February 03, 2011

New DARPA projects for 2011

DARPA has new solicitations for 2011

Controlling Cellular Machinery - Vaccines

Looking for new ideas about how to discover, design, evolve, assemble and demonstrate the ability to use genetic components, modules and circuits for the development of a highly efficacious nucleic acid based vaccine whose activity can be regulated in vivo by a mammalian host.

The Controlling Cellular Machinery - Vaccine Program should not exceed 48 months. Proposers should identify milestones that facilitate tracking of the research progress towards the overall program goals. Proposals should describe the development and demonstration of a nucleic acid-based vaccine that uses genetic regulatory elements to control the efficacy of the vaccine. A successful proposal will thoroughly discuss all details for meeting the metrics set forth for the program. Proposers should plan for the test and evaluation of their components and/or constructs at each milestone. Nucleic-acid based vaccine constructs should ultimately be validated in an appropriate model. This program will not involve human use. Continuation of funding over the 48-month period will be contingent on technical progress, development of a sufficient commercialization plan, and availability of funding.

Near Junction Thermal Transport (NJTT)

Looking for major new enhancements to Near-Junction Thermal Transport (NJTT) in high-power electronic devices. Proposed research should investigate innovative thermal management approaches that enable revolutionary advances in science, devices, or systems. Specifically excluded is research that primarily results in evolutionary improvements to the existing state of practice.

Direct Digital to High Power Analog Conversion Technology (PowerDAC)

DARPA is soliciting innovative research proposals in the area of Direct Digital to High Power Analog Conversion (PowerDAC) Technology. This will enable the combining of digital to analog conversion and high power amplification into a single component technology realizing revolutionary advantages. These advantages include dramatically advancing the state of art in the ability to simultaneously achieve
high power, large bandwidth, high efficiency and high linearity at RF and microwave frequencies. Specifically excluded are research approaches that primarily result in evolutionary improvements

CBS News has some DARPA coverage and selects some projects from the DARPA program list

* Triple Target Terminator (T3) a high speed, long-range missile that can engage air, cruise missile, and air defense targets. T3 would be carried internally on stealth aircraft or externally on fighters, bombers and UAVs. The enabling technologies are: propulsion, multi-mode seekers, data links, digital guidance and control, and advanced warheads. T3 would allow any aircraft to rapidly switch between air-to-air and air-to-surface capabilities. T3's speed, maneuverability, and network-centric capabilities would significantly improve U.S. aircraft survivability and increase the number and variety of targets that could be destroyed on each sortie.

* Magneto Hydrodynamic Explosive Munition (MAHEM)

The Magneto Hydrodynamic Explosive Munition (MAHEM) program will demonstrate compressed magnetic flux generator (CMFG)-driven magneto hydrodynamically formed metal jets and self-forging penetrators (SFP) with significantly improved performance over explosively formed jets (EFJ) and fragments. EFJ and SFP are used for precision strike against targets such as armored vehicles and reinforced structures. Current technology uses chemical explosive energy to form the jets and fragments. This is highly inefficient and requires precise machining of the metal liners from which the fragments and jets are formed. Generating multiple jets or fragments from a single explosive is difficult, and the timing of the multiple jets or fragments cannot be controlled. MAHEM offers the potential for higher efficiency, greater control, the ability to generate and accurately timed multiple jets and fragments from a single charge, and the potential for aimable, multiple warheads with a much higher EFJ velocity, hence increased lethality precision, than conventional EFJ/SFP. MAHEM could be packaged into a missile, projectile or other platform, and delivered close to target for final engagement. This could provide the warfighter with a means to address stressing missions such as: lightweight active self-protection for vehicles (potential defeat mechanism for a kinetic energy round), counter armor (passive, reactive, and active), mine countermeasures, and anti-ship cruise missile final layer of defense.

Urban Ops Hopper

The Urban Ops Hopper program will develop a semi-autonomous hybrid hopping/articulated wheeled robotic platform that could adapt to the urban environment in real-time and provide the delivery of small payloads to any point of the urban jungle while remaining lightweight, small to minimize the burden on the soldier. In general, small robots or unmanned ground vehicles (UGV) are severely limited by obstacle negotiation capability. The demonstrated hopping capability allows small UGVs to overcome obstacles many times their own size. Hopping mobility can be shown to be much more efficient than hovering for obstacles at heights less than or equal to a few meters. The proposed hopping robot would be truly multi-functional in that it will negotiate all aspects of the urban battlefield to deliver payloads to non-line-of-sight areas with precision.
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