Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyTagged Content List

Resilience and Robustness

Enabling technologies and systems to preserve effectiveness despite damage or other challenging conditions

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Dr. Craig Lawrence joined DARPA in 2013 as a Program Manager for the Strategic Technology Office (STO). Dr. Lawrence’s interests are in battle management, command and control (BMC2); autonomy, optimization and control theory; and modeling and simulation. Prior to joining DARPA, Dr. Lawrence was a Technical Director in the Technology Solutions division at BAE Systems. He spent 15 years in industry leading large DoD research and development programs in diverse technical areas including command and control for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR); planning and optimal resource management; modeling and simulation; and machine learning, control theory, and optimization-based design.
DARPA Launch Challenge
Biological warfare agents pose more than a hypothetical threat to U.S. military servicemembers. Troops operate in hostile areas where they could come under attack from adversaries wielding bio-agents like anthrax and toxins. The first step in reacting to any such attack is knowing that it occurred. Quickly and accurately identifying the presence of airborne antigens can be difficult given their complexity, the presence of numerous similar microorganisms in the environment, and the fact that even minute quantities of a threat agent can cause infection.[i]
In areas lacking trustworthy communications infrastructure, deployed servicemembers rely on wireless devices to perform double duty: they not only provide access to the network; they are the network. Protocols for these networks require nodes to coordinate among themselves to manage resources, such as spectrum and power, and determine the best configurations to enable sharing of information. A problem with these protocols is that they implicitly trust all information shared about the security and operational state of each node, and the network as a whole. Consequently, inaccurate control or security information can quickly render the network unusable. This shortcoming could put productivity and mission success at risk as use of military wireless systems increases.
DARPA-funded researchers recently demonstrated the world’s smallest vacuum pumps. This breakthrough technology may create new national security applications for electronics and sensors that require a vacuum: highly sensitive gas analyzers that can detect chemical or biological attack, extremely accurate laser-cooled chip-scale atomic clocks and microscale vacuum tubes.