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.

High performance mixed-signal electronics are essential to relaying analog wireless signals in the physical world with digital information for many Department of Defense (DoD) systems. The performance of these electronics directly affects overall system capabilities for defense systems that range from communications to electronic warfare (EW) and radio frequency (RF) sensors, as well as national telecommunications infrastructure applications. More
Deployed electronic systems increasingly require advanced processing capabilities, however the time and power required to access system memory – commonly referred to as the “memory bottleneck” – takes a significant toll on their performance. Any substantial improvement in electronic system performance will require a radical reduction in memory access time and overall dynamic power of the system. The use of a monolithic three-dimensional system-on-chip (SoC) stack to integrate memory and logic is one approach that could dramatically alter the memory bottleneck challenge. More
The undersea domain imposes well-known limits on communication and therefore the capacity to transfer the right information necessary to its intended purpose. The TIMEly program aims to develop concepts for a heterogeneous underwater network architecture that enables the vision of mosaic warfare by the contemporaneous composition of effect chains from available assets in any domain, but with an emphasis on the underwater domain in order to provide options for execution on the fly. More
The Topological Excitations in Electronics program aims to demonstrate the utility of topological excitations in various applications including memory, logic, sensors, and quantum information processing. Developing the ability to design materials with new controllable functionalities is crucial for the future of the Nation’s economic, energy, and defense security. More
New manufacturing technologies such as additive manufacturing have vastly improved the ability to create shapes and material properties previously thought impossible. Generating new designs that fully exploit these properties, however, has proven extremely challenging. Conventional design technologies, representations, and algorithms are inherently constrained by outdated presumptions about material properties and manufacturing methods. As a result, today’s design technologies are simply not able to bring to fruition the enormous level of physical detail and complexity made possible with cutting-edge manufacturing capabilities and materials. More
The goal of the Underminer program is to demonstrate the feasibility of rapidly constructing tactical tunnel networks that enable secure, responsive resupply. A tactical tunnel network could provide secure logistics support infrastructure, such as pre-positioning supplies in advance of an operation or providing ongoing resupply as troops move through an area. The ability to rapidly bore tactical tunnels could be helpful in contingency operations such as rapid ammunition resupply or rescue missions. More
The Understanding Group Biases (UGB) program seeks to develop and prove out capabilities that can radically enhance the scale, speed, and scope of automated, ethnographic-like methods for capturing group biases and cultural models from increasingly available large digital datasets. More
Urban Reconnaissance through Supervised Autonomy (URSA) is a DARPA program to enable improved techniques for rapidly discriminating hostile intent and filtering out threats in complex urban environments. More