Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyOur Research

Our Research

DARPA’s investment strategy begins with a portfolio approach. Reaching for outsized impact means taking on risk, and high risk in pursuit of high payoff is a hallmark of DARPA’s programs. We pursue our objectives through hundreds of programs. By design, programs are finite in duration while creating lasting revolutionary change. They address a wide range of technology opportunities and national security challenges. This assures that while individual efforts might fail—a natural consequence of taking on risk—the total portfolio delivers. More

For reference, past DARPA research programs can be viewed in the Past Programs Archive.

The growing sophistication and ubiquity of machine learning (ML) components in advanced systems dramatically expands capabilities, but also increases the potential for new vulnerabilities. Current research on adversarial AI focuses on approaches where imperceptible perturbations to ML inputs could deceive an ML classifier, altering its response. More
What is opaque to outsiders is often obvious – even if implicit – to locals. Habitus aims to capture and make local knowledge available to military operators, providing them with an insider view to support decision making. More
With a focus on wounded warriors and facilitating their return to military service, the Hand Proprioception and Touch Interfaces (HAPTIX) program is pursuing key technologies to enable precision control of and sensory feedback from sensor-equipped upper-limb prosthetic devices. If successful, the resulting system would provide users near-natural control of prosthetic hands and arms via bi-directional peripheral nerve implants. The program has a strong focus on technology handoff and aims to create and transition clinically relevant technology in support of wounded warriors suffering from single or multiple limb loss. More
Malicious actors are currently able to compromise and use with impunity large numbers of devices owned and operated by third parties. Such collections of compromised and conscripted devices, commonly referred to as botnets, are used for criminal, espionage, and computer network attack purposes (often a combination of all three). Recent examples of botnets and similar malicious code include Mirai, Hidden Cobra, WannaCry, and Petya/NotPetya More
Microbial infections are a problem of particular concern to the Department of Defense (DoD). The DoD has long recognized the warfighter’s outsized risk of exposure to infectious disease, including the rise of antimicrobial resistant (AMR) and multidrug resistant (MDR) pathogens that have challenged military wound care in Iraq and Afghanistan. Furthermore, the responsibility of the DoD to protect the homeland encompasses biological threat agents, including bacterial threats, for which effective countermeasures are critical. More
Social media, sensor feeds, and scientific studies generate large amounts of valuable data. However, understanding the relationships among this data can be challenging. Graph analytics has emerged as an approach by which analysts can efficiently examine the structure of the large networks produced from these data sources and draw conclusions from the observed patterns. More
The effectiveness of combat operations across all domains increasingly depends on our ability to control and exploit the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum and to deny its use to our adversaries. Below 30 GHz, the proliferation of inexpensive high-power commercial radio frequency (RF) sources has made the EM spectrum crowded and contested, challenging our spectrum dominance. The numerous tactical advantages offered by operating at higher frequencies, most notably the wide bandwidths available, is driving both commercial and DoD solid-state and vacuum electronic amplifiers into the millimeter wave (mm-wave) spectrum above 30 GHz. More
The Hunter program seeks to develop an innovative concept for the delivery of advanced undersea payloads from extra-large unmanned underwater vehicles (XLUUVs). The Hunter program will be executed in phases. Phase 1 seeks to design and build the payload delivery device to fit inside a government-provided payload module. Phases 2 and 3 aim to support integration of the payload delivery device into the XLUUV and perform testing. More