Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyTagged Content List

Size, Weight and Power Constraints

Making technologies smaller, lighter and more power-efficient to increase military effectiveness

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One of the greatest episodes in the history of clockmaking unfolded over three decades during the 18th century in response to a government challenge to overcome a daunting and often deadly problem: Find a way to reliably determine a ship’s east-west position, or longitude, on the high seas. British clockmaker John Harrison won the prize, equivalent to millions of today’s dollars, for his invention of a chronometer that remained stable enough for navigators to make accurate longitude calculations even during long-distance sea voyages.
Many of today’s communications, navigation, financial transaction, distributed cloud, and defense applications rely on the precision timing of atomic clocks – or clocks that track time based on the oscillation of atoms with the highest degrees of accuracy. Harnessing the power of atoms for precise timing requires a host of sophisticated and bulky technologies that are costly to develop and consume large amounts of energy. New applications and technologies like 5G networks and GPS alternatives will require precise timekeeping on portable platforms, driving a demand for miniaturized atomic clocks with a high degree of performance.
February 1, 2016,
DARPA Conference Center
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Microsystems Technology Office (MTO) is hosting a Proposers Day in support of an anticipated Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for the Atomic Clock with Enhanced Stability (ACES) program. The Proposers Day will be held on Monday, February 1, 2016, from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM (EST) at the DARPA Conference Center, located at 675 N. Randolph Street, Arlington, Virginia 22203. The registration deadline is 5:00 PM EST on January 25, 2016. The purpose of this meeting is to provide information and promote additional discussion on the ACES program, address questions from potential proposers, and provide an opportunity for potential proposers to share their capabilities and ideas for teaming arrangements. The ACES Proposers Day will include overview presentations by government personnel, technical presentations by potential proposers and collaborators, and an open poster session to facilitate interaction and teaming. For more information, visit
For decades, Global Positioning System (GPS) technology has been incorporated into vehicles and munitions to meet DoD requirements for precision guidance and navigation. GPS dependence creates a critical vulnerability for many DoD systems in situations where the GPS signal is degraded or unavailable.