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The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)

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posted on Jun, 20 2004 @ 09:37 PM
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The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) was established in 1958 as the first U.S. response to the Soviet launching of Sputnik. Since that time, DARPA's primary role has been to maintain the United States' technological superiority for military capabilities and to guard against unforeseen technological advances by potential adversaries. The DARPA mission is to go beyond traditional thinking and develop imaginative, innovative and often high risk research ideas. These ideas will offer a significant technological impact and the pursuit of these ideas will be from the demonstration of technical feasibility through the development of prototype systems. Strong support from the senior Department of Defense management has been essential, with DARPA being a deliberate counterpoint to traditional thinking and approaches. Four decades after it's founding, DARPA is still very similiar today. The principle exception is its reporting chain. Initially, DARPA reported to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary, it later came under the Under Secretary of Defense, and more recently under the Director for Defense Research and Engineering. Today, DARPA is an organization of 240 personnel (approximately 140 of which are technical) directly managing a budget of $2 billion. Some projects are under $1 million and a few are in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Regardless of size, a single DARPA Program Manager is in charge and must manage and represent the project internally and externally. DARPA's ability to adapt rapidly to changing situations and to embrace opportunities in both technology and processes, while maintaining the proven founding principles of the Agency, makes DARPA a unique research and development organization and the crown jewel in Defense research and development.




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