DARPA’s podcast series, "Voices from DARPA," offers a revealing and informative window on the minds of the Agency's program managers. In each episode, a program... More
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Episode 68: Space Manufacturing
Imagine you are going to space. There is a long list of items and supplies you definitely will need, but there is an even longer list of things you might need, depending on how your mission progresses. This includes known unknowns like fuel for unplanned maneuvering, replacement parts or tools, and a wide range of other products that could be useful, but may not be utilized. The current paradigm is to pack everything you might possibly need, but this approach is complex and logistically burdensome. Imagine instead that you pack only fermentation equipment, feedstocks, and a freezer full of microbes that each convert the feedstock into a different useful molecule, material, or product so you have everything you might need and can produce it on demand. Or what if you could enable a new paradigm where future space structures – that are much too large to launch on a rocket – are built off-Earth using materials and designs optimized for the space environment?This Voices from DARPA episode features discussions with Dr. Andy Detor, program manager in DARPA’s Defense Sciences Office, as well as Dr. Anne Cheever, program manager in the Biological Technologies Office. Detor runs the Novel Orbital Moon Manufacturing, Materials, and Mass Efficient Design, or NOM4D program. Cheever heads up the Biomanufacturing: Survival, Utility, and Reliability beyond Earth, or B-SURE, program. While neither program is conducting manufacturing in space, both are supporting proof of concept studies to determine whether it might be feasible in the future.
Episode 67: Wireless Power Beaming
This episode of the Voices from DARPA podcast series explores the possibility of an “energy web” that, much like the World Wide Web easily and quickly spreads information, could instantly distribute energy from remote, currently untapped sources. DARPA Program Manager Col Paul Calhoun describes his bold POWER program, aimed at leveraging power beaming for near-instantaneous energy transport through a multi-path network. The project team plans to demonstrate long-distance wireless power transmission that can power an aircraft. Such a system might also one day readily distribute abundant, far-flung wave or solar generated power to places in need. “If we can get to a world where we are no longer tying energy production to carbon…it allows us to unlock production without some of the negative impacts,” says Calhoun.
Episode 66: How to Create AI Tech We Can Trust
At a time when the race to create the best artificial intelligence-enabled technology is at its fiercest, experts at DARPA say we need to recalibrate the direction of research in the field.Within DARPA’s Information Innovation Office, one of the research thrusts focuses on proficient artificial intelligence (AI), which the office defines as how to build AI-enabled systems that we could trust with our lives and not be foolish to do so.This episode of Voices from DARPA features an excerpt from a recent presentation by Dr. Kathleen Fisher, the director of the Information Innovation Office, which is leading DARPA’s initiative to explore future directions of AI for national security, called AI Forward.Dr. Fisher delves into the topic of trustworthy AI for adversarial environments and what it will take to create technology that is more than a tool, but rather function as a true partner.To access the full presentation, visit our YouTube page. DARPA will also accept applications for its AI Forward Workshops through March 20, 2023. To learn how you can apply, visit: https://www.darpa.mil/work-with-us/ai-forward
Episode 65: A Sprint to Tomorrow, Powered by Teamwork
If it seems like microchips have been a consistent conversation topic lately, it’s for good reason. Supply chain disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors created a new level of awareness about microelectronics. However, the research and development that advance these increasingly powerful technologies goes back decades, with DARPA teaming up to play a key part.This episode of Voices from DARPA examines the journey and impact of one collaborative effort that DARPA’s been part of since the late 1990s. The latest program iteration, the Joint University Microelectronics Program 2.0 (JUMP 2.0), recently kicked off with an expanded mission.This episode features Dr. Dev Palmer, a longtime program participant now overseeing DARPA’s JUMP 2.0 efforts as the deputy director of DARPA’s Microsystems Technology Office; Dr. Adam Knapp, the JUMP 2.0 program manager at longtime partner institution the Semiconductor Research Corporation; and Dr. Tajana Simunic Rosing, a program performer who has been involved in every iteration of what is now JUMP 2.0.All three of these experts bring rich, diverse perspectives to an effort that is critical to the future – and that serves as a bedrock for broader initiatives to strengthen U.S. leadership in microelectronics. as they share in this episode, all three are focused on success via ambitious collaboration.Find out even more about JUMP 2.0 and DARPA’s broader Electronics Resurgence Initiative (ERI) – and be part of the dialogue – this summer at the ERI Summit.
Episode 64: DARPA Triage Challenge
For this episode of the Voices from DARPA podcast, we will be hearing from CDR Jean-Paul Chretien about the newly-launched DARPA Triage Challenge. Previous DARPA challenges have contributed to the self-driving car evolution, responsive space launch, and robotics for disaster response and recovery, and we expect equally transformational results from this one.The DARPA Triage Challenge will use a series of challenge events to spur development of novel physiological features for medical triage. The effort aims to drive breakthrough innovations in identification of “signatures” of injury that will help medical responders perform scalable, timely, and accurate triage. Of particular interest are mass casualty incidents, in both civilian and military settings, when medical resources are limited relative to the need.YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrezJNTj90A iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/voices-from-darpa/id1163190520
DARPA’s podcast series, "Voices from DARPA," offers a revealing and informative window on the minds of the Agency's program managers. In each episode, a program manager from one of DARPA’s six technical offices—Biological Technologies, Defense Sciences, Information Innovation, Microsystems Technology, Strategic Technology, and Tactical Technology—will discuss in informal and personal terms why they are at DARPA and what they are up to. The goal of "Voices from DARPA" is to share with listeners some of the institutional know-how, vision, process, and history that together make the “secret sauce” DARPA has been adding to the Nation’s innovation ecosystem for nearly 60 years. On another level, we at DARPA just wanted to share the pleasure we all have every day—in the elevator, in the halls, in our meeting rooms—as we learn from each other and swap ideas and strive to change what’s possible.