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State-of-the-art military sensors today rely on “active electronics” to detect vibration, light, sound or other signals. That means they constantly consume power, with much of that power and time spent processing what often turns out to be irrelevant data. This power consumption limits sensors’ useful lifetimes to a few weeks or months when operating from state-of-the-art batteries, and has slowed the development of new sensor technologies and capabilities. Moreover, the chronic need to redeploy power-depleted sensors is not only costly and time-consuming but also increases warfighter exposure to danger.
Dr. David K. Abe joined DARPA in January 2020 as a program manager in the Microsystems Technology Office (MTO). His research interests include the generation of coherent electromagnetic radiation using electron beams, radio frequency (RF) directed energy devices and applications, electromagnetic coupling and effects on electronics, and high power millimeter-wave/sub-millimeter-wave devices for sensors and communications.