Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyTagged Content List

Electronics and Microchips

Technologies based on the manipulation of electrons and, increasingly, photons

Showing 5 results for Electronics + Communications RSS
If human ears could hear the electromagnetic spectrum, the noise levels these days would be overwhelming. The skyrocketing use of wireless devices in military and civilian domains has created a complicated and cacophonous environment, filled with signals of widely varying frequency and amplitude and a menagerie of modulations. For warfighters trying to maintain critical communications links, interpret ambiguous radar returns, or defend against electronic warfare tactics, the ability to sort through that thicket of waveforms is essential—to identify where key signals are coming from, what kind of signals they are, and how best to send and receive information via the least contested spectral bands.
DARPA published its Young Faculty Award (YFA) 2018 Research Announcement today, seeking proposals in 26 different topic areas—the largest number of YFA research areas ever solicited.
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. To expand the use of millimeter wave phased-arrays and make them broadly applicable across DoD systems, many technical challenges must be addressed, including wideband frequency coverage, precision beam pointing, user discover and mesh networking.
Only a few decades ago, finding a particular channel on the radio or television meant dialing a knob by hand, making small tweaks and adjustments to hone in on the right signal. Of course, we now take such fine tuning for granted, simply pressing a button to achieve the same effect. This convenience is enabled by radio frequency synthesis, the generation of accurate signal frequencies from a single reference oscillator.
The Direct On-Chip Digital Optical Synthesizer (DODOS) program seeks to create a technological revolution in optical frequency control analogous to the disruptive advances in microwave frequency control in the 1940s.