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DARPA

Space

DARPA seeks to develop command and control center for outer space

The area in the outer reaches of the Earth's atmosphere is a swarm of manmade objects, moving at tens of thousands of miles per hour and traversing a region hundreds of thousands of times larger than all of Earth's oceans combined. This complicates the operation of satellites for military use. DARPA has just announced its plans to come to grips with this chaotic region with the launch of a project aimed at revolutionizing the US military's command and control capabilities in space.Read More

Science

Sound waves used to boost intensity of light on a silicon chip

Using a newly-developed waveguide, scientists at Yale have created a method to significantly increase the power of laser light on a silicon chip by boosting it with sound waves. The researchers believe that this new device could have practical uses in commercial technologies, including more efficient fiber-optic communications and better data signal processing. Read More

Aircraft

Autonomous 30-mile flight for Sikorsky S-76 commercial helicopter

Using technology developed for DARPA's Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System (ALIAS) program, a Sikorsky S-76 commercial helicopter has taken off and flown autonomously from Stratford, Connecticut to Robertson Airport in Plainville, Connecticut, covering a distance of around 30 miles (48 km), before safely landing autonomously. The entire flight was planned, monitored, and executed by an operator using only a tablet device.Read More

Military

DARPA awards Ground X-Vehicle Technology contracts as it swaps agility for armor

The days of tanks as giant steel behemoths may be numbered with DARPA awarding eight development contracts for its Ground X-Vehicle Technology (GXV-T) program. The awards to Carnegie Mellon University, Honeywell International, Leido, Pratt & Miller, QinetiQ, Raytheon BBN, Southwest Research Institute and SRI International are aimed at creating a smarter, faster generation of armored vehicle that replaces steel with speed and agility.Read More

Aircraft

DARPA VTOL X-plane takes flight in miniature

It may look like a backwards airplane with a collection of fans for wings, but a miniature test version of DARPA's Vertical Take-off and Landing Experimental Plane (VTOL X-Plane) took to the skies recently. According to the builder, Aurora Flight Sciences, the subscale vehicle demonstrator (SVD) prototype of the LightningStrike successfully completed a series of takeoff, hover, and landing maneuvers at an undisclosed US military base.Read More

Space

DARPA announces Phase 2 of spaceplane project

DARPA has announced the second phase of its ambitious XS-1 program. The agency is seeking to make access to space more regular and affordable by employing an entirely re-usable high-speed, sub-orbital automated spaceplane as the first stage of its launch vehicle.Read More

Electronics

DARPA's latest grand challenge takes on the radio spectrum

One of the most hotly contested bits of real estate today is one you can't see. As we move into an increasingly wireless-connected world, staking out a piece of the crowded electromagnetic spectrum becomes more important. DARPA is hoping to help solve this issue with its latest Grand Challenge, which calls for the use of machine-learning technologies to enable devices to share bandwidth.Read More

Space

DARPA's satellite repair robot makes house calls

There are over 400 geosynchronous satellites orbiting 22,000 mi (36,000 km) above the Earth. They are a vital part of global communications and represent billions of dollars in investments, but once they break down or run out of fuel, they're so much tin foil. DARPA has released a video outlining the agency's vision of a mobile robotic servicing system designed to rendezvous with and repair ailing telecommunications satellites.Read More

Military

DARPA looks to head off threats from off-the-shelf tech

In a world where 3D-printed guns are a reality, security threats are no longer the reserve of a hostile nation's military. With advanced technologies increasingly accessible to groups and individuals, DARPA is initiating a program called "Improv" that's intended to identify and anticipate potential threats from commercially-available off-the-shelf technology.Read More

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