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Sander darpa outbrief 081217

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Highlights and takeaways from my internship at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in 2008

Highlights and takeaways from my internship at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in 2008

Published in: Technology, Business

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  • Description San Jose, CA Gartner Research's Hype Cycle diagram Source I created the image, though the underlying concept was conceived by Gartner, Inc: http://www.gartner.com/pages/story.php.id.8795.s.8.jsp Date Dec 27, 2007 Author Jeremy Kemp Permission Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License , Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license versions 3.0, 2.5, 2.0, and 1.0.
  • Transcript

    • 1. DARPA Director Outbrief 17 Dec 2008 LCDR Dan Sander Project OfficerNavy Tactical Exploitation of National Capabilities (TENCAP) OPNAV N6FTC, Washington DC 29 September – 19 December 2008 1
    • 2. Background LCDR SanderProfessional Background: Information Warfare Officer/1610 Current Assignment: Navy TENCAP (OPNAV N6FTC) 2005-2007: ABRAHAM LINCOLN Strike Group (CCSG-9) CRC 2002-2005: USCENTCOM J2 Collection Management 1999-2002: NSGA Sugar Grove, WV Operations Officer 1996-1998: NSA Ft Meade, MD 1992-1995: USS MERRILL (DD 976) Education Internship interest/Areas of focus •U.S. Naval Academy class of 1992 •Language translation tools •BS in Systems Engineering •Space and “Near Space” systems •Troy University 2005 •ISR •MS in Information Systems •Neuroscience •Joint Forces Staff College •Energy Harvesting and Power generation •Advanced Communications •Electronic Warfare •Biotechnology 2
    • 3. Performers and Partners visited Seattle •Fred Hutchinson Cancer 30 Performers San Francisco Research Center Boston •Lawrence Livermore •Boeing Phantom Works 12 Locations •I Robot National Labs •University of Washington •BAE •SRI •BBN •Stanford Austin •University of Texas •Cycorp College Park, MD •IARPA DC/Northern VA •NGA •ONRLos Angeles •Multi-Threaded•Hamilton Sundstrand•AeroVironmentSan Diego•General Atomics•Neurosciences Institute OrlandoCarlsbad, CA Albuquerque St. Louis •Harris Corp. •EMCORE Tampa•Adv Brain Monitoring •Boeing Phantom Works •Phantom Products •USCENTCOM •Air Force Research •NGA St Louis OSINT Cell •University of Lab Central Florida •Honeywell •L3 CyTerra 3
    • 4. Programs of Interest• Language Translation – Global Autonomous Language Exploitation (GALE) – Content Detection from Speech (CODES)• Space & “Near Space” – F-6 (fractionalized spacecraft) – Fast Access Spacecraft Testbed (FAST) – Vulture• ISR – ARGUS (wide-area persistent FMV) – NetTrack (vehicle tagging/tracking)• Neuroscience – Neurotechnology for Intel Analysis (NIA) – Intelligent Machines• Energy Harvesting and Power Generation – Laser-induced fusion – Very High-Efficiency Solar Cells 4
    • 5. Programs of Interest• Advanced Communications – Next Generation Communications (XG) • Dynamic Spectrum Access• Electronic Warfare – Wolfpack• Biotechnology – Surviving Blood Loss – Predicting Health and Disease – Trauma pod 5
    • 6. Observations• DARPA is resource-rich – Leverage expertise in military, academia, manufacturing, technology – Contracting and legal people “best in the world” – Key partnerships with systems integrators – Constantly (informal) gathering of requirements as “needs” and “possibilities” – $3B• DARPA employs efficient organization – Centralized decision-making / decentralized execution – No JCIDs / PPBE / JROC bureaucracy – Super-flat organization – Funding flexibility with Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) process and stringent go / no-go requirements – Offices are functionally aligned not constrained 6
    • 7. Observations• DARPA has a culture of success – Scientific method is king – every program is a forward thinking dissertation process – Freedom to fail; all ideas considered on equal merit – Continually push the boundaries of time, technology; physics, materials, chemistry – No sacred cows--anything can be improved – Divestiture of risk across multiple performers – Return on Investment (ROI) not measured in dollars – Enable performers to accept financial risk and grow – No equities to protect – “DARPA Brings out the best” in performers – Focus on warfighting 7
    • 8. Technology and DoD AcquisitionGartner’s Technology “Hype Cycle” DARPA development process quickly proves concepts by determining what is feasible. DARPA’s flat organization is much more agile and decisive than typical DoD acquisition processes. Sometime, technology drives the requirements, not vice-versa (example: Boomerang) 8
    • 9. Programs of Interest• High Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System (HELLADS) – Potential to be integrated onto tactical aircraft and UAVs – Facilitates new concepts of fire support• MAgneto Hydrodynamic Explosive Munition (MAHEM) – Improved capability against armor and reinforced structures – Increased lethality in existing systems• Hardwire – Increased armor protection at lighter weight – Enables new possibilities in vehicle design• Boomerang – Acoustic gun shot detection and localization 9 – Swifter target acquisition
    • 10. Programs of Interest• Multispectral Adaptive Networked Tactical Imaging System (MANTIS) – Fused SWIR, LWIR, VNIR image & video sharing capability – Improved night vision and shared situational awareness• Global Autonomous Language Exploitation (GALE) – Automated translation of foreign speech and text – Significant benefits to Open Source Intelligence & Information Operations• Wasp – Micro air vehicle front-line reconnaissance and surveillance – Increases organic collection capabilities• Visibuilding – Detect personnel within buildings & determine building layout 10 – Increased situational awareness
    • 11. Programs of Interest• Surviving Blood Loss – Intends to delay the onset hemorrhagic shock due to blood loss by reducing cellular oxygen demand – Extend the golden hour• Trauma Pod – Deployable system allowing for remote, tele- operative surgery – Potential for distributed medical operations• RealWorld – Potential to develop a simulation of the operating area from intelligence – Mission rehearsal applications• Accelerated Learning – Advances in understanding of human physiology to aid in learning – Real-time feedback could assist in determining causes of error and provide means for 11 correction
    • 12. Takeaways• High risk/high payoff R&D – Evolutionary acquisition vs. the revolutionary or disruptive• DARPA not driven by requirements, but on overcoming technical barriers. – Different mentality than services.• Internship re-invigorates scientific interests – It’s best to generalize and see all programs across all scientific disciplines• DARPA has a short, highly-effective decision chain• Need to move away from “not invented here”• Transition requires service commitments – Some programs trying to “find a home” – Commitment includes accepting some risk – Some programs transition to industry, with 2nd and 3rd order technology breakthroughs transparent to the user 12
    • 13. Takeaways• Many performers are small companies and refer to DARPA as “the nation’s venture capitalist”• DARPA funding keeps basic research alive and focused at a number of universities.• Especially enjoyed the perspective on S&T in 20th century America by Dan Goldin (Former NASA administrator and CEO of Intellisis/NSI) 13
    • 14. Lessons Learned• DARPA as a networking resource – Focal point of industry, university, government research, and services – Organizational culture draws wide range of diverse talent• Advocacy – Technical merit still needs to be sold – Key component of successful transition, internally and externally• Production capacity and timelines – Prototype does not equate to production ready – Ramp up and achieving economies of scale requires time and money• Testing paradigms and technological advancement – New technical approaches require new metrics – Existing test methodologies may impede advances• Technical synergy – Combined impact of multiple technologies exceeds the sum of the parts – Combined, increased power density, lighter armor, autonomous vehicles, and more effective training are greater than any single improvement area 14
    • 15. Lessons Learned• Merits of a balanced portfolio – DARPA “easy” yields quick victory and establishes pattern of success – DARPA “hard” sets conditions for the future• Compatibility of traditional PPBS with R&D – R&D is difficult to program given attendant risk – Greater flexibility is required to exploit success and terminate failure• Old is new – Breakthroughs in one arena may renew the feasibility of discarded concepts – Hiller Flying Platform (1955) => Micro Air Vehicle (2007)• Sustained U.S. technical advantage – Technical superiority is fleeting and never a given – Multi-national partnering and foreign talent offers both gain and loss• Exigency of war – Active conflict presents focused challenges and collective sense of urgency – Urgency yields resources, enabling swifter transition 15
    • 16. RecommendationsSustain• Maintain internship program tours for three months; enough time to gain insight into a wide variety of program areas.• All-access pass to DARPA and meetings/briefs to director• Access to industry performers, universities, and national labs• Good balance between program technical details and business aspectsImprove• AF has one-year fellowship program which includes PME – similar program for Navy in the future?• Assignment of interns/fellows to specific programs to guide transition• Make comprehensive database of DARPA programs available to alumni of the intern program 16
    • 17. RecommendationsSustain• Maintain internship program tours for three months; enough time to gain insight into a wide variety of program areas.• All-access pass to DARPA and meetings/briefs to director• Access to industry performers, universities, and national labs• Good balance between program technical details and business aspectsImprove• AF has one-year fellowship program which includes PME – similar program for Navy in the future?• Assignment of interns/fellows to specific programs to guide transition• Make comprehensive database of DARPA programs available to alumni of the intern program 17
    • 18. Recommendations• Expand outreach program – DARPA online design studio • Provide virtual components and challenges to fledgling designers • Cash incentives for adopted designs – Persistent web presence – Access to broader and more diverse talent pool• Develop countermeasures concurrent with new technology – Gap between defense and commercial technology appears to be shrinking • Reduces cost, but provides broader access • Consider adversarial use of internet, cell phones, GPS, etc. – Engineer the exploitation mechanism concurrently• Expand into non-traditional DARPA domains – National security is not founded solely on hard science – Psychology, Anthropology, Political Science, Economics etc. may warrant additional emphasis to facilitate shaping and deterrence operations 18
    • 19. Recommendations• Expanding the Intern Experience – Intern planning and coordination for trips is important to gain an understanding of the Director, PM, SETA, Performer relationship – Allowing interns to continue to visit DARPA and receive DARPA updates critical to maintaining and growing the DARPA to Service link – Consider expanding the program or design another opportunity for key civilian Government Service employees to learn about DARPA (T&E, Acquisition, Logistics) – Consider a discussion on how the transition of technology, program or system from DARPA to respective Service(s) works and its integration as a program of record through JCIDS• Other – Expanding the Executive Branch (DoD’s, DHS, DOJ, DOE etc) scientific and technology efforts and coordinating those efforts among and with the services is critical to DoD and our country’s future • Attract more hard science into the services (ROTC, GI Bill) • Technology collaboration and leverage 19
    • 20. Summary• Internship provides access to both a multi-disciplinary talent pool and technologies that cannot readily be gained elsewhere• Opportunity to conduct site visits and engage with performers provides insight into the views of industry, university, and government researchers• The depth and breadth of DARPA’s programs address all warfighting functions in some capacity• Research and development presents unique challenges requiring flexible solutions• Technical superiority cannot be retained without commensurate investment in facilities and personnel• Active conflict is a strong impetus for change 20
    • 21. Summary• DARPA Internship is a great career-broadening experience – More officers need to understand DARPA and its role in S&T – Each service benefits from exposure to the other branches and varying career fields – Great place to learn about R&D competitive sourcing process• DARPA benefits from operator perspectives – Opportunities for partnership down the road – Focusing development efforts• Looking forward to working with DARPA in the future! Thank you for this opportunity. 21