Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyTagged Content List

Inverting Cost Equation

Imposing higher costs on adversaries

Showing 20 results for Cost + Manufacturing RSS
01/01/1980

In the late 1970's, DARPA initiated a program with Lockheed Space Systems Division to develop the technology of welding aluminum-lithium alloys, which would combine high stiffness with low density and therefore lower weight. At the time, no one understood how to prepare these materials for welding and how to control impurities in the metals and welding process. Such control would be critical for producing materials repeatedly with predictable behavior and performance.

Within 18 months, metallurgists at Lockheed had developed the welding techniques for the 80/90 Al/Li alloy and applied it to the construction of space hardware. One of the most impressive structures made from this material was the Titan missile payload adapter, which was 14 feet in diameter and 17 feet high and fabricated from 3" thick metal plate. By using this alloy, a 10% weight saving was achieved compared to the prior incarnation of that rocket components. The weight savings translated into millions of dollars at cost savings when it came to delivering hardware to obit. This material system made it into classified DoD applications as well. Lockheed scaled the process up to 400,000 lb/year of Al-Li alloys for the next four years.

09/14/2015
The manufacturing process for defense systems—from aircraft to vehicles to ships—is extremely complex and fragmented, often demanding unique materials and processes, complex certification requirements and specifications, and specialized tools and equipment. The almost inevitable result: lengthy production timelines and high costs. The manufacture of diverse small parts for military systems could be made simpler, faster, and less expensive with the development of a tailorable composite feedstock material and a single tailorable forming method.
09/13/2017
With the official roll out of the Electronics Resurgence Initiative’s latest investments today, DARPA hopes to open new innovation pathways to address impending engineering and economics challenges that, if left unanswered, could challenge what has been a relentless half-century run of progress in microelectronics technology. To maintain healthy forward momentum, the ERI over the next four years will commit hundreds of millions of dollars to nurture research in advanced new materials, circuit design tools, and system architectures. In addition to a half-dozen or so existing DARPA programs, and the largest program in the U.S. that funds basic electronics research at universities, 
06/26/2018
First announced in June 2017, DARPA’s Electronics Resurgence Initiative (ERI) is a multi-year, upwards of $1.5 billion investment in jumpstarting innovation and collaboration across the U.S. electronics community to address an array of long foreseen challenges to Moore’s Law. To kickoff this community-wide effort, DARPA is hosting its first annual ERI Summit from July 23-25 in San Francisco, CA. The three-day event will bring together leading voices from across the electronics community–including Alphabet, Applied Materials, Intel, Synopsys, Cadence, Mentor Graphics, NVIDIA, and IBM–to address challenges and opportunities for the next half century of electronics progress.
07/24/2018
A once highly manual process, circuit design has been transformed by the advent of electronic design automation (EDA) tools and modular design methodologies. Despite continuing advances in automation technologies, the demand for increasingly complex System-on-Chip (SoC) platforms has shown no sign of slowing. Today’s SoCs incorporate billions of transistors with miles of electrical wiring that are integrated within a tiny chip.