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ElectRx Has the Nerve to Envision Revolutionary Therapies for Self-Healing

ElectRX
Many chronic inflammatory diseases and mental health conditions affecting military Service members and veterans involve abnormal activity in the peripheral nervous system, which plays a key role in organ function. Monitoring and targeted regulation of peripheral nerve signals offer great promise to help patients restore and maintain their health without surgery or drugs. Current neuromodulation devices are typically used as a last resort, however, because they are relatively large (about the size of a deck of cards), require invasive surgical implantation and often produce side effects due to their lack of precision. DARPA’s Electrical Prescriptions (ElectRx) program is seeking innovative research proposals to help transform neuromodulation therapies from last resort to first choice for a wide range of diseases.  Article 
ElectRX
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Tiny, Cheap, Foolproof: Seeking New Component to Counter Counterfeit Electronics

DARPA’s Agnostic Compact Demilitarization of Chemical Agents (ACDC) program aims to develop technologies for a transportable, prototype disposal system that converts any chemical warfare agent into safe organic compounds, such as harmless soil, using minimal consumables in the process and creating no hazardous waste. The system would enable safe destruction of chemical stockpiles on site without need for transportation. 

Destroying chemical warfare agents in bulk is a challenge for the military and international community. Current methods of eradication, such as incineration or hydrolysis, create toxic waste that requires further processing. And the logistics required to transport large stockpiles from storage to a disposal site can be risky and expensive. Additionally, different types of chemicals require different methods to make them safe, so each agent requires a specific neutralization procedure – one size doesn’t fit all. To address these challenges, DARPA has announced the Agnostic Compact Demilitarization of Chemical Agents (ACDC) program and issued a Broad Agency Announcement solicitation today: Article

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DARPA Virtual Lab Advances DoD’s Ability to Test Critical Microelectronics

Pinpoint Analysis and Precision Repair: a) Photoemission electron microscopy (PEM) was used to isolate abnormal circuit function to a region, b) Laser Voltage Imaging was used to further isolate the abnormal functioning transistors, c) Laser Assisted Device Alteration was used in identify the failure mechanism and d) This FIB cross-section shows the area where a laser repair was used to correct the failure, enabling the performers’ to continue with research activities. 

Under the auspices of DARPA’s Integrity and Reliability of Integrated Circuits program, researchers from the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) and Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) are collaborating in powerful new ways to determine the reliability and integrity of microchips embedded in the some of the nation’s most critical military weapon and cyber systems.  Article

DARPA-funded research in soft, air-filled robotics helped inspire Baymax in Disney’s film Big Hero 6

DARPA-Funded Inflatable Robotics Helps Spark Idea for Silver Screen Star

Shield 

The giant, balloon-like inflatable robot named Baymax in Disney’s “Big Hero 6” has its roots in real-world research conducted by iRobot Corporation, Carnegie Mellon University and Otherlab under DARPA’s Maximum Mobility Manipulation (M3) program. The film’s co-director, Don Hall, has said he was inspired to cast Baymax as an air-filled, soft robot after he saw an inflatable robotic arm on a visit to Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute. Carnegie Mellon’s work in soft robotics has been supported by DARPA and the National Science Foundation.  Article

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Phoenix Releases POD Interface Requirements as First Step toward Vision of “FedEx® to GEO”

DARPA’s Phoenix program has shared its Hosted POD Assembly Interface Control Document. The document provides specifications for Phoenix’s Payload Orbital Delivery (POD) system, a standardized mechanism currently in development that is intended to safely carry a wide variety of payloads to GEO aboard commercial communications satellites. PODs are designed to help take advantage of the frequency of commercial satellite launches and associated hosted payload service opportunities to enable faster and lower-cost delivery of future payloads to GEO. 

Launches of satellites for the Department of Defense (DoD) or other government agencies often cost hundreds of millions of dollars each and require scheduling years in advance for one of the handful of available slots at the nation’s limited number of launch locations. This slow, expensive process is causing a bottleneck in placing essential space assets in orbit, especially in geosynchronous Earth orbit (GEO) approximately 22,000 miles (36,000 kilometers) above the Earth. Article 

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Wanted: Ideas for Transforming Planes into “Aircraft Carriers in the Sky”

DAC 

Military air operations typically rely on large, manned, robust aircraft, but such missions put these expensive assets—and their pilots—at risk. While small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) can reduce or eliminate such risks, they lack the speed, range and endurance of larger aircraft. These complementary traits suggest potential benefits in a blended approach—one in which larger aircraft would carry, launch and recover multiple small UAS. Such an approach could greatly extend the range of UAS operations, enhance overall safety, and cost-effectively enable groundbreaking capabilities for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and other missions. Article

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