The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) gets a ton of funding to develop the science and technological future of the military.This is the agency responsible for GPS, the internet and stealth planes. They’re the real deal. We looked at their active projects to find the ones that might have massive civilian implications if they eventually produce real-world tech. The last few times we did this, we focused on the Defense Science Office, the Information Innovation Office and the Microsystems Technology Office. This time, we look at the Strategic Technologies Office,  which is researching the weapons that will eventually define high-tech communications systems.


DARPA’s ISIS system is a self-sustaining stratospheric military recon blimp

DARPA is developing a solar powered sensor of “unprecedented proportions” in their Integrated Sensor is Structure (ISIS) program.

It’s a stratospheric airship that will conduct persistent wide area surveillance, tracking, and engagement of air and ground targets.

It’s compressing antennae and high-density components into a single airship. A floating radar system could change the way that people perceive their world and weather.