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.

Unmanned undersea vehicles (UUVs) that operate for extended durations without the need for human-present logistic support or maintenance offer the potential for persistent operations in forward environments. Such systems could allow traditional host vessels increased freedom of operational flexibility while providing traditional servicing ports with relief of workload. More
The Materials Architectures and Characterization for Hypersonics (MACH) program aims to develop and demonstrate new materials architectures for sharp, shape-stable, cooled leading edges for hypersonic vehicles. The program will investigate innovative approaches that enable revolutionary advances in the materials, design and implementation of shape-stable, high heat flux capable leading edge systems. More
Transductional materials convert energy between different forms or domains, such as thermal to electrical energy, or electric field to magnetic field. More
Whereas the tools and weapons that are used by our warfighters have evolved dramatically in the past few decades, the way in which the warfighter is prepared has not kept pace with those developments. The Measuring Biological Aptitude (MBA) program aims to address the need for a more capable fighting force by helping individual warfighters identify, measure, and track personalized biomarkers related to training and peak performance for specialized roles. If the program succeeds, MBA technologies will give warfighters the ability to understand the underlying biological processes that govern their performance. More
Historically, the U.S. Government deployed and operated a variety of collection systems that provided imagery with assured integrity. In recent years however, consumer imaging technology (digital cameras, mobile phones, etc.) has become ubiquitous, allowing people the world over to take and share images and video instantaneously. More
Many defense electronics are susceptible to radiation and high temperatures. Developing electronics that can withstand harsh conditions would expand the types of environments in which DoD electronics may be used. More
The MTM program aims to develop sensors and exploitation techniques capable of performing wide-area searches to detect high-value targets. Program design will provide the ability to identify high-value adversary targets and to maintain positive chain-of-custody hand-offs. More
| A2/AD | ISR | Sensors |
There is increasing interest in making broader use of the millimeter wave frequency band for communications on small mobile platforms where narrow antenna beams from small radiating apertures provide enhanced communication security. Today’s millimeter wave systems, however, are not user friendly and are designed to be platform specific, lacking interoperability and are thus reserved for only the most complex platforms. More