Accession Number : ADA584117

Title :   Driving Technological Surprise: DARPA's Mission in a Changing World


Full Text :

Report Date : Apr 2013

Pagination or Media Count : 17

Abstract : In 1958, at the height of the Cold War, with a tight focus on a single major adversary and in the wake of the shock associated with the Soviet launch of the world s first satellite, Sputnik, our Nation established the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) with a mission of preventing technological surprise from adversely affecting our country while creating surprises for U.S. adversaries. The Second World War was still fresh in our memories, and the atomic capability that marked its end hung heavily over global affairs in that early postwar era. It was a time when the United States was the fastest growing economy in the world. Automobiles and steel were our premier industries. Communications meant a phone call or airmail, while computing meant a slide rule or a room full of vacuum tubes. The integrated circuit was invented and first built that yeyear. Our world and technology have changed many times in myriad ways since 1958. Throughout these decades, DARPA has kept a sharp focus on its mission, making the pivotal early investments that led to potent new technologies and capabilities that prevented and created strategic surprise and often contributed to the major global changes over this period. DARPA created materials science as a field by investing in this cross-disciplinary area in its earliest years. The revolution in information technology traces many of its roots to DARPA s work in the ARPAnet, computing, graphics, integrated circuit design, client/server architectures, artificial intelligence, and communications. DARPA demonstrated positioning from satellites and miniaturized receivers, leading to today's omnipresent global positioning system (GPS) capabilities. Aircraft stealth technology originated in DARPA inspiration and investment, as did unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).


Subject Categories : Information Science
      Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE