The mission is to provide rapid response to warfighting requirements
CAMBRIDGE, MA – As the U.S. military modernizes its warfighting capabilities, U.S. adversaries often respond by introducing advanced capabilities of their own. Russia, for example, which has had anti-satellite capability for decades, is exploring lasers for use in space, and China is reportedly building ground-based weapons with potential reach to strategic geosynchronous satellites.
Draper plans to help address these military threats, in part, by participating in a program to provide rapid response to immediate warfighter requirements to the U.S. Army. Draper has been selected to join several teams of defense contractors that will design, develop, demonstrate and integrate products and systems focused on the development of space, high altitude and missile defense and ground system capabilities, enabling warfighters to effectively support their mission.
“One way the U.S. military supports the warfighter is by staying vigilant to urgent, immediate and emerging threats,” said Pete Paceley, general manager of Draper’s Huntsville, Alabama office. “As a company with a heritage in proven military systems and technologies, Draper brings capabilities drawn from decades supporting the Department of Defense, U.S. Strategic Command, unified combatant commands, other military branches and government agencies.”
Draper’s contribution will be in support of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/ Army Forces Strategic Command’s (USASMDC/ARSTRAT) Design, Development, Demonstration and Integration, or D3I, Domain 1 program. The program will reduce acquisition cycle times for contract actions for the command, and for USASMDC/ARSTRAT’s customers, by reducing the procurement lead times.
The D3I acquisition is divided into three separate domains. Draper is already participating in the D31 Doman 2 contract, which covers “Information Integration and Data Exploitation.” The D3I Domain 1 is a multiple-award contract procured through full and open competition, utilizing Federal Acquisition Regulation Part 15 procedures.
Under the D3I Domain 1 contract, Draper brings capabilities to the contract teams in mission-critical areas including space systems, integrated air and missile defense, avionics, surveillance, reconnaissance and guidance, navigation and control (GN&C). Draper’s contract work will primarily be performed in Huntsville, Alabama and Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Draper has supported the U.S. military’s strategic mission for more than 60 years. For the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM), Draper has developed image navigation for precision guidance of munitions even when GPS is not available. In addition to working with navigation systems, Draper has assisted the Army with projects including cybersecurity, technology protection and miniature cryptography for high stress environments. Draper and the Army have also worked together on a vision-aided navigation system that addresses current limitations, including cloud cover, which degrades the system’s ability to correlate vision sensor inputs with satellite imagery.
Draper develops novel PN&T solutions by combining precision instrumentation, advanced hardware technology, comprehensive algorithm and software development skills, and unique infrastructure and test resources to deploy system solutions. The scope of these efforts generally focuses on guidance, navigation, and control GN&C-related needs, ranging from highly accurate, inertial solutions for (ICBMs) and inertial/stellar solutions for SLBMs, to integrated Inertial Navigation System(INS)/GPS solutions for gun-fired munitions, to multisensor configurations for soldier navigation in GPS-challenged environments. Emerging technologies under development that leverage and advance commercial technology offerings include celestial navigation (compact star cameras), inertial navigation (MEMS, cold atom sensors), precision time transfer (precision optics, chip-scale atomic clocks) and vision-based navigation (cell phone cameras, combinatorial signal processing algorithms).
Draper combines mission planning, PN&T, situational awareness, and novel GN&C designs to develop and deploy autonomous platforms for ground, air, sea and undersea needs. These systems range in complexity from human-in-the-loop to systems that operate without any human intervention. The design of these systems generally involves decomposing the mission needs into sets of scenarios that result in trade studies that lead to an optimized solution with key performance requirements. Draper continues to advance the field of autonomy through research in the areas of mission planning, sensing and perception, mobility, learning, real-time performance evaluation and human trust in autonomous systems.
Draper develops precision instrumentation systems that exceed the state-of-the-art in key parameters (input range, accuracy, stability, bandwidth, ruggedness, etc.) that are designed specifically to operate in our sponsor’s most challenging environments (high shock, high temperature, radiation, etc.). As a recognized leader in the development and application of precision instrumentation solutions for platforms ranging from missiles to people to micro-Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), Draper finds or develops state-of-the-art components (gyros, accelerometers, magnetometers, precision clocks, optical systems, etc.) that meet the demanding size, weight, power and cost needs of our sponsors and applies extensive system design capabilities consisting of modeling, mechanical and electrical design, packaging and development-level testing to realize instrumentation solutions that meet these critical and demanding needs.
Draper has developed mission-critical fault-tolerant systems for more than four decades. These systems are deployed in space, air, and undersea platforms that require extremely high reliability to accomplish challenging missions. These solutions incorporate robust hardware and software partitioning to achieve fault detection, identification and reconfiguration. Physical redundancy or multiple, identical designs protect against random hardware failures and employ rigor in evaluating differences in computed results to achieve exact consensus, even in the presence of faults. The latest designs leverage cost-effective, multicore commercial processors to implement software-based redundancy management systems in compact single-board layouts that perform the key timing, communication, synchronization and voting algorithm functions needed to maintain seamless operation after one, two or three arbitrary faults of individual components.
Over the past 10 years, Draper has extracted miniature systems and real-time embedded systems design knowledge to develop cyber capabilities to assess software vulnerabilities and capabilities to secure electronics systems. Additionally, Draper has demonstrated secure networks featuring over-the-air keying to realize cryptographically encoded, high-bandwidth communications for UAVs and other applications. These complementary capabilities and technologies provide robust security solutions to guard critical embedded systems against cyber, reverse engineering, and other attacks and ensure that critical information can be protected and delivered in a timely and accurate manner.
Draper has continued to advance the understanding and application of human-centered engineering to optimize the interaction and capabilities of the human’s ability to better understand, assimilate and convey information for critical decisions and tasks. Through its Human-Centered Solutions capability, Draper enables accomplishment of users’ most critical missions by seamlessly integrating technology into a user’s workflow. This work leverages human-computer interaction through emerging findings in applied psychophysiology and cognitive neuroscience. Draper has deep skills in the design, development, and deployment of systems to support cognition – for users seated at desks, on the move with mobile devices or maneuvering in the cockpit of vehicles – and collaboration across human-human and human-autonomous teams.