DARPA Develops Military System Performance Prediction Tools

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has developed mathematical tools and methods to help designers understand risks associated with the design and modeling of large military systems such as aerospace vehicles and engines.

Research teams under DARPA’s Enabling Quantification of Uncertainty in Physical Systems program have developed uncertainty quantification tools to increase chances that new military systems will perform as designed, DARPA said Wednesday.

“We aim to make UQ a tractable part of simulation and modeling even for the most complex of design problems,” said Fariba Fahroo, a DARPA program manager.

Mathematical tools developed under DARPA’s EQUiPS program are intended to support various systems such as aerospace structures and integrated circuits, Fahroo added.

A Brown University-led EQUiPS research group is creating theoretical foundations for the Design Under Uncertainty tool that aims to simplify design processes for defense systems that face numerous development uncertainties.

The team — composed of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Virginia Tech, University of California and the Naval Postgraduate School — is also developing an unconventional hydrofoil surface sea vessel designed to function at a speed of more than 120 knots in calm sea states and 60 knots in extreme sea states.

Another research team, led by Stanford University, uses EQUiPS methods in a project that looks to optimize the design for a supersonic jet engine exhaust nozzle and provide maximum thrust efficiency.

Stanford collaborates with the Colorado School of Mines, University of Michigan and Sandia National Laboratories on the supersonic nozzle study, DARPA said.

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