Military

2020/04/07 Real-time Airspace Awareness and De-confliction for Future Battles

The airspace above future battlefields is expected to be increasingly congested with large numbers of unmanned aerial systems, manned aircraft, munitions and missiles filling the skies. To de-conflict airspace activities of friendly forces and rapidly counter an enemy’s actions on the battlefield requires new technologies to effectively integrate effects from all domains. To that end, DARPA today announced its Air Space Total Awareness for Rapid Tactical Execution (ASTARTE) program, which is being conducted in partnership with the Army and Air Force. The program’s goal is to enable efficient and effective airspace operations and de-confliction in a highly congested future battlespace. This capability is especially critical for implementing DARPA’s Mosaic Warfare concept, which calls for se...

2020/04/06 DARPA Program to Build Travel Adapter for Human Body

Warfighters are travelers and thus suffer from travelers’ ailments including disrupted sleep cycles and limited access to safe food and water. Warfighters who have not slept well have lower alertness, weaker athletic performance, and greater disorientation. Current approaches to restoring wakefulness often lean on chemical methods that disrupt downstream sleep patterns and lead to exhaustion. For sustenance, warfighters typically rely on military-supplied food, which is logistically burdensome and may lead to warfighters having to consume local food and water that could cause otherwise preventable diseases, notably diarrhea. Data from 2003 to 2004 demonstrate that 2/5ths of diarrhea cases among warfighters in Iraq and Afghanistan required medical attention.1 Through advances in medical dev...

2020/04/01 Underminer Aims to Demonstrate Feasibility, Benefits of Rapidly Constructed Logistics Tunnels

DARPA has selected three performers to develop technologies and solutions for the Underminer program that would surpass current commercial drilling capabilities. Underminer aims to demonstrate the feasibility of rapidly constructing tactical tunnel networks to provide secure logistics infrastructure to pre-position supplies or resupply troops as they move through an area. Teams from General Electric Research Center and Colorado School of Mines will focus on development of an integrated solution for Underminer technology and operational needs. A third team, Sandia National Laboratories, will conduct technology exploration and integration to address current process and system limitations. The performers will focus on tunneling approaches, downhole sensing, and operations concepts. Underminer...

2020/03/30 Episode 24: Preventing Pandemics

We find ourselves in pandemic times. The global population is under siege by an infectious virus new to humankind. It’s called Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2, or SARS-CoV-2. It’s the causative agent of the pandemic disease designated COVID-19. This viral adversary knows no politics. It recognizes no national boundaries. It is unconcerned with anyone’s identity. All 7.8 billion of us are the same to the virus: we are all hosts suitable to commandeer to make copies of itself. DARPA has long recognized how devastating pandemic diseases like COVID-19 could be and the Agency embraced the attitude that it could do something about this threat. In recent years, the agency has been developing and supporting communities of innovators who are doing the science and applying the lesson...

2020/03/27 Hallmark Transitions Key Strategies for Space Situational Awareness, Management

The space domain is critical to national security. It also has become increasingly chaotic and crowded over the past decade as the burgeoning space industry launches constellations of satellites. To conduct their missions, military commanders need timely and accurate information from space assets, as well as robust and reliable communications. Since its inception in 2015, DARPA’s Hallmark program has successfully developed tools providing increased space situational awareness and strategies for asset management and protection, similar to the approach the Air Force has been perfecting for the air domain over the past 100 years. As Hallmark concludes at DARPA, discussions are ongoing with multiple Department of Defense and other national security organizations, as well as commercial entities...

2020/03/25 PIPES Researchers Demonstrate Optical Interconnects to Improve Performance of Digital Microelectronics

Under DARPA’s Photonics in the Package for Extreme Scalability (PIPES) program, researchers from Intel and Ayar Labs have demonstrated early progress towards improving chip connectivity with photons – or light. Signaling over optical fibers enables the internet today and optical transceivers are ubiquitous in data centers, yet digital systems still rely upon the movement of electrons over metal wires to push data between integrated circuits (ICs) on a board. Increasingly, the limitations of electrical signaling from the chip package restrict overall bandwidth and signaling efficiency, throttling the performance of advanced systems. The PIPES program is exploring ways to expand the use of optical components to address these constraints and enable digital microelectronics with new levels of ...

2020/03/19 Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) for DARPA Performers

Is DARPA operational at this time? Yes. DARPA remains operational while taking appropriate precautions and following Federal, State, and Department of Defense guidance. Will DARPA approve invoices for my work conducted on existing procurement contract, grant, cooperative agreement, or Other Transaction? Yes, either DARPA or the appropriate Administrative Office (e.g., DCMA, DCAA, ONR) will review, and if appropriate, approve invoices. Submit your invoices for approval following the normal procedures of your procurement contract, grant, cooperative agreement, or Other Transaction. Questions regarding permissibility of cost should be sent to your cognizant administrative contracting officer. Is DARPA awarding new procurement contracts, grants, cooperative agreements, and Other Transactions? ...

2020/03/19 DARPA Demonstrates “Competition” Tool at Combatant Command

Service members at U.S. Indo-Pacific Command headquarters in Hawaii recently tested a prototype DARPA system designed to help military analysts and planners determine if observed events – such as increased force movements, cyber intrusions, and civil unrest – are unconnected occurrences, or if they’re part of an adversary’s coordinated campaign to achieve strategic objectives in a geographic region. Operational representatives from the command’s intelligence and operations divisions spent three days in December trying out DARPA’s COMPASS tool suite. COMPASS, which stands for Collection and Monitoring via Planning for Active Situational Scenarios, analyzes large streams of data to uncover competition campaigns, and displays results that represent the evidence and the analysis behind each hy...

2020/03/16 Researchers Selected to Pursue Photonic Signaling for Microelectronics System Scalability

Advances in digital microelectronics have enabled indispensable capabilities for the Department of Defense (DoD) in the fields of information processing, sensors, and communications. Increasingly, system performance in these domains is constrained not by the limits of computation at individual chips, but rather by the electrical data movement between them. The energy efficiency and data bandwidth of electrical interconnects between integrated circuits (ICs) has failed to keep pace with improvements in transistor technology. To address this challenge, DARPA developed the Photonics in the Package for Extreme Scalability (PIPES) program, which aims to expand the use of optical signaling for data transfer and place high-bandwidth photonics within the package of application-specific integrated ...

2020/03/10 DARPA Awards Contracts for Work on Manta Ray Program

DARPA’s Manta Ray Program aims to demonstrate critical technologies for a new class of long duration, long range, payload-capable unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs). UUVs that operate for extended durations without the need for on-site human logistics support or maintenance offer the potential for persistent operations during longer term deployments. DARPA has selected three companies to focus on development of an integrated solution for Manta Ray technology and operational areas. They are: Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Laboratories Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation Navatek, LLC A fourth company, Metron, Inc., will work toward critical technology and solutions specific to the field of undersea energy harvesting techniques at depths necessary for successful operations. “The Manta ...

2020/03/04 In-space Robotic Servicing Program Moves Forward with New Commercial Partner

DARPA has established a new partnership with U.S. industry to jointly develop and deploy advanced robotic capabilities in space. The agency has signed an Other Transactions for Prototypes agreement with Space Logistics, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Northrop Grumman Corporation, as its commercial partner for the Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites (RSGS) program. The RSGS program’s objective is to create a dexterous robotic operational capability in geosynchronous orbit that can extend satellite life spans, enhance resilience, and improve reliability for current U.S. space infrastructure. The first step is the RSGS program’s development of a dexterous robotic servicer, which a commercial enterprise will then operate. “DARPA remains committed to a commercial partnership for t...

2020/03/03 DARPA Launch Challenge Closes With No Winner

Less than two years from its start, DARPA’s effort to stress the approaches and processes associated with space launch ended March 2 with the lone Launch Challenge participant – Astra – scrubbing its launch with less than a minute left in the countdown before liftoff. Astra faced technical and weather-related issues during the roughly two-week window of the Challenge campaign, which ran February 17-March 2 in Kodiak, Alaska. Meeting DARPA’s timeline to demonstrate a flexible, responsive launch capability proved especially difficult. Despite time, weather, and location limitations, Astra produced a rocket and set up launch operations at Pacific Spaceport Complex – Alaska (PSC-A) after having received final target orbit information only 30 days before launch and payload upon arrival. “...