research and development
Network-centric ingenuity powers robust idea factory.
The integration of systems and network operations is the focus in the Center for Innovation. The systems involved include warfighting platforms that project across a broad spectrum of requirements: intelligence gathering, missile defense, logistics, battle management and command and control.
An ambitious company president pushes to double his firm’s
If his eyesight had not failed him, Scott Dixon Smith might never have embarked on a career in technology, let alone one supplying visualization software to corporations and federal agencies. In fact, even before he entered college on a tennis scholarship, Smith already had charted a completely different course.
Information becomes the manufactured good that defines productivity, economic activity.
The 2020 citizen returns home from an afternoon of outdoor recreation to resume work. Recognizing him as he strides up the walkway to his door, his house’s computers unlock the door and activate hallway lighting systems. As he walks through the house, environmental controls that are sensitive to his presence switch lights on and off and adjust each room’s temperature. Similarly, his intelligent clothing loosens and thins out for greater body heat dispersal as he cools down from exertion.
Agency creates new office to focus on three areas encompassing a broad range of related developments.
Smart mobile mines, underwater attack trumpets and an artificial dog’s nose are some of the products that may emerge from a newly reorganized defense research office. The reorganization reflects a growing interdependence among various electronics technologies, according to defense officials.
Enabling everyday appliances and components to relate to each other is the goal of an industry-academia partnership.
Virtually any device employing semiconductor technology soon may be able to communicate with its electronic siblings, cousins and even distant relatives. Research underway at an engineering institute, supported by private industry funding, aims to empower electronic components and everyday hardware to communicate with one another during the course of routine operations.
Research laboratory offers solution to interoperability challenges created by multiple systems in battlespace.
Revolutionary changes are taking place in military tactical equipment that promise to eliminate many of today’s interoperability issues. A next-generation system that is backward compatible with legacy systems as well as capable of hosting new advanced waveforms could dramatically enhance communications among military units and resolve many of the vexing issues that have plagued past military operations.
Government-funded academia team generates breakthrough that may help eliminate fiber bottlenecks and open new applications.
A new polymer-based electro-optic modulator may provide fiber optic networks with an order of magnitude increase in bandwidth that could clear the way for applications ranging from broadband Internet access to full-scale holographic projection currently found in science fiction television programs. Developed in a joint research effort by scientists at the University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles, and the University of Washington, Seattle, the new technology also uses less power than present-generation modulators and features low noise disturbance.
Virtual reality takes mission planners on a ride through three-dimensional battlespace data.
Science of submicroscopic substances begins to reach marketplace with the first nanobased tools, solutions.
Experimental technologies offer elegant, inexpensive solutions.
Researchers are studying applications and materials for creating radio antennas that are sprayed onto a surface. Made from commercially available materials, these devices consist of a conductive substance sprayed over a template with a radio aerial pattern on it. The antennas can be applied directly to walls, windows or fabric shelters, allowing military commanders and relief workers to set up communications networks quickly.
Autonomic system of microspheres contains recovery agents to repair cracks and increase strength.
By mimicking the natural response of living tissue to injury, cross-departmental researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a polymeric material that heals itself when damaged. Cracks can be precursors to structural failure, and the ability to treat weakened regions will result in longer-lasting materials used in a variety of applications from microelectronics to aerospace.
Quantum imaging opens new paths for optical sensors, holography, cryptography.
The U.S. military may one day obtain detailed reconnaissance imagery with laser light that has never touched a target. By using two laser beams and taking advantage of a unique characteristic of quantum mechanics that permits one beam to mirror the state of its twin, researchers are developing low-power systems that can measure, or illuminate, objects across a variety of frequencies, yet generate detailed pictures in the visible spectrum.
Autonomous vehicles are poised to change all aspects of military and civilian life.
The science-fiction image of robot warriors engaging in decisive battlefield conflicts may be closer to reality with the development of new robotic technologies. Researchers are sending autonomous vehicles up stairs, through fields and across a nation as they work toward mobile machines that can learn new behaviors while operating independently of human control.
Navigation, mapping system free machines for independent, unattended commercial work.
A new generation of autonomous, problem-solving robots will soon be entering commercial service. Recent advances in computer processing power have allowed researchers to design prototype machines that can navigate in unfamiliar surroundings unassisted. Using a variety of sensors, the robot creates a constantly updated three-dimensional map as it goes through its routine. It is this self-navigation that is finally placing mobile robotic systems on the verge of commercial viability, scientists say.
Objectives change to meet a transforming military’s needs.
U.S. Defense Department science and technology investment is transcending the requirements model of the past in a shift from threat-based to capabilities-based thinking. While researchers are examining areas such as avionics, materials and nanotechnology, military leaders are exploring how cutting-edge developments can move more quickly from the laboratory to the field.
Scientific community collaborates on future systems that are resilient and highly adaptive.
Industry is focusing on how to reduce computer system complexity by modeling the human body’s autonomic nervous system. From servers to software, researchers are building all components of the infrastructure based on the same characteristics—regulation and protection of key functions without conscious involvement. Autonomic computers will make more decisions on their own and require less human intervention.