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2019/05/20 Discover DSO Day Announced

2019/05/20 Discover DSO Day Announced

DARPA’s Defense Sciences Office (DSO) will host Discover DSO Day (D3) on June 18, 2019, to facilitate discussion of technical research thrusts outlined in a new office-wide Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) solicitation expected in mid-June. Additionally, D3 will familiarize participants with DSO’s mission and streamlined business practices designed to simplify the proposal process and accelerate the timeline from idea approval to research start date. The event will take place in the DARPA Conference Center, Arlington, Virginia, from 8:45 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EDT, and the audio also will be webcast. Registration is required to attend in person or via webcast.

One of six technical offices at DARPA, DSO identifies and pursues high-risk, high-payoff research initiatives across a broad spectrum of science and engineering disciplines and transforms them into game-changing technologies for U.S. national security.

“D3 is an opportunity for the broader science and technology community to engage with DSO as we highlight key technical areas we’re focusing on in the coming year,” said Valerie Browning, director of DSO. “We encourage potential proposers from small companies, universities, research centers and large companies to join us. We especially encourage those who’ve never done business with DARPA to come and learn about DSO and let us hear your novel ideas in the areas we’re interested in.”

Panels of DSO program managers will discuss concepts and ideas they are pursuing in each of the four technical areas listed below. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions following each panel presentation:

Frontiers in Math, Computation & Design: The increasingly complex, technologically sophisticated, fast-paced and dynamic military operational environment imposes fundamental challenges in how we design and plan for future military needs. The DoD implications of these trends drive a need for new math, computation, and design tools that enable trusted decision making at increased speed and with known confidence levels. Topics of interest under this domain include, but are not limited to, the following: (1) mathematical, computational, and design frameworks and tools that provide robust solutions to challenging DoD problems such as planning, optimization, and platform design; (2) fundamental scientific underpinnings and limits of machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI); and (3) alternative computing models, architectures, and substrates for faster, more robust decision making.

Limits of Sensing & Sensors: Sensing and measurement of signals ranging from “DC to daylight” are ubiquitous to military systems and missions. Surveillance, navigation, warfighter health monitoring, and target ID/tracking are just a few examples of missions and/or applications that rely on various sensing modalities. Topics of interest under this domain include, but are not limited to, the following: (1) new sensing modalities, (2) fundamental sensing limits, (3) engineered materials that enable novel optics and imaging capabilities, (4) fundamental and practical limits of quantum enabled sensing and metrology, and (5) practical and deployable sensing and sensor designs.

Complex Social Systems: Understanding social behavior and the dynamics of complex social networks is critically important for many military operations including stability, deterrence, compellence, counter-terrorism, shaping the environment, training, and mission planning. Additionally, increasingly robust machine capabilities in the form of automation, platforms, and artificial intelligence (AI) will fundamentally change how human teams frame problems, plan, and operate at tempo and manage complexity. Topics of interest under this domain include, but are not limited to, the following: (1) accurate and scientifically validated models of the social dynamics underlying different kinds of conflict; (2) capabilities to improve understanding of causality in complex social systems; (3) artificial intelligence and other tools that enable improved human-machine symbiotic decision-making; and (4) new concepts in war-gaming and simulations to identify and understand options for deterrence and stability operations.

Anticipating Surprise: Ultimately, the goal of DSO R&D investments is to ensure that U.S. warfighters have access to the most advanced technologies. Research funded under this thrust area supports scientific and technological discovery that leads to “leap ahead” capabilities for enhanced military readiness across multiple operational domains. Example topics of interest under this domain include, but are not limited to, the following: (1) novel functional and structural materials and manufacturing processes; (2) materials for harsh environments; (3) defense against Weapons of Mass Destruction/Weapons of Mass Terror (WMD/WMT) threats; (4) energetic materials; (5) new propulsion concepts; and (6) novel approaches to energy storage and power generation.

For D3 agenda and registration instructions, please visit:

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