September 8, 2005, San Diego, CA--The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded Cubic Defense Applications, the defense segment of Cubic Corporation, a 15-month, $6.1 million research and development contract to continue Cubic's work on Phase 2 of the Dynamic Optical Tags (DOTs) program.
Cubic's DOTs allow long-range, covert two-way data exchange and reconfiguration to reduce chances of losing assets and lives in tactical operations. Because they use laser technology instead of radio frequency (RF) signals, DOTs are unseen. This means they can be used in hostile environments with very low probability of detection or interception.
Cubic received funding for the first phase of the DOTS program in 2003. Since that time, the company has demonstrated the capability of the system to perform two-way optical ground-to-ground communication. Cubic has also built prototype tags and a prototype interrogator, the two main components of the DOTS system. The recent award funds the second phase of the DOTs program, which includes miniaturizing the existing tag to a specified size and developing and testing a prototype airborne interrogator.
"A non-RF and visually unobservable system like DOTS is critically needed in today's combat environment to make tactical operations safer and more effective," said Gerald R. Dinkel, president and CEO of Cubic Defense Applications (CDA). "DOTS can pinpoint the location of friendly vehicles and personnel, giving battle commanders situational awareness of where their most valuable assets are without breaking radio silence. They can also be used to help reduce many of the risks associated with tracking and directing precision strikes on enemy targets."