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8 APRIL 2017 MILITARY & AEROSPACE ELECTRONICS www.militaryaerospace.com
DARPA rolls out molecular data storage
project to handle flood of information
BY JOHN KELLER
ARLINGTON, Va. — U.S. military re-
searchers have outlined a plan for
industry to develop completely new
kinds of data storage technologies
that operate on the molecular
and chemical level to handle vast
streams of information from recon-
naissance, electronic warfare
(EW), signals intelligence (SIGINT),
persistent surveillance, and other
data-intensive military applications.
Officials of the U.S. Defense
Advanced Research Projects Agency
(DARPA) briefed industry earlier this
month on the Molecular Informatics
project, which seeks to develop and
test ways to store and process information with molecules.
Data storage and processing
is central to U.S. Department of
Defense (DOD) activities across
areas like platform design and opti-
mization, sensing, mission planning
and logistics, and health care.
While current computational
architectures remain essential, new
complementary approaches are nec-
essary to provide advanced capabil-
ities as the complexity and volume
of data grows, DARPA researchers
Chemistry offers a yet-untapped
source of molecular diversity that
could be harnessed for scalable
information storage and processing.
By manipulating properties
such as structure, size, charge, and
polarity, researchers may develop
a vast design space enabling dense
data representations and highly
versatile computing concepts that
operate outside of the traditional
digital and logic-based approach.
DARPA researchers are working with industry
to develop information technologies that
store data on the molecular level.