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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DARPA has narrowed the potential launch locations for the DARPA Launch Challenge to eight, with options for both vertical and horizontal launch. The challenge will culminate in late 2019 with two separate launches to low Earth orbit within weeks of each other from two different sites. Competitors will receive information about the final launch sites, payloads, and targeted orbit in the weeks prior to each launch.
The first test of DARPA’s Squad X Experimentation program successfully demonstrated the ability to extend and enhance the situational awareness of small, dismounted units. In a weeklong test series at Twentynine Palms, California, U.S. Marine squads improved their ability to synchronize maneuvers, employing autonomous air and ground vehicles to detect threats from multiple domains – physical, electromagnetic, and cyber – providing critical intelligence as the squad moved through scenarios.
A new program out of DARPA’s Biological Technologies Office could help the Department of Defense enhance and sustain military readiness both by revolutionizing how troops train, perform, and recover, and by mitigating shortages of highly qualified candidates for extremely specialized roles. The anticipated outputs of the Measuring Biological Aptitude (MBA) program are a set of biomarkers — measurable indicators of biological processes — that correspond to traits of highly effective performance in a given role, along with new tools to measure and report on those biomarkers in real time.
Current AI systems excel at tasks defined by rigid rules – such as mastering the board games Go and chess with proficiency surpassing world-class human players. However, AI systems aren’t very good at adapting to constantly changing conditions commonly faced by troops in the real world – from reacting to an adversary’s surprise actions, to fluctuating weather, to operating in unfamiliar terrain. For AI systems to effectively partner with humans across a spectrum of military applications, intelligent machines need to graduate from closed-world problem solving within confined boundaries to open-world challenges characterized by fluid and novel situations.
The DARPA Launch Challenge aims to fundamentally shift military space capabilities to enable on-demand, flexible, and responsive launch of small payloads. Three competitors successfully completed the qualification phase and will attempt to launch to low-Earth orbit from two different U.S. locations within a matter of weeks. Teams will receive notice of the first launch site a few weeks prior to launch and exact details on the payload and intended orbit just days before launch. DARPA is targeting both launches for early 2020.