DARPA Marks Its 60th Anniversary

On this day in 1958, four months after the Soviet Union boosted the intensity of the Cold War by launching humanity’s first satellite, then Secretary of Defense Neil McElroy established the Advanced Research Projects Agency with this mandate: “to provide within the Department of Defense an agency for the direction and performance of certain advanced research and development projects.” In carrying out that open-ended mission for the past 60 years, the Agency has become widely known as a driver of technological developments that have girded national security (stealth, precision munitions,…

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ACTUV “Sea Hunter” Prototype Transitions to Office of Naval Research for Further Development

DARPA has successfully completed its Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) program and has officially transferred the technology demonstration vessel, christened Sea Hunter, to the Office of Naval Research (ONR). ONR will continue developing the revolutionary prototype vehicle—the first of what could ultimately become an entirely new class of ocean-going vessel able to traverse thousands of kilometers over open seas for months at a time, without a single crew member aboard—as the Medium Displacement Unmanned Surface Vehicle (MDUSV). “ACTUV’s move from DARPA to ONR marks a significant milestone…

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Ocean of Things Aims to Expand Maritime Awareness across Open Seas

The internet of things connects an ever-growing number of smart devices for up-to-the-minute monitoring and tracking of many common events. Head out to most parts of the open ocean, however, and no such capability exists for real-time monitoring of maritime activity. DARPA today announced its Ocean of Things program, which seeks to enable persistent maritime situational awareness over large ocean areas by deploying thousands of small, low-cost floats that could form a distributed sensor network. Each smart float would contain a suite of commercially available sensors to collect environmental data—such…

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BAE Systems Helps DARPA Test Space Technologies to Protect Against Emerging Threats

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded BAE Systems a contract worth up to $12.8 million to develop an innovative space evaluation and analysis testbed to support the development, integration, evaluation, and analysis of advanced space enterprise command and control (C2) tools and capability technologies. The U.S. military must be able to quickly establish situational awareness and execute operations in space. Within the space domain, many thousands of objects that are moving at extreme velocities must be tracked and managed. This information must be fused with land, air,…

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Steven H. Walker Appointed 21st DARPA Director

The Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, Ms. Ellen M. Lord, today announced the appointment of Dr. Steven H. Walker as the 21st director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). A former DARPA program manager, deputy office director, and office director, Walker has devoted 13 of his more than 30 years of public service to the Agency and been a key figure in advancing the science and technologies associated with hypersonic flight and rapid access to space. Walker succeeds Dr. Arati Prabhakar, who left the…

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