The Department of Defense (DOD) supports extramural research and development on military technologies of interest and conducts in-house research as well. The DOD also supports a variety of medical research activities that are not mentioned in this appendix.
C.1 DOD-WIDE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) supports but does not itself conduct R&D for all branches of the DOD.1 DARPA’s mission is to maintain the technological superiority of the U.S. military and to prevent technological surprise from harming U.S. national security. DARPA research ranges from supporting scientific investigations in laboratories to building full-scale prototypes of military systems. DARPA also supports research in biology, medicine, computer science, chemistry, physics, engineering, mathematics, neuroscience, the social and behavioral sciences, and more.
DARPA is organized into six offices:2
• The Adaptive Execution Office (AEO) prepares and coordinates field trials of advanced technology developed by DARPA. At any moment,
DARPA has technologies in all stages of development, ranging from nascent ideas to systems ready for fielding. Working with combatant commands and Service partners, AEO establishes relationships that enable the rapid insertion of these technologies into military operations and exercises to address requirements and enhance warfighting capabilities.
• Defense Sciences Office (DSO) programs bridge the gap from fundamental science to applications by identifying and pursuing the most promising ideas within the science and engineering research communities and transforming these ideas into new DOD capabilities. At the time of this writing, DSO was focusing on five program areas: physical science, neuroscience, materials, mathematics, and biology.
• The Information Innovation Office (I2O) seeks to ensure U.S. technological superiority in all areas where information can provide a decisive military advantage, including the conventional defense mission areas (e.g., intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, command, control, communications, computing, networking, decision making, planning, training, mission rehearsal, and operations support) and emergent information-enabled technologies and application domains (e.g., social science; human, social, cultural, and behavioral modeling; social networking and crowd-based development paradigms; natural-language processing, knowledge management, and machine learning and reasoning; medical/biological informatics; and information assurance and cyber-security). I2O programs currently focus on three areas:
—Technology-assisted understanding of adversary capabilities, intentions, and activities as well as local human, social, cultural, and behavioral factors.
—Warfighter empowerment in command and control over the physical elements of combat (e.g., weapons systems; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets; and communications resources) through advanced computing technologies to improve military decision making, planning, training, mission rehearsal, and operations support.
—Connection of friendly forces in the face of adversary attacks on friendly network and computational resources.
• The Microsystems Technology Office (MTO) seeks to improve the capabilities and potential of commercial off-the-shelf technologies available to all players for the benefit of U.S. warfighters and to develop methods for countering threats (both incidental and intentional) that arise from sustained advances in cheap and readily available technologies. MTO also develops high-risk, high-reward technologies outside and beyond the scope of commercial industry to secure the DOD’s technological superi-
ority. Today, MTO focuses on biological platforms; computing; electronic warfare; manufacturing; photonics; position, navigation, and timing; and thermal management.
• The Strategic Technology Office (STO) undertakes research and development of innovative technologies to support the DOD mission in current and emerging strategic areas including finding difficult targets; communications, electronic warfare, and networks; shaping the environment; and foundational strategic technologies.
• The Tactical Technology Office (TTO) pursues high-risk, high-payoff tactical technology and development of rapid, mobile, and responsive combat capability for advanced weapons, platforms, and space systems. The TTO seeks revolutionary improvement (order-of-magnitude improvement rather than incremental improvement) in existing capabilities and technologies and systems that facilitate “game-changing” tactics, techniques, and procedures across the entire spectrum of armed conflict. In addition, the TTO invests in research and technologies that enable strategic advantage over technological surprise in advanced weapons, platforms, and space systems.
Box C.1 provides a sampling of recent DARPA programs.
DARPA also supports R&D on technology useful to the intelligence community, although it is not the only source of technology for that community.3
C.2 SERVICE-SPECIFIC RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
In addition to the DOD-wide R&D supported by DARPA, the military services support extramural R&D and conduct in-house R&D on technologies relevant to their service needs. The Army Research Office, the Office of Naval Research, and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research support extramural work, while the Naval Research Laboratory, the Army Research Laboratory, and the Air Force Research Laboratory are responsible for in-house R&D. Box C.2 illustrates some of the in-house projects conducted by these organizations.
3 As an example, the intelligence community was intimately involved in the development of remotely piloted vehicles for surveillance, later versions of which were equipped with lethal weapons.
Box C.1 A Sampling of Recent DARPA Programs
Information Innovation Office
Cyber Defense (Cyber Genome); see http://www.darpa.mil/Our_Work/I2O/Programs/Cyber_Defense_(Cyber_Genome).aspx.
The Cyber Defense Program is
developing the core computing and networking technologies required to protect DOD’s information, information infrastructure, and mission-critical information systems. This effort includes new cyber-forensic techniques to automate the discovery, identification, and characterization of malware variants and thereby accelerate the development of effective responses. Such responses could include dynamic quarantine techniques that employ static and dynamic code analysis for program understanding. The Cyber Defense Program is also developing network traffic monitoring techniques with performance and scalability that are orders of magnitude better than those seen with conventional approaches. The technologies being developed by the Cyber Defense Program will provide cost-effective cyber security and survivability solutions that enable DOD information systems to operate correctly and continuously even when they are attacked.
Adaptive Execution Office
Crosshairs; see http://www.darpa.mil/Our_Work/AEO/Programs/CROSSHAIRS.aspx. (At the time of this writing, this Web page is no longer available; however, an archived version of the page can be found at https://web.archive.org/web/20130722165614/http://www.darpa.mil/Our_Work/AEO/Programs/CROSSHAIRS.aspx.)
The Crosshairs program seeks to develop
a vehicle mounted threat detection and countermeasure system that will detect, locate, and engage shooters, as well as defeat a variety of threats including bullets, rocket propelled grenades, anti-tank guided missiles, and direct fired mortars, while stationary and moving. Threat identification and localization will be accomplished in sufficient time to enable both automatic and man-in-the-loop responses. The weapon station will be equipped with visual and infrared cameras for collecting forensic and judicial evidence and for rapid dissemination of combatant location information for effective concealment and counterfire.
Defense Sciences Office
Cognitive Technology Threat Warning System (CT2WS); see http://www.darpa.mil/Our_Work/DSO/Programs/Cognitive_Technology_Threat_Warning_System_(CT2WS).aspx. (At the time of this writing, this Web page is no longer available; however, an archived version of the page can be found at https://web.archive.org/web/20130221145010/http://www.darpa.mil/Our_Work/DSO/Programs/Cognitive_Technology_Threat_Warning_System_(CT2WS).aspx.)
Recognizing the warfighter’s need to see and identify threats at long distance, the Cognitive Technology Threat Warning System program sought to assemble different technologies into
soldier-portable visual threat detection devices. These systems will provide greater visual information about a warfighter’s surroundings while providing tools to initiate an early response when threats emerge. The program will integrate areas of technology such as flat-field, wide-angle optics, large-pixel-count digital imaging, and cognitive visual processing algorithms. Other features include ultralow-power analog/digital hybrid signal processing, operator neural signature detection processing, and operator interface systems. Success in this effort will result in a composite software/human-in-the-loop system capable of high-fidelity detection with extremely low false alarm rates without adding to already significant warfighter combat loads.
Microsystems Technology Office
Living Foundries; see http://www.darpa.mil/Our_Work/MTO/Programs/Living_Foundries.aspx.
The Living Foundries program seeks to create an engineering framework for biology, speeding the biological design-build-test cycle and expanding the complexity of systems that can be engineered. The program aims to develop new tools, technologies, and methodologies to decouple biological design from fabrication, yield design rules and tools, and manage biological complexity through abstraction and standardization.
Box C.2 Illustrative Service Laboratory Activities
Air Force Research Laboratory
Counter-electronics High-powered Microwave Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP); see https://www.fbo.gov/index?print_preview=1&s=opportunity&mode=form&id=9fae0cfe0f33a0dc38d99b95a8b31eed&tab=core&tabmode=list.
In 2008, AFRL was seeking to develop and demonstrate the capability and operational utility of a high-power microwave (HPM) aerial demonstrator. According to the solicitation, the objective of this effort was as follows:
to develop, test, and demonstrate a multi-shot and multi-target HPM aerial demonstrator capable of degrading, damaging, or destroying electronic systems. For this effort, the contractor shall develop a compact HPM payload for integration into an aerial platform. The contractor shall produce five aerial demonstrators. One aerial platform without the HPM source shall be developed for a flight test to demonstrate delivery, controllability, and fusing. The remaining four aerial platforms with the integrated HPM source shall be developed for flight testing, demonstration, and HPM effects tests. Of the four HPM prototypes one shall be used for ground tests, two shall be used for flight tests, and the remaining one shall be used as a back-up for the flight test.
CHAMP, which renders electronic targets useless, is a nonkinetic alternative to traditional explosive weapons that use the energy of motion to defeat a target. CHAMP allows for selective high-frequency radio wave strikes against numerous targets during a single mission. “This technology marks a new era in modern-day warfare,” said Keith Coleman, CHAMP program manager for Boeing Phantom Works. “In the near future, this technology may be used to render an enemy’s electronic and data systems useless even before the first troops or aircraft arrive.”1
Space Fence is envisioned as the following:
a system of up to two land-based radars, with the first located at Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands, to track objects entering Earth’s orbit. According to program officials, it will form the foundation of improved space situational awareness by expanding the ability to detect, track, identify, and characterize orbiting objects such as commercial and military satellites, smaller objects, maneuvering satellites, break-up events, and lower-inclination objects.
“Space situational awareness is a continual concern and challenge for U.S. and ally nations,” said Ken Francois, Space Fence program manager. “The Space Fence program will increase the capability to provide predictability in reducing the chance of a collision or attack.”2
Army Research Laboratory
MyWIDA (My Weather Impacts Decision Aid); see http://www.arl.army.mil/www/default.cfm?page=1416.
a knowledge-based expert system that employs a database of rules for meteorological critical values and impacts. Its Web services and associated applications automate the prediction and display of these weather impacts. MyWIDA’s collection of rules and associated system critical values aids the commander in selecting an appropriate platform, system, and subsystem; personnel, including soldier performance; or sensor, collectively referred to here as assets, under given or forecast weather conditions, providing qualitative weather impacts for the selected assets.
Development of Quantum Computing Technology; see http://www.arl.army.mil/www/pages/8/QCTBAA2010%20Final.pdf.
ARO proposals for quantum computing include research areas such as:
• Robust solid-state qubits and related technologies, specifically work to advance the development of single- and few-qubit solid-state devices, and to advance related supporting technologies;
• Short- to medium-range quantum information transfer in solid-state systems (both on-chip and off-chip transfer) without large overhead costs (e.g., without doing a large number of swap gates); and
• Efficient verification/validation of quantum computing components. Possible topics include, but are not limited to, advances in or alternatives to quantum tomography; methods for extracting fidelity of gate or computation success; and methods or procedures for verifying complex quantum computations that cannot be classically simulated.
Naval Research Laboratory
Miniature Microbial Fuel Cells; see http://www.nrl.navy.mil/techtransfer/fs.php?fs_id=ENE01.
Miniature microbial fuel cells (MFCs) can be used as follows:
for harvesting energy from aerobic aqueous environments. An MFC is powered by passive nutrient diffusion instead of energy-draining pumps used in other MFCs, thereby increasing the net energy output. The NRL design sequesters electrochemically active microbes in the cell, rather than relying on environmentally available bacteria. This allows the NRL MFC to be placed in a wide range of aerobic aqueous environments, not only in the bacteria’s natural habitat at the sediment/water interface. Unlike other MFCs, which require relatively costly proton exchange membranes to maintain separation between protons and electrons, the NRL MFC uses inexpensive nanoporous membranes made from polycarbonate or other materials to confine the microbes. The resulting MFC designs are capable of generating microwatts to milliwatts, depending upon size (75 ìL to 5 mL) and operating conditions (cathode catalyst, nutrients available, etc.). Many of the designs can be connected easily in series or in parallel for additional power generation. With the addition of a booster circuit, these MFCs can be used as a long-term power supply for underwater autonomous sensors and LEDs.
The Office of Naval Research expressed interest in electromagnetic railguns in 2005. According to the public Web page cited above, The Electromagnetic Railgun Innovative Naval Prototype (INP) was initiated in 2005.
The Phase I goal of 32 megajoule muzzle energy proof-of-concept demonstration has been achieved. A future weapon system at this energy level would be capable of launching a 100-nautical-mile projectile. This launch energy has the advantage of being able to stress many components to evaluate full-scale mechanical and electromagnetic forces. Phase I was focused on the development of launcher technology with adequate service life, development of reliable pulsed-power technology, and component risk reduction for the projectile. Phase II, which started in 2012, will advance the technology for transition to an acquisition program. Phase II technology efforts will concentrate on demonstrating a 10-rounds-per-minute firing rate. Thermal management techniques required for sustained firing rates will be developed for both the launcher system and the pulsed-power system. The railgun is a true warfighter game-changer. Wide-area coverage, exceptionally quick response, and very deep magazines will extend the reach and lethality of ships armed with this technology.