Advanced Systems Technology Drone
Advanced Weapon Systems

SPC provides RDT&E and SETA services in support of a number of highly-sophisticated weapon systems projects. SPC supports efforts to discover technological improvements that can project precise force at a distance, prosecute time-sensitive-targets with minimal collateral damage, and decisively respond across the full spectrum of an armed conflict. SPC’s advanced weapons systems’ project experience includes providing solutions on how to rapidly respond, identify, and track threats in complex environments, persist over the battle space, and strike fixed and mobile targets at any range throughout the entire battle space (air, land, urban, subterranean, and maritime).

Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance (EXACTO)
exacto ordinance (bullet)For military snipers, acquiring moving targets in unfavorable conditions, such as high winds and dusty terrain commonly found in Afghanistan, is extremely challenging with current technology. It is critical that snipers be able to engage targets faster, and with better accuracy, since any shot that doesn’t hit a target also risks the safety of troops by indicating their presence and potentially exposing their location.

The Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance (EXACTO) system seeks to improve sniper effectiveness and enhance troop safety by allowing greater shooter standoff range and reduction in target engagement timelines. The objective of the EXACTO program is to revolutionize rifle accuracy and range by developing the first ever guided small-caliber bullet. The EXACTO 50- caliber round and optical sighting technology expects to greatly extend the day and nighttime range over current state-of-the-art sniper systems. The system combines a maneuverable bullet and a real-time guidance system to track and deliver the projectile to the target, allowing the bullet to change path during flight to compensate for any unexpected factors that may drive it off course.

Warrior Web
Assistive suitThe Warrior Web program seeks to develop the technologies required to prevent and reduce musculoskeletal injuries and have the capacity to augment positive work done by the muscles, to reduce the physical burden. The ultimate program goal is a lightweight, conformal under-suit that is transparent to the user (like a diver's wetsuit). The suit seeks to employ a system (or web) of closed-loop controlled actuation, transmission, and functional structures that protect injury prone areas, focusing on the soft tissues that connect and interface with the skeletal system. The suit is not intended to interfere with current warfighter "soldier systems," such as external body armor, rather it aims to augment them to improve warfighter effectiveness. The suit seeks to reduce the metabolic cost of carrying a typical assault load, as well as compensate for the weight of the suit itself, while consuming no more than 100 Watts of electric power from the battery source.
Helicopter Alert and Threat Termination – Acoustic (HALTT-A)
hellicopters carrying troopsFor many years, military aircraft have used sophisticated electronic countermeasures to detect and defend against surface-to-air missiles. DARPA’s Helicopter Alert and Threat Termination (HALTT) system is the agency’s effort to advance helicopter survivability, by using advanced technology to protect against unguided – but equally dangerous – small arms fire. Specifically, the system’s technology detects and locates the enemy shooter and alerts the crew through a visual display screen and an audio alert. With the advances in acoustics technology, helicopter aircrews are warned of enemy gun fire in real-time, enabling them to take evasive action and/or launch a counterattack.

SPC provided expert technical analysis on the Helicopter Alert and Threat Termination – Acoustic (HALTT-A) program and critical support in the test and evaluation of this latest technology. The HALTT-A technology uses advanced sensors that are able to detect the supersonic shock waves produced by a bullet in flight. SPC conducted its initial tests aboard an Army UH-60L Black Hawk and extended the testing to a Special Operations Command (SOCOM) MH-47 Chinook to gauge how the HALTT technology translated to different air platforms.

Manufacturable Gradient Index Optics (M-GRIN)
Optics exploded viewEvery component of an optical system has become lighter and smaller over the last century, except for the optics themselves. With hundreds of optics-dependent systems in use across the DoD, this creates significant limitations on current defense systems. However, recent advances in the design and fabrication of gradient index (GRIN) optics have changed the technological landscape for specialized optics manufacturing and provide far-reaching implications for the U.S. military. DARPA’s Manufacturable Gradient Index Optics (M-GRIN) program seeks to leverage these advances to make custom GRIN lenses readily available to the warfighter within the next three years.

As light generally travels in straight lines and, although an ordinary lens can bend light, it is often impossible to get a single lens to make all the light end up in its desired location. Instead, legacy optics systems must use a combination of many lenses, which leads to large, heavy, and complex optical assemblies, higher manufacturing costs, and limited capability. However, recent advances in plastic extrusion, which enable thin films of different refractive indices to be combined and shaped to direct light arbitrarily through a lens, have drastically reduced the size, scope, and cost of specialized optical assemblies.

The M-GRIN program seeks to advance GRIN design and fabrication technology for military initiatives. SPC provides the M-GRIN program with financial, administrative, and SETA support services, along with technical analysis for imaging sensors such as night vision and laser radar (LADAR) and materials with optical or non-imaging applications. These applications can include tagging and tracking, upconverting films, and providing low-cost or high efficiency solar cells and LEDs. The program seeks to design, fabricate, and demonstrate manufacturing feasibility of GRIN-based optical assemblies for a high-performance color camera lens and a two-color solar concentrator. The program addresses all of the following technology areas: materials development, optical element design, test and evaluation methods (metrology), and manufacturing.