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July 06, 2009

DARPA working on Chip-Scale High Energy Atomic Beams and 19 Other Top Projects

1. From Wired, DARPA working on Chip-Scale High Energy Atomic Beams

Chip-scale integration offers precise, micro actuators and high electric field generation at modest power levels that will enable several order of magnitude decreases in the volume needed to accelerate the ions. Furthermore, thermal isolation techniques will enable high efficiency beam to power converters, perhaps making chipscale self-sustained fusion possible.

The Chip-Scale High Energy Atomic Beams project had a budget of just $3 million, and rather shorter timescales; the plans for fiscal year 2009 include: “Develop 0.5 MeV [mega electron-volt] proton beams and collide onto microscale B-11 target with a fusion Q (energy ratio) > 20, possibly leading to self-sustained fusion.” The energy ratio is the amount of power you get out compared to how much you put in. ITER has a design Q of 10, producing its output with a fifty megawatt input. The Darpa scheme would be twice as efficient.


NOTE: there does not seem to be follow up funding in 2010. However, the 2009 funded work is probably not finished yet. It is not clear what is the result of the work.

The 50 page PDF of DARPA spending plans has some other interesting projects in the 2009 budget and the 471 page pdf 2010 budget.

2. The Low Power Micro Cryogenic Coolers program will attain superior performance in micro-scale devices (e.g. Low Noise Amplifier (LNA’s) IR detectors, RF front-ends, superconducting circuits) by cooling selected portions to cryogenic temperatures. The key approach in this program that should allow orders of magnitude power savings is to selectively cool only the needed volume/device via MEMS-enabled isolation technologies. Such an approach will benefit a large number of applications where performance is determined predominately by only a few devices in a system, e.g., communications where the front-end filter and LNA often set the noise figure; and sensors, where the transducer and input transistor in the sense amplifier often set the resolution. MEMS technology will also be instrumental for achieving micro-scale mechanical pumps, valves, heat exchangers, and compressors, all needed to realize a complete cryogenic refrigeration system on a chip. Transition of this technology is anticipated through industry, who will incorporate elements of the technology in current and future weapon system designs.

Program Plans:
FY 2007 Accomplishments:
− Demonstrated thermal isolation of >10,000 kilowatt (K/W) in a silicon micromachining process.
− Demonstrated on-chip cooling to 77 kelvin (K) using a photonic fiber heat exchanger.
− Demonstrated new localized on-chip cooler approaches using integrated thermoelectric coolers and photonic heat exchangers.
FY 2008 Plans:
− Demonstrate micro-scale coolers capable of providing the needed cryogenic temperature while still fitting into a miniature size, with
sufficient efficiency for low power operation.
− Demonstrate heat exchangers, Joule-Thompson plugs, valves, pumps, all needed for cryo-cooler implementation.
FY 2009 Plans:
− Integrate micro cooler components together with sufficiently isolated devices to-be-cooled to yield a single chip system consuming very little power.




3. Microsystem Integrated Navigation Technology

The Microsystem Integrated Navigation Technology (MINT) program is developing technology for precision inertial navigation coupled with micro navigation aiding sensors. The MINT program will develop universally reconfigurable microsensors (e.g., for magnetic fields, temperature, pressure) with unmatched resolution and sensitivity. These devices will use the latest in MEMS and photonic technologies to harness perturbations in atomic transitions as the sensing and measuring mechanisms for various parameters. Program transition will occur through industrial performers into future DoD platforms.
(U) Program Plans:
FY 2007 Accomplishments:
− Developed a tunable microwave local oscillator to excite and select different hyperfine transitions.
FY 2008 Plans:
− Develop technology to dramatically reduce bias drifts in Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS)-integrated MEMS
accelerometers and gyros.
− Develop CMOS-MEMS sensors for precision navigation aids such as velocity ranging and zero-velocity updating.
FY 2009 Plans:
− Reduce power and volume requirements.
− Develop technologies to harvest power through energy scavenging.

4. Nano-Electro-Mechanical Computers (NEMS)

The goal of the Nano-Electro-Mechanical Computers (NEMS) program is to develop nanoscale mechanical switches and gain elements integrated intimately with complementary metal-oxide semiconductor switches. One mechanical switch per transistor will enable the transistor to operate at near zero leakage powers, enabling pico or femtowatt standby operation. The program will also develop mechanical gain elements using physical effects such as giant magnetoresistance, buckling, electromechanical phase transitions, van der Waals forces, and Casimir forces to enable very low-noise, high-frequency amplifiers for low-power, low-noise analog signal processing. Possibilities of using mechanical power supplies and mechanical vibrating clocks could enable electronics that are less susceptible to electromagnetic pulse attacks. Enabling of nanomechanical elements in direct bandgap materials will circumvent problems of gate oxide stability, allowing fast logic with optics functionality. This program will transition into DoD systems via industrial program performers.

Program Plans:
FY 2007 Accomplishments:
− Developed nanomechanical switch-based logic in semiconductors, metals and insulators.
FY 2008 Plans:
− Develop mechanical gain elements for analog amplification using effects such as buckling and electromechnical phase changes.
FY 2009 Plans:
− Develop NEMS switches in direct bandgap materials to enable optical functionality with switches.
FY 2010 Plans:
- Demonstrate NEMS devices and technologies for microcontroller building blocks - adders, counters, memories, that can operate at very high temperatures.

5. Chip Scale Autopilot for UAVs

The Chip-Scale Auto Pilot program will develop a new chip-scale subsystem for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), which will provide on-board autonomous capabilities for collision avoidance and maneuvering support. The system will use data from miniature inertial sensors, imagers, and other sensors, and a data-fusion algorithm to produce control signals for the facilities on an existing UAV, such as the Wireless Application Service Provider (WASP). The goal is to allow operators of UAVs in dense urban environments to focus on high-level objectives, and to leave responsibility for survival and maneuvering to the UAV.
(U) Program Plans:
FY 2009 Plans:
− Develop mm-scale navigation system merging signals from Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), Vision, GPS, and Timing.
− Fuse data from complimentary systems for on-board, autonomous collision avoidance and basic navigation functions

6. Microtechnologies for Air-Cooled Exchangers
The Microtechnologies for Air-Cooled Exchangers (MACE) Heat Sink Enhancement program will explore emerging concepts for enhancement of the performance of heat rejection systems throughout the DoD. Specific program goals include the reduction of the thermal resistance by a factor of 4x and reducing the power consumption of the cooling system by 3x. Successful projects will apply MACE technologies to a customer-specified application.

FY 2009 Plans:
− Demonstrate models, measurements, and Single-Fin device.
− Establish functional full-scale heat sink 4”x4”x1” with 4x reduction in thermal resistance and 3x improvement in coefficient of performance.
FY 2010 Plans:
- Fabricate and test a ‘single-fin’ heat sink device.
- Scale up prototype air-cooled exchangers to a large, full-format heat sink.

7. Maskless Direct-Write Nanolithography for Defense Applications
The Maskless Direct-Write Nanolithography for Defense Applications program will develop a maskless, direct-write lithography tool that will address both the DoD’s need for affordable, high performance, low volume Integrated Circuits (ICs) and the commercial market’s need for highly customized, application-specific ICs. In addition, this program will provide a cost effective manufacturing technology for low volume nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) and nanophotonics initiatives within the DoD. Transition will be achieved by maskless lithography tools, installed in the Trusted Foundry and in commercial foundries, which will enable incorporation of state-of-the-art semiconductor devices in new military systems, and allow for the cost-effective upgrade of legacy military systems.

Program Plans:
FY 2007 Accomplishments:
− Completed and delivered End-to-End System Error Budget and throughput model.
FY 2008 Plans:
− Design, build and integrate a demagnification optics system and wafer adapter, and achieve a patterning resolution on the wafer of
about 1 micron.
− Characterize prototype Reflection Electron Branch Lithography (REBL) system to validate simulation results.

FY 2009 Plans:
− Demonstrate rotary stage at 10 meters per second.
− Demonstrate static imaging on prototype REBL system.
− Demonstrate dynamic imaging on prototype REBL system.

FY 2010 Plans:
- Demonstrate System Level Lithography Performance on a Linear Stage Demonstrator System.
- Design, build, and test a rotary stage.
- Integrate electron beam column and rotary stage demonstrator platform.
- Design, build, and characterize an enhanced electron beam column for system alpha prototype experiments.

8. Disruptive Manufacturing Technologies

The goal of the Disruptive Manufacturing Technologies (DMT) program is to achieve significant and pervasive cost savings, and/or decreases in cycle time, for existing or planned procurements. There has been a long-standing desire to replace traveling wave tube amplifiers (TWTAs), which are pervasive in nearly all electronic warfare (EW), information warfare (IW), radar, and communication systems, with lower cost solid-state components. The DMT program will merge Polystrata™ and GaN technologies to eliminate the need for monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMICs). The direct product replacement transition candidate for this program is the TWT power amplifier output stage in the AN/ALE-55, Fiber Optic Towed Decoy for the Navy’s new F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet, and the Air Force B1-B and F-15 platforms. It will be replaced with solid-state hybrid microwave integrate circuit (HyMIC) modules developed by merging Polystrata™ and gallium nitride (GaN) technologies. The result will be a 10x reduction in TWTA cost, equaling >$150M for the Integrated Defensive Electronic Countermeasures (IDECM) program, a joint Navy-Air Force program. Beyond developing a replacement for TWTAs, HyMIC technology promises to increase adoption of high performance MMW systems employing mature III-V technologies as well as advance earlier adoption of those using nascent III-V technologies.

FY 2007 Accomplishments:
− Demonstrated integration of GaN transistors and passive elements with Polystrata™ waveguides.
FY 2008 Plans:
− Demonstrate flip chip mounting on Polystrata™ structures.
− Complete proof-of-concept GaN 20 watts module implemented with Polystrata™ technology, along with a passive element library to enable development of the 57 W GaN building block.
FY 2009 Plans:
− Demonstrate a form-fit-function 160 W GaN amplifier ready for insertion into the IDECM decoy module.
FY 2010 Plans:
- Demonstrate 57 W GaN HyMIC building block.

9. Tip-Based Nanofabrication (TBN)
The Tip-Based Nanofabrication (TBN) program will develop the capability to use Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) cantilevers and tips to controllably manufacture nano-scale structures such as nanowires, nanotubes, and quantum dots for selected defense applications such as optical and biological sensors, diode lasers, light emitting diodes, infrared sensors, high-density interconnects, and quantum computing.
FY 2008 Accomplishments:
- Selected initial fabrication materials, mechanisms, and processes for optimal properties.
- Completed preliminary design of specialized processing equipment.
FY 2009 Plans:
- Demonstrate nanofabrication process using a single-tip structure and associated tooling.
FY 2010 Plans:
- Fabricate a multi-tip array (5 tips) for parallel manufacturing.
- Demonstrate a repeatable tip-based process and manufacturing capability.

10. Programmable Matter

The Programmable Matter program will develop a new functional form of matter, constructed from mesoscale particles that assemble into complex 3-Dimensional (3-D) objects upon external command. These objects will exhibit all of the functionality of their conventional counterparts and ultimately have the ability to reverse back to the original components.
FY 2009 Plans:
- Build a mathematical model that theoretically confirms a viable procedure for constructing macroscopic
3-D solid objects with functional properties that have real world use.
- Demonstrate externally-directed assembly of distinct macroscopic 3-D solids.
- Demonstrate interlocking/adhesion of mesoscale particles to create bulk matter.
- Demonstrate reversibility.
FY 2010 Plans:
- Optimize Programmable Matter properties.
- Demonstrate Programmable Matter for selected applications.

A previous Nextbigfuture article on DARPA's programmable matter project with pictures.

11. Quantum OptoMechanics Integrated on a Chip
The objective of this program is to leverage advances in Photonics and Micro fabrication to develop integrated chips capable of exploiting quantum optomechanical applications. Although light is usually thought of as carrying energy but relatively little momentum, light confined to a high-finesse cavity can exert significant force on the cavity mirrors. When the mirror is allowed to vibrate by coupling it to a
mechanical (spring-like) system, energy can be transferred between coupled optomechanical resonators. Depending on the detuning of the cavity, one can obtain either damping (cooling) or amplification (heating) of the mirror motion. Notable achievements in this field are the demonstration of mirror cooling (damping of the internal degree of motion) to sub-Kelvin (6 mK) temperatures and demonstration of radiation driven high-Q, high-frequency (1 GHz) oscillators. With sufficiently high cavity finesse and Q’s of the mechanical system, it is possible to reach a regime in which the mirror motion is no longer thermally limited. Instead, it becomes limited by the quantum mechanical radiation pressure force. Once this limit is reached, it
is possible to take advantage of quantum mechanical effects without having to cool the system. It is anticipated this will result in a new generation of mass-sensing devices and ultra high-Q, high-frequency resonators controlled by light. In optical systems, it will be possible to efficiently squeeze light beyond the standard shot-noise limit producing light sources for infrared detection and quantum information
applications.

FY 2010 Plans:
- Demonstrate resonant frequency of 10 megahertz (MHz).
- Demonstrate Mechanical Q of 1x10^6.

12. Nanoscale/Biomolecular and MetaMaterials
The research in this thrust area exploits advances in nanoscale and bio-molecular materials, including computationally based materials science, in order to develop unique microstructures and material properties. This area also includes efforts to develop the underlying physics for the behavior of materials whose properties have been engineered at the nanoscale level (metamaterials) and materials exhibiting a permanent electric charge (charged matter).
FY 2008 Accomplishments:
- Developed efficient computational methods that correctly predict the properties of excited electronic states in high intensity laser.
- Achieved mid-wave infrared optical transmission comparable to that of spinel and worked toward achieving a composite material with mechanical properties comparable to those of sapphire in yttriamagnesia nanocomposite material.
- Achieved first-ever optical model for nanomaterials of interest and transitioned it to the research community.
- Achieved yttria, nano silicon carbide optical ceramics with required strength of sapphire and worked toward optical properties of spinel.
FY 2009 Plans:
- Demonstrate automated laser beam front diagnostic and adaptive beam correction.
- Demonstrate simultaneously infrared optical transmission comparable to spinel and mechanical properties comparable to sapphire in 75mm discs.
- Develop new materials with both optical properties and strength into 75mm flat discs.
- Characterize the material properties of 75mm discs through testing in relevant environments.
- Demonstrate the ability to provide surface strengthening through compressive materials.
- Investigate new methods of altering diatom structures and adapting diatom materials to facilitate new sensors and devices.
FY 2010 Plans:
- Initiate development of new materials into hemispherical domes with decreased optical scatter, doubled mechanical strength, and doubled thermal shock capabilities over single crystal sapphire.
- Characterize the material properties of hemispherical domes through testing in relevant military environments.
- Characterize the material properties of non-hemispherical domes.
- Develop inexpensive processing techniques to create customized diatom derived sensors and devices.
- Ion: demonstrate ability to affect airflow around the surface of an airfoil using ions accelerated across multiple points to generate an airstream on the surface of the airfoil.
- Radiometer: demonstrate ability to produce significant forces on aerofoil-shaped surfaces.
- Establish the material science of charged matter by developing underlying technology and defining range of applicability.
- Demonstrate in a laboratory environment charged matter properties including superadhesion, frictionless surfaces, and resistance to electrostatic charging.

12. Atomic Scale Materials and Devices
This thrust examines the fundamental physics of materials at the atomic scale in order to develop new devices and capabilities. A major emphasis of this thrust is to provide the theoretical and experimental underpinnings of a new class of semiconductor electronics based on spin degree of freedom of the electron, in addition to (or in place of) the charge. A new all optical switch capability will also be investigated. It includes a new, non-invasive method to directly hyperpolarize biological tissues, leading to novel quantitative neurodiagnostics. In addition, this thrust will examine other novel classes of materials and phenomena such as plasmons or Bose-Einstein Condensates (BEC) that have the potential to provide new capabilities in the quantum regime, for example, GPS-independent navigation via atom interferometry as well as the potential to generate significant heat from deuterated palladium.

FY 2010 Plans:
- Develop cooling and precision thermometry techniques for fermionic atoms in optical lattice.
- Develop quantum gas microscope with sufficient resolution to image individual atomic sites in 2-D optical lattice; verify by imaging atomic gas trapped in lattice.
- Emulate XXZ quantum spin model using ion crystal array in less than twelve hours that confirms theoretical calculations.
- Develop the core materials fabrication techniques that will enable extremely low-power, extremely high density, all-oxide, transistor-like switches with a ferroelectric gate and a high density, 2-D interfacial oxide electron gas exhibiting metal-insulator transition in response to an applied gate voltage.
- Model how these transistor-like devices will support corresponding device architecture for advanced reconfigurable logic and memory.
- Design broadband, frequency comb spectroscopy system with sensitivity better than ten parts per billion acetylene at 1.5 microns.
- Evaluate performance improvements from, and system configuration changes needed to, shift comb central wavelength from 1.5 microns to 3 microns.
- Quantify the effects of impurities in palladium substrate material on the capability to generate excess heat. composition and microstructure required to achieve high levels of deuterium loading and tolerate the high stresses associated with these conditions.
- Establish the effects of surface area and crystal orientation on degree of deuterium loading and the loading/relaxation dynamics and correlate these effects with increases in excess heat generated.
- Demonstrate all-optical switch (or equivalent device) based on optically-induced absorption.
- Demonstrate total energy dissipation for an optical switch (or equivalent device) of less than 1 femtojoules per operation, and signal loss of less than 0.1 dB, excluding waveguide losses before and after device.
- Demonstrate soft X-rays with specific states of orbital angular momentum.
- Initiate a series of experiments using the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) facility to study ionospheric and trans-ionospheric phenomena, including optimization of high frequency to very low frequency conversion efficiency, generation and propagation and characterization


13. Casimir Effect Enhancement (CEE)
This program’s goal is to manipulate materials properties and geometries in order to enable repulsive Casimir forces at interfaces. This can lead to increased reliability in Micro Electrical Mechanical Systems (MEMS) devices by eliminating stiction, reduced drag and increased fuel efficiency in all military systems (boats, airplanes, etc.), or enhancing any system where attractive forces hinder overall performance.
FY 2010 Plans:
- Model potential systems where Casimir forces can be manipulated.
- Experiment to confirm ability to reduce Casimir force.
- Demonstrate nanomechanical device with observable, repeatable ten percent reduction in adhesive forces.

14. Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) Nets
The goal of the Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) Nets program is to develop a near-term counter RPG net system that has performance at least equivalent to bar or slat armor but that is lighter and easier to deploy; and a mid-term net-based system with active elements that has greatly improved performance. Development of these systems will be supported by modeling to enhance understanding of the net interactions and with extensive live fire testing against RPGs. Successful candidates will be installed on vehicles for evaluation in an operational context.

FY 2010 Plans:
- Begin user evaluation of active net system.

15. High Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System (HELLADS)
The goal of the High Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System (HELLADS) program is to develop a high-energy laser weapon system (150 kW) with an order of magnitude reduction in weight compared to existing laser systems. With a weight goal of <5 kg/kW, HELLADS will enable high-energy lasers (HELs) to be integrated onto tactical aircraft and will significantly increase engagement ranges compared to ground-based systems. The HELLADS program has completed the design and demonstration of a revolutionary prototype unit cell laser module that has demonstrated power output and optical wavefront performance that supports the goal of a lightweight and compact 150 kW high energy laser weapon system with near-diffraction limited beam quality. An objective unit cell laser module with integrated power and thermal management is being designed and fabricated by two competing laser suppliers and will demonstrate an output power of >34 kW. Based on the results of the unit cell demonstration, additional laser modules will be fabricated to produce a 150 kW laser that will be demonstrated in a laboratory environment. The 150 kW laser will then be integrated with beam control, power, heat exchange, safety, and command and control subsystems that are based upon existing technologies to produce a laser weapon system demonstrator. The capability to shoot down tactical targets such as surface-to-air missiles and rockets and the capability to perform ultra-precise offensive engagements will be demonstrated in a realistic ground test environment. The HELLADS laser will then be transitioned to the Air Force for aircraft integration and flight testing.

FY 2010 Plans:
- Initiate fabrication of additional unit cell laser modules to complete the 150 kW laser.
- Complete the fabrication and laboratory testing of the 150 kW laser.
- Complete fabrication of the demonstrator laser weapon system.
- Complete demonstrator laser weapon system component and subsystem testing.
- Initiate integration of the 150 kW laser with the laser weapon system.

16. Revolution in Fiber Lasers (RIFL)
The goal of the Revolution in Fiber Lasers (RIFL) program is to develop multi-kilowatt, singlemode, narrow line fiber laser amplifiers using efficient, high brightness laser diode pump arrays. These narrowline fiber laser amplifiers can then be coherently combined to develop ultra-high power electronically steerable optical phased arrays. In Phase 1 of this program, a 1 kW narrowline, single mode, single
polarization fiber laser amplifier will be developed with 15% electrical efficiency and a beam quality of better than 1.4x diffraction limited. In Phase 2 of this program, a 3 kW narrowline, single mode, single polarization fiber laser amplifier will be developed with 30% overall electrical efficiency and better than 1.4x diffraction limited beam quality. Coherent arrays of these high power fiber laser amplifiers will then be developed as part of the DARPA Adaptive Photonic Phase-Locked Elements (APPLE) program (PE0603739E, Project MT-15) to achieve the requisite power and coherence for future multi-kilowatt high power laser weapons.

FY 2008 Accomplishments:
- Performed final engineering designs of a 1 kW coherently combinable fiber amplifier (single mode, single polarization, narrow line) that will support development of a high power fiber laser optical phased array and that will provide >15% electrical efficiency and near-diffraction-limited beam quality (M2 < 1.4).
FY 2009 Plans:
- Initiate construction of 1 kW coherently combinable fiber amplifiers (single mode, single polarization, narrow line) that will support development of a high power fiber laser optical phased array and that will provide >15% electrical efficiency and near-diffraction-limited beam quality (M2 < 1.4).
- Complete final engineering design of a 3kW, 30% efficient, near-diffraction-limited coherently combinable fiber laser amplifier (single mode, single polarization, narrow line) that will support development of high power fiber laser optical phased arrays for laser weapon applications.
FY 2010 Plans:
- Demonstrate and test 15% efficient, single mode, single polarization, coherently combinable fiber laser amplifiers with near diffraction-limited beam quality at 1kW power level.


17. Maintaining Combat Performance
The Maintaining Combat Performance thrust utilizes breakthroughs in biology and physiology to sustain the peak physical and cognitive performance of warfighters operating in extreme conditions. Today, warfighters must accomplish their missions despite extraordinary physiologic stress. Examples of these stressors include extremes of temperature (-20 degrees F to 125 degrees F), oxygen deficiency in mountains, personal loads in excess of 100 lbs, dehydration, psychological stress, and even performance of life-sustaining maneuvers following combat injury. Not only must troops maintain optimum physical performance, but also peak cognitive performance, which includes the entire spectrum from personal navigation and target recognition, to complex command and control decisions, and intelligence synthesis. The Maintaining Combat Performance thrust leverages breakthroughs in diverse scientific fields in order to mitigate the effects of harsh combat environments. For example, understanding the natural mechanisms for core body temperature regulation in hibernating mammals has led to a novel, practical approach for soldier cooling, which is now being evaluated by troops in the far forward combat areas. Other examples include fundamental research elucidating the biological mechanisms of adaptation to extreme altitude, the molecular correlates of muscle fatigue and psychological stress, and natural resistance to disease through dietary nutrients.

FY 2008 Accomplishments:
- Identified genetic indicators of acute mountain sickness and developed approaches to improve cardiopulmonary function at high altitude.
- Demonstrated greater than forty percent improvement from preconditioning prior to high altitude exposure in murine model.

FY 2009 Plans:
- Identify mechanisms to alleviate high altitude illness.
- Investigate mechanisms to speed natural acclimatization at high altitudes.
- Demonstrate the following in-vitro: mechanisms to increase pulmonary blood flow; methods to increase number of red blood cells; and mechanisms to increase oxygen delivery to muscles.
- Position product for use in an FDA Phase I clinical trial by the end of first program phase.
FY 2010 Plans:
- Increase speed acclimatization by providing high altitude cues prior to ascent.
- Identify physical adaptation strategies of altitude-adapted people.
- Demonstrate high altitude illness prevention in mammals using adaptation strategies of altitude-adapted people.

18. Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics (SyNAPSE)
The Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics (SyNAPSE) program will develop a brain inspired electronic “chip” that mimics the function, capacity, size, and power consumption of a biological cortex. If successful, the program will provide the foundations for functional machines to supplement humans in many of the most demanding situations faced by warfighters today. In particular, the objective of the program is to process video images for information abstraction (e.g. annotation) and task initiation. The two main technical challenges to achieving this vision are developing an artificial electronic synapse and developing a neural algorithm-architecture that exploits these synapses.

FY 2010 Plans:
- Develop a brain-inspired neuromorphic architectural design and specification capability.
- Develop software tools to translate neuromorphic designs into electronic implementations using hybrid CMOS and high-density electronic synapse components.
- Develop capability to simulate the performance of neuromorphic electronics systems using very large scale computation.
- Develop virtual reality environments intended for training and evaluating electronic neuromorphic systems and their corresponding computer simulations.
- Develop standard testing protocols for assessing the performance of large neuromorphic electronic systems.

19. Vulcan
The goal of the Vulcan demonstration program, previously funded from PE 0602702E, Project TT-07 (HiSTED Program), is to design, build and ground test an engine capable of accelerating a full scale hypersonic vehicle from rest to Mach 4+. Constant Volume Combustion (CVC) engines have been under development for more than a decade. Considerable progress has been made and the technology is believed mature enough to enable a dramatic new propulsion system capability. CVC engines, when combined with turbine engines, offer the ability to design a new class of Mach 4+ air breathing engines. The Vulcan engine will consist of a CVC engine, a full-scale turbine engine, an inlet and a nozzle. CVC engine architectures could include Pulsed Detonation Engines (PDE’s), Continuous Detonation Engines (CDE’s) or other unsteady CVC engine architectures. The CVC engine would operate from below the upper Mach limit of the turbine engine to Mach 4+. The turbine engine will be a current production engine capable of operating above Mach 2. Key objectives of the program are to integrate the turbine engine into the Vulcan engine with minimal modification to the turbine engine; to operate the turbine engine from rest to its upper Mach limit; and to cocoon the turbine engine when it is not in use. The Vulcan engine will enable full-scale hypersonic cruise vehicles for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), strike or other critical national missions.
FY 2010 Plans:
- Complete designs and simulations of critical components.
- Conduct risk reduction demonstrations of the combustor rig, fuel system, material rig, valve rig, initiator rig, seal rig, inlet rig, nozzle rig, and thermal management system rig components.
- Complete CVC engine preliminary design review.
- Initiate detailed design of subsystems.

20. Ultradense Nanophotonic Intrachip Communication (UNIC)
The goal of the Ultradense Nanophotonic Intrachip Communication (UNIC) program is to demonstrate nanophotonic technology for access to on-chip ultra-dense systems and Input/Output (I/O) to/from a chip containing such ultra-dense systems. Technical challenges that must be met include: high precision, low loss nanophotonic circuit fabrication; low cost fabrication methods; high performance nanoscale modulators; detectors, multiplexers and demultiplexers; architecture for addressing ultra-dense systems; and techniques for efficient high capacity/bandwidth I/O of data to and from the chip. This technology will transition via industrial performers developing faster and more complex processing such as real-time pattern matching, target recognition, image processing and Terahertz (THz) class command-and-control networks.
FY 2010 Plans:
- Demonstrate integrated arrays of 4-wavelength silicon photonic transmitters and receivers operating at 10 gigabytes per second (Gbps).
- Demonstrate feasibility of 1.5 per Joule/bit interconnect link energy budget for silicon photonic optical data link, based upon fabricated arrays.
- Demonstrate wavelength division multiplexed routing through 2 physical layers at 10 Gbps and less than one part in a trillion bit error rate (1E-12 bit error rate).
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