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DARPA
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Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

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In today's information environment, an attacker’s ability to deliver novel cyberattacks via electronic documents, messages, and streaming data formats appears unbounded, creating an unsustainable situation for software security.

http://www.darpa.mil/news-events/2018-08-09

To reduce the sizable attack surface created across consumer, enterprise, and critical infrastructure systems, and to help tackle the threat posed by unauthenticated and potentially compromised electronic data, DARPA has created a new program called Safe Documents (SafeDocs). The goal of the SafeDocs program is to dramatically improve software’s ability to detect and reject invalid or maliciously crafted input data, without impacting the key functionality of new and existing electronic data formats. SafeDocs seeks to create technological assurance that an electronic document or message is automatically checked and safe to open, while also generating safer document formats that are subsets of current, untrustworthy versions.

Interested proposers have an opportunity to learn more about the SafeDocs program during a Proposers Day, scheduled for Friday, August 24, 2018. Details can be found at: https://go.usa.gov/xUsdM.
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Program manager Adam Russell runs our Systematizing Confidence in Open Research and Evidence (SCORE) program. In this Q&A, he describes the work to Nature Index. SCORE aims to assign "a kind of credit score to the degree of reproducibility and replicability of [social science research] claims," Russell said.

Why social science? Russell explained: "It’s hard to imagine a problem that’s important to national and international security that doesn’t somehow involve understanding human social behavior, and as we are moving into an era of increasingly complex social systems and interactions, leveraging social and behavioural sciences seems vital. So knowing what kind of confidence one should have in certain research claims could be critical for making progress in solving many of these important problems."
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Atomic clocks are already critical enablers of modern military capabilities, and their importance will only grow in the future. A piece from PNAS tells their story: http://www.pnas.org/content/115/29/7449.full.

What is DARPA’s part? We’ve been at the forefront of PNT technology for decades. Our newest push, under the Atomic-Photonic Integration (A-PhI) program, aims to develop a new class of atom-based systems that combine integrated photonics and trapped atoms to enable high-performance, robust, portable atomic clocks and gyroscopes.

A-PhI is currently seeking proposals, which are due to DARPA by September 27, 2018. Learn more at: https://go.usa.gov/xUA2n.

Shown here, trapped atoms of strontium-87 produce a bluish glow within a shielding box surrounded by thermal sensors. The synchronized atoms are used to count infinitesimal ticks for the world's most precise optical atomic clock. The image is courtesy of Dr. Jun Ye's lab at JILA.
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Solid awareness of available RF spectrum is critical to battlefield communications, especially in dense urban areas where spectrum can be scarce. The military's ability to assess RF spectrum had formerly been limited to larger command posts, but new DARPA technology has extended that capability to the tactical level. Our RadioMap technology provides troops with real-time awareness of radio spectrum use across frequency, time, and geography. DARPA completed the development and demonstration phase of the program in April 2018; RadioMap is now transitioning to the U.S. Marine Corps.
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DARPA-funded researchers at University of Michigan have come up with a new way of arranging memristors on a chip that could pave the way for their use in general computing. As an announcement from the university notes, memresistors "enable memory and processing in the same device, which cuts out the data transfer bottleneck experienced by conventional computers in which the memory is separate from the processor." Incorporating memresistors into new devices could cut down on those devices' power consumption by reducing the need to shuttle data back and forth within a chip.
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As C4ISRNET notes in its coverage of our Fast Lightweight Autonomy program, future military missions equipped with FLA-enabled quadcopters could let the robots scout a contested area before putting any humans at risk. There would be similar applications in disaster zones, where such UAVs could survey damaged buildings to evaluate risks to first responders.
C4ISRNET
C4ISRNET
c4isrnet.com
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“We’re trying to engineer the craft brewing revolution in electronics,” says William Chappell, the head of DARPA's Microsystems Technology Office, which manages the Electronics Resurgence Initiative program. DARPA hopes that the automated design tools developed under the ERI will inspire smaller companies without the resources of giant chip makers, just as specialized brewers in the U.S. have innovated alongside the beer industry’s giants.
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We're into Day 2 of our Electronics Resurgence Initiative Summit in San Francisco, where leaders of the electronics community have convened to discuss the future of the U.S. #semiconductor industry. On Day 1, we unveiled the teams selected by DARPA to take on six new ERI "Page 3" programs, while keynote speakers addressed the critical role public/private partnerships play in the innovation cycle.

Teams from academia & industry will explore development of flexible architectures capable of using specialized hardware to solve specific computing problems more quickly & efficiently. Two programs: Software-Defined Hardware & Domain-specific System on Chip.

http://www.darpa.mil/news-events/2018-07-24a

Teams from academia, commercial industry, & the defense industrial base have been selected to address design complexity & cost barriers to System-on-Chip platforms. Programs include: Intelligent Design of Electronic Assets & Posh Open Source Hardware.

http://www.darpa.mil/news-events/2018-07-24

Teams from academia & commercial industry will explore roles new materials & radically different architectures can play in forming disparate chip components into larger systems. Two prgms: 3-D Monolithic System-on-a-Chip & Foundations Required for Novel Compute.

http://www.darpa.mil/news-events/2018-07-24b
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We're hosting a Proposers Day webcast on August 8, 2018, to introduce young investigators to the Young Faculty Award program, a DARPA-run effort to support promising researchers with funding to pursue high-risk studies, pair them with DARPA mentors, and introduce them to significant national security challenges.

https://www.fbo.gov/spg/ODA/DARPA/CMO/DARPA-SN-18-64/listing.html

Yesterday, our current classes of Young Faculty Awardees met at DARPA to present their research, which ranges from "scalable storage using semi-synthetic DNA" to "modeling individual trajectories and incentives in gamified technosocial environments" to "engineering the quantum vacuum." In total, these YFA recipients are pursuing 70 fascinating and impactful research topics. What ideas will the next class of aspiring YFA researchers propose?
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Let's take a trip underground! The Competitors Day for DARPA's Subterranean Challenge occurs Sept. 27, 2018, at the Louisville Mega Cavern in Louisville, KY. If you have ideas on how to map, navigate, and characterize complex, underground spaces, join us. Learn more at: http://www.darpa.mil/news-events/2018-07-20.
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