Four DARPA project that can outdo the Internet
Material posted: Publication date: 03-08-2014

Forty years ago a group of researchers at the money of the military Department decided to test a very bizarre idea to make the computers to communicate some unusual ways: mailing address digital data packets like a call to a phone number. The project, named ARPANET, subsequently radically changed the life of mankind, having turned to the Internet.

Today, the organization that funded the creation of the Internet, called DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Agency defense advanced research). Its budget of around $ 3 billion, distributed among 250 different projects. All of them are developed within the framework of U.S. national security, but many DARPA projects may subsequently be commercialized and released for free circulation, changing life as much as the authors and do not imply. What now works for DARPA that may in the future according to their influence to surpass that of the Internet?

Atomic GPS

At the time, DARPA was involved in the development of GPS. It is an excellent tool which is daily used by millions of people, however, the cost of maintaining the health of the GPS is constantly growing. Today the cost of one satellite reaches 223 million, which was one of the reasons for the decrease in procurement by the air Force.

DARPA has no specific program to replace GPS, but the two projects may well qualify for this. We are talking about QuASAR (Quantum Assisted Sensing), auxiliary quantum measurement, and the chip combinatorial atomic navigation C-SCAN. If you learn to measure accurately, as the acceleration and direction of Earth's magnetic field affects the atoms (stored at very low temperatures), it is possible to navigate without using satellites. That is, you can create location-based system that will be 1,000 times more precisely any modern systems.

The British army also is investing millions of pounds in a similar technology. Their researchers say that within five years will be able to develop the first prototype. The importance of quantum navigation for the military is obvious: it will allow them much more control over the troops and strike with missiles. Perhaps the drones with quantum compasses also do not need navigation satellites, which will make them much less vulnerable on the battlefield.

That can give this technology to everyone else, that is us? For example, future gadgets will know your location relative to other devices without using expensive satellite navigation. That is, units that use geolocation will become smaller and cheaper, radically improved and simplified many systems and gadgets, ranging from search engines to "unmanned" vehicles and drones for pizza delivery.

However, a more important application of quantum GPS civilians will be to ensure privacy. Your smartphone will not get a signal from space to determine your location. This will complicate its detection, and therefore yours too.

Terahertz electronics and metamaterials

Called the terahertz range of the electromagnetic spectrum between microwaves used in cellular communication, and infrared waves. Today it is uncharted territory, but if we can figure out how to use this range, we will be able to create many devices that do not conflict with others within the spectrum. This will give the military a strategic advantage when multiple devices use the same radio wave range.

Research in the field of THz technology can be used when creating so-called metamaterials used for radar absorbing coating aircraft and probably even create invisible camouflage.

Because terahertz radiation is non-penetrating, unlike x-ray, the clothing of metamaterials with small THz sensors would help to quickly and accurately detect any chemical changes in our body, i.e. to define health problems. In fact, a personal pocket doctor.

Anti-virus protection for the Internet of things

CISCO predicts that by 2020 the world will be 50 billion interconnected devices. Everything from consumer electronics to street lighting, pipes and industrial equipment will be connected to a single management information network. Today it is called the Internet of Things.

In 2012 DARPA announced a program HACMS (High Assurance Cyber Military Systems, Military cybernated systems of high reliability). This program is designed to provide protection against potential threats that may arise in the Internet of things. The Agency is trying to create a technology that will not allow you to hack into military equipment, medical equipment and even drones. In the future the software developed in the framework of HACMS can be the ideal antivirus that will protect civil segment of the Internet of things. This achievement will not be as noticeable as the Internet itself. But the value of this hypothetical technology it is possible to estimate by the fact that it will not happen industrial disaster. Many experts predict that without adequate protection the Internet of things will never achieve their potential. This future network can completely change the life of humanity, but you need to make it completely safe.

Evaluation of direct threats

Program RTA (Rapid Threat Assessment) aimed at acceleration of studies of various deadly diseases. Instead of months or years, DARPA wants to give the opportunity "for 30 days fully reproduce the mechanism of impact of different pathogens on the human body at the molecular level." That is to create a working environment, through which researchers will be able to develop counter-measures to various biological threats.

As in the case of antivirus Internet of things technology best RTA can be estimated from the woes that she will be able to prevent by pandemics. For example, we've spent years and large sums of money on finding that the bird flu virus H5N1 has become more dangerous due to the appearance of amino acids in a certain place. As a result, the virus was transferred in the lungs of mammals and can be transmitted through the air. If it was possible to find out earlier, we could save many lives.

If we talk about the long term, then, within the next decades, technology will help RTA to radically change our method of drug development. And this, in turn, will help to minimize the threat from chemical and biological arsenals of potential adversaries, "the country of eternal democracy".

Before any of these technologies will reach the level of the Internet, DARPA has to contend with peculiar to all government agencies problem: times are changing much faster than the thinking of government officials. And neponimanie changes can be a key obstacle to the incarnation of revolutionary ideas.


Tags: innovation , USA , science , DARPA