DARPA outlines technologies in which it is most interested

Published 9 August 2007

From chip-scale atomic clock to real-time accurate language translation to Newton’s laws for biology, DARPA is funding research along a broad front

Interested in investing in technologies in which DHS and the defense department are interested? Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) director Tony Tether testified before a House committee, outlining the fourteen Future Icon technology area his agency was pursuing:

* Networks: Self-forming, robust, self-defending networks at the strategic and tactical level are the key to network-centric warfare

* Chip-scale atomic clock: Miniaturizing an atomic clock to fit on a chip to provide very accurate time as required, for instance, in assured network communications

* Global war on terrorism: Technologies to identify and defeat terrorist activities such as the manufacture and deployment of improvised explosive devices and other asymmetric activities

* Air vehicles: Manned and unmanned air vehicles that quickly arrive at their mission station and can remain there for very long periods

* Space: The U.S. military’s ability to use space is one of its major strategic advantages, and DARPA is working to ensure the United States maintains that advantage

* High-productivity computing systems: DARPA is working to maintain the U.S. global lead in supercomputing, which is fundamental to a variety of military operations, from weather forecasting to cryptography to the design of new weapons

* Real-time accurate language translation: Real-time machine language translation of text and speech with near-expert human translation accuracy

* Biological warfare defense: Technologies to accelerate dramatically the development and production of vaccines and other medical therapeutics from 12 years to only 12 weeks

* Prosthetics: Developing prosthetics that can be controlled and perceived by the brain, just as with a natural limb

* Quantum information science: Exploiting quantum phenomena in the fields of computing, cryptography, and communications, with the promise of opening new frontiers in each area

* Newton’s laws for biology: DARPA’s Fundamental Laws of Biology program is working to bring deeper mathematical understanding and accompanying predictive ability to the field of biology, with the goal of discovering fundamental laws of biology that extend across all size scales

* Low-cost titanium: A completely revolutionary technology for extracting titanium from ore and fabricating it promises to dramatically reduce the cost for military-grade titanium alloy, making it practical for many more applications

* Alternative energy: Technologies to help reduce the military’s reliance on petroleum

* High-energy liquid laser area defense system: Novel, compact, high-power lasers making practical small-size and low-weight speed-of-light weapons for tactical mobile air and ground vehicles