Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is the US Department of Defense department responsible for developing new technologies for military use. The goal of DARPA is to preserve the technological superiority of the US armed forces, to prevent the emergence of new technical means of warfare for the USA, to support breakthrough research, to bridge the gap between basic research and its military application.
DARPA was founded in 1958 in response to the launch of the first artificial Earth satellite in the USSR. DARPA was tasked with keeping the US military technology advanced. DARPA exists independently of conventional military research institutions and reports directly to the leadership of the Department of Defense. DARPA has approximately 240 employees (of which approximately 140 are technical specialists); The organization’s budget is about $ 3 billion. These numbers are approximate, since DARPA focuses on short-term programs (from two to four years), carried out by small, specially selected cooperations of contracting companies.
Initially, the Office was called ARPA, then it was renamed to DARPA (with the addition of the word Defense) in 1972, then it was renamed again to ARPA in 1993, and finally again to DARPA on March 11, 1996.
DARPA was responsible for funding the development of the distributed computer network ARPANET (from which the Internet subsequently emerged), as well as the BSD (Berkeley University) version of UNIX and the TCP / IP protocol stack. Currently, it sponsors the development of robot cars.
In December 2009, DARPA launched red weather balloons into the sky of the United States to test the possibilities of collecting, analyzing and sharing information through social networks. All 10 balls were found in less than 9 hours, the prize fund of the project amounted to $40,000.
In autumn 2014, the Terahertz Monolithic Integrated Circuit (TMIС) amplifier was introduced, based on transistors with high electron mobility, thereby surpassing the previous record at 850 GHz by 17%, showing a gain of 9 dB at a frequency of 1 THz, and 8 dB at a frequency of 1.03 THz. The previous performance record was also set by DARPA in 2012.
In September 2015, a DARPA spokesman stated that several dozen people who had implanted artificial implants developed by the agency that provide targeted electrical discharges to specific parts of the brain showed significant improvements in memory test tests. According to preliminary results, the researchers were able to not only record and interpret the signals preserving the memories but also improve the patients’ ability to remember entire lists of objects.
In June 2018, DARPA executives demonstrated a number of new technologies that were developed as part of the GXV-T program. The purpose of this program is to create a lightly armored combat vehicle of not very large size, which, due to maneuverability and other tricks, can successfully resist modern systems of anti-tank weapons.
The agency structure consists of 7 divisions:
- Adaptive management (AEO) – research in the field of building adaptive platforms and architectures, including universal software platforms, modular hardware, multifunctional information systems and development, and design tools;
- Defense research (DSO) – research in the field of fundamental physics, new technologies and devices based on new physical principles, energy, new materials and biotechnologies, applied and computational mathematics, biomedical protective equipment, biomedical technologies;
- Innovations in information technology (I2O) – information monitoring and control systems, high-performance computing technologies, data mining, pattern recognition systems, cognitive machine translation systems;
- Microsystem technologies (MTO) – technologies of electronics, photonics, micromechanical systems, the promising architecture of integrated circuits and distributed storage algorithms;
- Strategic technologies (STO) – communication systems, means of protecting information networks, electronic warfare (EW), systems’ resistance to cyber attacks, systems for detecting disguised targets based on new physical principles, energy-saving and alternative energy sources;
- Tactical technologies (TTO) – modern high-precision weapons systems, laser weapons, unmanned weapons based on air, space, land and sea platforms, advanced space-based monitoring and control systems.
- Biological technologies (BTO) – research in engineering biology, including omix technology, synthetic biology, metabolic engineering, gene therapy (including the artificial human chromosome), and applied aspects of neuroscience.