations that collaborated to modify and field a robotic system capable of working in tunnels or underground facilities to counter weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Researchers have fielded an interim solution, and a program of record is possible.

October 17, 2016
 
The National Science Foundation has announced 11 awards to enhance public access to radio frequency spectrum.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently announced 11 awards, totaling $12 million, to support activities aimed at enhancing the public's access to the radio frequency spectrum, the part of the electromagnetic spectrum used to facilitate telecommunications and modern information systems essential for public safety, transportation and national defense.

These three-year awards continue NSF's ongoing investment in radio spectrum research, which over the past five years has supported more than 140 awards through an investment of over $60 million.

October 4, 2016
 
The National Science Foundation's National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics reports that in 2013 five states dominated the country's business research and development.

Five states accounted for just over half of the $255 billion of research and development (R&D) companies paid for and performed in the United States in 2013, according to a new report from the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics.

Business R&D is geographically concentrated in the United States to a greater degree than either gross domestic product (GDP) or population. The five states with the highest levels of business R&D performance—California, Massachusetts, Michigan, Texas and Washington—accounted for $133 billion, or 52 percent, of the total.

July 29, 2016
 

Dynamic Animation Systems Inc.,* Fairfax, Virginia (W911NF-16-D-0019); Cole Engineering Services Inc.,* Orlando, Florida (W911NF-16-D-0020); Dignitas Technologies LLC,* Orlando, Florida (W911NF-16-D-0021); Intelligent Decision Systems Inc.,* Centreville, Virginia (W911NF-16-D-0022); VCOM3D, Orlando, Florida (W911NF-16-D-0023); Cole Engineering Services Inc.,* Orlando, Florida (W911NF-15-D-0024); STS International Inc.,* Berkeley Springs, West Virginia (W911NF-16-D-0025); Intelligent Decision Systems Inc.,* Centreville, Virginia (W911NF-16-D-0026); Engineering & Computer Simulation, Orlando, Florida (W911NF-16-D-0027); Cole Engineering Services Inc.,* Orlando, Florida (W911NF-16-D-0028); Digintas Technologies LLC,* Orlando, Florida (W

July 19, 2016
 
Researchers have created a 3-D printed lattice that offers both strength and flexibility and may benefit the defense and aerospace industries.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) engineers have achieved unprecedented scalability in 3-D printed architectures of arbitrary geometry, opening the door to super-strong, ultra-lightweight and flexible metallic materials for aerospace, the military and the automotive industry, according to a published announcement.

July 18, 2016
 

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate will host two industry days to provide additional insights to the mobile and cellular industry and researchers about the Mobile Threats and Defenses request for information (RFI).

May 5, 2016
 

Honeywell Technology Solutions Inc., Columbia, Maryland, is being awarded a $130,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for instrumentation test support for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency in support of the Research and Development Office, Test Support Division, Test Diagnostics Branch (J9CXTD). Bids were solicited and two received. Work will be performed at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico; Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico; and Nevada National Security Site, Mercury, Nevada. The base period is five years and is expected to be completed in 2021. The option period is for five years and is expected to be completed in 2026.

May 1, 2016
By George I. Seffers
A U.S. Army soldier with the 101st Airborne Division sets up radio communications inside an abandoned fortress in Afghanistan’s Parwan province. Warfighters’ lives often depend on adequate access to radio spectrum. An NSF effort to improve spectrum access will benefit all users, including military, government and industry.

National Science Foundation officials are awarding several grants in the coming months earmarked for research on enhancing access to the electromagnetic spectrum. The grants are part of an effort to identify bold new concepts that could significantly improve the efficiency of radio spectrum usage for all consumers, including the military, government agencies and industry.

The foundation aims to award grants for its Grand Challenge, which falls under the Enhancing Access to the Radio Spectrum (EARS) program, by the end of September, reveals Thyaga Nandagopal, the EARS program manager. Officials expect up to eight awards totaling $10 million. Each grant will have a limit of $1.5 million for three years.

March 1, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
The Tactical Boost Glide (TBG) program is a joint DARPA-Air Force effort that aims to develop and demonstrate technologies to enable future air-launched, tactical-range hypersonic boost glide systems.

The race is on for one U.S. Air Force directorate to restore the technological edge the service has had over other nations’ militaries. It is funding research into propulsion, power and air vehicles that could produce next-generation scramjet engines, alternative fuels and hypersonic vehicles, to name a few.

February 22, 2016
By George I. Seffers

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) has released a broad agency announcement (BAA) seeking proposals to develop, and experimentally test, systems that use crowdsourcing and structured analytic techniques to improve analytic reasoning. At the same time, the organization released three requests for information and announced a March 11 proposers’ day for the Odin program, which is developing methods for detecting attempts to disguise a person’s biometric identity.

October 13, 2015
By George I. Seffers

This blog is a followup to an article in the October issue of SIGNAL Magazine, Operation Cooperation: U.S. Defense Officials Intend to Expand Asia-Pacific Partnerships.

Although tighter budgets motivate governments to cooperate on technology development, sequestration and the budget uncertainties in the United States have negatively impacted international partnerships, says Keith Webster, director of international cooperation, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.

September 30, 2015
By George I. Seffers
Researchers predict the optical rectina, which converts light to direct current, could be a game changer.

Using nanometer-scale components, researchers have demonstrated the first optical rectenna, a device that combines the functions of an antenna and a rectifier diode to convert light directly into direct current electricity.

Based on multiwall carbon nanotubes and tiny rectifiers fabricated onto them, optical rectennas could provide a new technology for photodetectors that would operate without the need for cooling and energy harvesters that would convert waste heat to electricity. The technology also could ultimately result in a new way to efficiently capture solar energy.

Pages