Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyTagged Content List

Space Systems

Unmanned space systems, including vehicles, robotics and supporting technologies, as well as technologies for space situational awareness

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The mission of DARPA/TTO is to provide or prevent strategic and tactical surprise with very high-payoff, high-risk development and demonstration of revolutionary new platforms in Ground Systems, Maritime (Surface and Undersea) Systems, Air Systems, and Space Systems.
The mission of the Tactical Technology Office (TTO) is to transform the future of warfighting through high-risk, high-payoff development and demonstration of advanced space, air, maritime, and ground weapons, platforms, systems and technologies.
At a mountaintop event in New Mexico on October 18, 2016, DARPA handed off ownership its Space Surveillance Telescope (SST) from an Agency-led design and construction program to ownership and operation by U.S. Air Force Space Command (AFSPC), which operate the telescope in Australia jointly with the Australian government.
Imaging of Earth from satellites in space has vastly improved in recent years. But the opposite challenge—using Earth-based systems to find, track and provide detailed characterization of satellites and other objects in high orbits—has frustrated engineers even as the need for space domain awareness has grown. State-of-the-art imagery of objects in low Earth orbit (LEO), up to 2,000 km (1,200 miles) high, can achieve resolution of 1 pixel for every 10 cm today, providing relatively crisp details.
Today—October 21, 2015—is famous in popular culture as the date 30 years in the future when Marty McFly and Doc Brown arrive in their time-traveling DeLorean in the movie “Back to the Future Part II.” The film got some things right about 2015, including in-home videoconferencing and devices that recognize people by their voices and fingerprints. But it also predicted trunk-sized fusion reactors, hoverboards and flying cars—game-changing technologies that, despite the advances we’ve seen in so many fields over the past three decades, still exist only in our imaginations.