DARPA Vertical Takeoff and Landing X-Plane

DARPA’s AdvaNced airCraft Infrastructure-Less Launch And RecoverY X-Plane program, nicknamed ANCILLARY, aims to develop and flight demonstrate critical technologies required for a leap ahead in vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL), low-weight, high-payload, and long-endurance capabilities. The goal is to build a plane that can launch from ship flight decks and small austere land locations in …

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DARPA Studies Blockchain Vulnerabilities

DARPA engaged cybersecurity research and consulting firm Trail of Bits to examine the fundamental properties of blockchains and the cybersecurity risks associated with them. Trail of bits investigated the extent to which blockchains are truly decentralized. They focused primarily on the two most popular blockchains: Bitcoin and Ethereum. They also investigated proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchains and …

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DARPA Robots Learn to Grasp Objects and Carry Loads Over Rough Terrain

Researchers with DARPA’s Machine Common Sense (MCS) program demonstrated a series of improvements to robotic system performance over multiple experiments. Just as infants must learn from experience, MCS seeks to construct computational models that mimic the core domains of child cognition for objects (intuitive physics), agents (intentional actors), and places (spatial navigation). Using only simulated …

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DARPA Muon Scanner to Search for Tunnels or Monitor Volcanoes

The Defense Department and other federal agencies have sought advanced sources that generate gamma rays, X-rays, neutrons, protons, and electrons to enable a variety of scientific, commercial, and defense applications – from medical diagnostics, to scans of cargo containers for dangerous materials, to non-destructive testing of aircraft and their parts to see internal defects. But …

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DARPA AI Contest to Assess Critical Minerals

DARPA has partnered with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to explore the potential for machine learning and artificial intelligence tools and techniques to accelerate critical mineral assessments. The goal is to significantly speed up the assessment of the nation’s critical mineral resources by automating key steps in the process. Assessments can quantify potential mineral sources …

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DARPA Wants to Create Portable Atomic Clocks

Global Positioning Systems (GPS) are vital for the military for precision warfare but GPS can be jammed by military opponents. DARPA has announced the Robust Optical Clock Network (ROCkN) program, which aims to create optical atomic clocks with low size, weight, and power (SWaP) that yield timing accuracy and holdover better than GPS atomic clocks …

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DARPA Unmanned Cars Will Have Offroad Race

The DARPA RACER program’s goal is to develop and demonstrate autonomy technologies that enable unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) to maneuver in unstructured off-road terrain at the limit of the vehicle’s mechanical systems and at, or beyond, human-driven speeds and efficiencies. “RACER is intended to disruptively advance the integration and fielding of autonomy for robotic combat …

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DARPA Drone Swarms and Airborne Drone Recovery

A DARPA drone swarm program for squads of infantry had successful tests. DARPA’s OFFensive Swarm-Enabled Tactics (OFFSET) program at the Cassidy Combined Arms Collective Training Facility (CACTF) in Fort Campbell, Tennessee. Since 2017, OFFSET has held six field experiments with objectives of increasing complexity and difficulty. The program envisions future small-unit infantry forces employing large-scale …

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DARPA Synthetic Biomanufacturing Technologies

Launched in 2010, DARPA’s Living Foundries program aimed to enable adaptable, scalable, and on-demand production of critical, high-value molecules by programming the fundamental metabolic processes of biological systems to generate a vast number of complex molecules. These molecules were often prohibitively expensive, unable to be domestically sourced, and/or impossible to manufacture using traditional synthetic chemistry …

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DARPA Bioproduction in Space

DARPA will use biological processes for resource limited environments with its Biomanufacturing: Survival, Utility, and Reliability beyond Earth (B-SURE) program. DARPA wants to be make fuel, replacement parts or tools, and a wide range of other products. They could use fermentation equipment, feedstocks, and a freezer full of microbes that convert the feedstock into products …

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Dr Sonny White Theorizes Nanoscale Casimir Structures With Warp Bubble Effects

Dr. Sonny White has DARPA funding to explore tiny cavities that are built to create casimir force effects and White has proposed that building a one-micron sphere in the middle of a 4-micron cylinder will have nanoscale warp bubble effects. This could be buildable using a nanoscribe GT 3D printer that prints at the nanometer …

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