The Defense Sciences Office (DSO) explores the constantly changing research landscape to identify and accelerate potentially game-changing technologies for national security. DSO pursues new technologies and creates new research communities that bring together:
DSO is examining the fundamental makeup of matter, the nature of light-matter interactions, and the peculiarities of quantum mechanics – while also demonstrating devices and applications that pull the science out of the laboratory and apply it to needs relevant to defense, such as precision timing, portable power, and new classes of sensors.
DSO is accelerating the development of theoretical mathematics, and the interconnections between key areas of mathematics and physical processes that will underlay our ability to create new national security technologies. On these foundations, DSO is also developing algorithms and tools that impact a broad continuum of defense mission needs, including signal and image processing, biological applications, novel materials and sensors, and increasingly sophisticated designs for complex systems.
DSO is advancing material science on multiple fronts, concentrating efforts on emerging capabilities related to radically new materials and material systems. These include materials with previously unobtainable properties (e.g., high strength and high fracture toughness), revolutionary armor systems that exploit unique high-strength composite hybrid configurations for military vehicles; a tiny, ultralight air vehicle system; and barriers that can be rapidly emplaced and reversed to allow fluid movement of U.S. forces.
DSO is exploring new approaches to developing engineered complex systems. These range from algorithms for swarm autonomy; neuromorphic systems that have very low size, weight and power; very high efficiency actuation systems; adaptive control systems for robot locomotion; and methods for drastically lowering the time and cost of manufacturing highly complex products in low volume.