IARPA in the News


The Internet of Things promises to change everyday life—and intelligence operations—but it remains far from reality, according to government and industry experts. Aspects ranging from security to architectures remain to be determined as changing technologies alter outlooks.

An afternoon panel at the AFCEA/INSA Intelligence and National Security Summit 2014, being held September 18-19 in Washington, D.C., discussed some of these issues. Chris Reed, program manager, Office of Smart Collection, Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency (IARPA), said he sees a lot of potential benefits from networking a large number of devices, but many technical barriers remain before planners can unlock what those benefits are.


New research into terahertz radiation could lead to light detectors that can see below the surface of bodies, walls, and other objects, with applications in fields as diverse as mobile communications, medical imaging, chemical sensing, night vision, and security.

Xinghan Cai, Andrei Sushkov, Gregory Jenkins and Dennis Drew of the Center for Nanophysics and Advanced Materials, University of Maryland, College Park, in Maryland, Ryan Suess, Mohammad Jadidi, Shanshan Li and Thomas Murphy of the Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics, physicist Luke Nyakiti of the Texas A&M, Jun Yan of the of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and Michael Fuhrer of Monash University, in Victoria, Australia, are supported through grants from the US Office of Naval Research, the National Science Foundation and the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity.

Science Codex

After nearly four years to complete, researchers belie they have opened a fundamentally new direction in photonics.

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego have built the first 500 Gigahertz (GHz) photon switch. "Our switch is more than an order of magnitude faster than any previously published result to date," said UC San Diego electrical and computer engineering professor Stojan Radic. "That exceeds the speed of the fastest lightwave information channels in use today."


A novel ultrafast photon switch could pave the way to a new class of sensitive receivers, faster sensors and optical-processing devices.

A team from the University of California, San Diego, created the 500-GHz photon switch, which they have already used to control photons in optical fiber channels.

Military & Aerospace Electronics

Experts from the U.S. Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency (IARPA) in Washington will brief industry on the breadth and depth of IARPA's research initiatives on 29 and 30 Oct. 2014 in the College Park, Md., area.


The ODNI/the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) is proud to announce that Acquisition Officer Dan Clemons is a recipient of the 2014 Nextgov Bold Award, the media group’s highest honor.

Now in their second year, the Bold Awards recognize innovators and leaders who creatively tackle technical problems across the government. This year, nearly 100 teams and individuals were nominated for the award, which was presented at the Nextgov Prime conference on 8 September.

Dan, who has worked at IARPA since May 2009, was nominated for his work designing, implementing and maintaining the IARPA Distribution and Evaluation System (IDEAS). IDEAS is a highly secure, web-based software tool which enables online submission and evaluation of unclassified proposals submitted in response to IARPA’s research solicitations, rather than via mail in hard copy.

“Prior to IDEAS,” Dan says, “we used the typical paper proposal process to evaluate proposals. It was manpower intensive—we made a lot of copies—and required us to bring all our evaluators into our building for manual review at the same time.” He also noted that the traditional mailing process disadvantaged submitters located across the globe who would have to factor in mailing time to meet the deadline.

With IDEAS, however, submitters can simply upload their responses on the website, editing and changing their proposals even minutes before the deadline. Reviewers can evaluate the responses electronically at their convenience, minimizing the need to travel away from their workspaces. “We’ve made the entire process more efficient and effective,” says Dan. “And there are no more paper copies, which helps IARPA to comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act.”

Work like Dan’s and the Bold Awards prove that “innovation in government isn’t an oxymoron, but a concept that’s alive and well,” said Nextgov Executive Editor Camille Tuutti. “We’re excited to see what’s next.”


...It’s clear the Internet of Things has great promise.

But this convergence of the physical and virtual worlds also presents dangers....

...[A]ccording to Chris Reed, program manager at the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity. “Some of that data is going to be of poor quality, and if we don’t treat that data appropriately, we can make dangerous decisions based on that data,” he cautioned.