DARPA Opens Up To The Public
Peter Suciu for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which has funded a number of advanced – mostly secret – research projects, this week launched a new public website. The Open Catalog site features a list of DARPA-sponsored software and peer-reviewed publications, which are intended to encourage those interested in software and research to build on the agency’s past work.
DARPA announced on Tuesday that its investment in various programs has led to new advances as well as practical software. Through the Open Catalog DARPA, which is the research arm of the United States Department of Defense (DoD), published a list of all open source computer projects it had funded, and also included links to source code as well as academic papers that further detailed the code’s underlying concepts.
DARPA also acknowledged that many past research efforts and software procurements contain publicly releasable elements, which do include open source software, and the nature of this further lends itself to even greater collaboration. To this end DARPA has developed an open source strategy for these of works, and this includes big data to help increase the overall impact of government investment in building a flexible tech base.
“Making our open source catalog available increases the number of experts who can help quickly develop relevant software for the government,” said Chris White, DARPA program manager, who joined DARPA in August 2011 with a focus on developing the enabling technology required for efficiently processing, analyzing and visualizing large volumes of data in a military/mission-oriented context via a statement. “Our hope is that the computer science community will test and evaluate elements of our software and afterward adopt them as either standalone offerings or as components of their products.”
The DARPA Open Catalog contains publically releasable materials, which begin with the XDATA program for the Information Innovation Office (I2O). The site also offers partially funded toolkits, which DARPA noted are “designed to encourage flexible development of software that may enable users of targeted defense applications to process large volumes of data in a timely manner to meet their mission requirements.”
The Open Catalog offers two main sections, one for software and another for publications – and DARPA said it remains committed to releasing other software, publications, data and experimental results generated by its various programs.
The Software Table lists categories as well as a description of the project and applicable software license, while the Publications Table contains information about author(s), title and links to the aforementioned peer-reviewed articles that are related to specific DARPA programs.
So what might some of the newly released materials include? As Wired noted, “DARPA is known for some pretty whacked out projects. Mind controlled exoskeletons. Space colonization. Turning pets into intelligence assets. That sort of thing. But it does have a more sober side. The agency funded the creation of the network that eventually became the internet, for example. And, more recently, it funded work on Mesos, the open source platform used by Twitter to scale applications across thousands of servers. It’s more of the latter that shows up on DARPA’s new site.”