CAMBRIDGE, MA—Draper recently hosted officials of the U.S. Air Force for a briefing on the company’s efforts to increase the nation’s capacity for research and development of advanced systems for national security. Air Force officials took time out during the visit to interact with and recognize a group of students in military education programs for their continued pursuit of advanced education and service to the nation.
Officials underscored the value to the nation for organizations like Draper, not just in terms of advancing capacity for research, development, testing and evaluation (RDT&E), but their continued leadership to develop and promote tech talent on behalf of the U.S. The Air Force’s close partnership with Draper includes the company’s fellowship program that includes 11 top-tier science and technology universities. The Draper Fellow Program has supported over 1,000 graduate students pursuing advanced degrees in engineering and the sciences since 1973.
Draper’s major contributions to national defense include the development of inertial guidance systems for ballistic missile applications and space missions; autonomous guidance, navigation & control systems for unmanned underwater vehicles; highly reliable computing systems for undersea, air and space vehicles; miniature electromechanical systems for guided munitions; and the world’s smallest electronics packaging technology. In each example, Draper developed and advanced the technology, built the first prototypes and conducted field tests and operational demonstrations.