Raytheon Technologies, High-Payoff/High-Risk R&D for Full-Spectrum Dominance with Bradford Tousley

Raytheon Technologies, High-Payoff/High-Risk R&D for Full-Spectrum Dominance with Bradford Tousley

Show Video

Samuele Lilliu (SL). Thank you very much for doing  this and thanks to your colleagues for making   this possible. You were recently appointed Vice  President at the Advanced Concepts & Technology   for Raytheon Intelligence and Space,  which is part of Raytheon Technologies.1   In the past, you've worked on really fascinating  projects, you spent quite a lot of time at DARPA,   as the Director of the Tactical Technology  Officers. Really interesting stuff.  

I'm a big fan. I've seen lots of videos on some of  the programs we've been running. And now because   this is relevant now, I was wondering if you  saw the recent crewed flight test a few days   ago,2 I guess that was the result of the DARPA's  Airborne Launch Assist Space Access. Right?3   Bradford Tousley (BT). The DARPA Airborne Launch  Assist Space Access, I think it was called ALASA.  

SL. The other project I saw was the DARPA Robotics  Challenge.4 I saw a couple of videos showcasing   the competition. That was amazing. I've seen  there's been a huge evolution with these robots.   If you consider, for example, Atlas,5 it started  with those hooks and things and cables, and then   there was a video last year where it was doing  jumps and really crazy stuff.6 So are these   robots ready to be deployed for applications  or they're still too loud and bulky to be used   for real applications? What's the situation now? BT. Well, I think there's two or three things you   can consider there. One is, is the development  of robotics capability, it's going to be   fundamentally enhanced by power capabilities,  because the systems are all limited by power.  

We humans, we are a marvel of biomechanics  and integration of biological energy into   muscles and tissue. So the robotic systems  are going to be limited for now in terms   of their power capability. That is the fundamental  limit. In terms of autonomy and in terms of the   connection of them to humans and human-machine  teaming, that's coming along quite well.   You brought up the Robotics Challenge. I  would say that, over the last 21 years,   DARPA and others have worked on robotics  challenges of various forms, whether it was   the Grand Challenge7 or the Robotics Challenge,4  there was the Red Balloon8 challenge, which is   about sharing of information. But all these  challenges were meant to inspire and innovate,  

and get the next step going forward in certain  areas. And I think the Robotics Challenge that   you talked about, was focused on bipeds, it  was focused on disaster relief, and there's   a lot of progress made in there. I know that. During the run up of the DRC, the DARPA Robotics   Challenge, I was afforded the opportunity  to go to Japan and see Fukushima, where   many of the tasks for the DRC were established  as a result of considering how could humans   employ robots in disaster relief situations. So I  think you'll see it there. But the rest of it is   going to be quite a bit manned-unmanned teaming,  human-machine teaming for the foreseeable future.  

And many of these systems are simply  going to be limited by the power and the   mechanics of them for some period of time. SL. So they're not ready to be deployed in   warfare scenarios yet? We're not going to  see any Terminator anytime soon, right?   BT. I don't believe so. I can't speak for all  countries, but I can say, at least within the   United States, the sense I'm getting is that we  have a strong sense of ethics of how we employ   autonomous systems in support of our warfighters.  And for the foreseeable future, they're going   to be involved in teemed operations only. SL. Yeah. I saw that you worked, long time ago,   you worked on GaAs photodetectors9-11  during and after your PhD in electrical   engineering at Rochester. So what kind of  impact did a background in electronics and  

nuclear engineering have on your career? BT. Well, yeah, nuclear engineering was way   back then, during my undergraduate degree. It was  insightful to teach me all about thermodynamics   and nuclear reactor theory, large structures. When I went to graduate school for electrical   engineering, my dissertation was on what's  called III-V semiconductors,12 the class of   semiconductors I worked on [was] In-Ga-As,13.  I was basically doing Applied Physics,  

trying to understand the carrier dynamics of  that particular material, which is used today   and phodetectors and high-speed electronics. The real essence, though, of what I achieved from   that or learn from that, was that research and  pioneering something is a very difficult process,   has a lot of trial and error, you have to have  perseverance. Some of the results of the ideas   you have coming into pioneering research  isn't necessarily the way it comes out.  

What I learned from all that was just the  difficulty of advanced research and you have   to be prepared to stick with it for the long  term and persevere through tough challenges.   Raytheon Technologies SL. Raytheon is one of   the largest aerospace intelligence service  providers and service manufacturers in the   world. You joined the company in late 2019. How  would you describe Raytheon? What's Raytheon   for you? How do you see the company? BT. Raytheon today is a very large  

aerospace, commercial and defense company.  I think we're about 180,000 people.   There's four major businesses, of which I'm  part of one, the four major businesses are   Raytheon Intelligence & Space, Raytheon Missile  Defense, Collins aerospace, and Pratt & Whitney.   In April [3rd] 2020, all four of those  businesses came together. That was  

heritage Raytheon [Corporation], and heritage  United Technologies [Corporation].14 It's a really   interesting combination of commercial, aerospace  and defense. It's got a long history. I think   United Technologies started back in the 1930s,  I believe. Raytheon started in 1922. Raytheon   particularly grew out of essential leadership of  Vannevar Bush, who was instrumental in the United   States and research development in WWII. United  technology has always been involved in propulsion   and power. Raytheon Technology got it started  working on radar systems. So it's got a long   history, and then the merger on April [3rd] 2020,  brings forward these four businesses to really   do great things in research and development and  science and technology and providing capabilities   for the population and for our warfighters. SL. Yeah, because you mentioned the history. I  

mean, Raytheon [Corporation] was founded in 1922,  I believe, and the company evolved from, let's   say, manufacturing electrical appliances, and  then it became one of the largest players in the   defense industry. What happened  there? When did you decide to   change direction? Was it during WWII? BT. Well, they were involved in electronics. But   one way to think about Raytheon's early pioneering  achievement had to do with radar systems. In  

the United States and the United Kingdom, during  WWII, there was quite a bit of advancement made in   early warning radar for detection  of aircraft, threating aircraft.   Raytheon was involved in that with the development  of microwave tubes. An example of how that   defense application migrated into the commercial  sector, back in the mid-40s was there were some   Raytheon engineers after the war that  were looking at microwave tube performance   in a laboratory and one of the scientists noticed  that he had a candy bar in his pocket, it was   getting hot, starting to melt when he was working  with these radar tubes, microwave tubes... today,   we will use solid state power amplifiers, but back  in the day, engineers were looking at essentially,   these electronic tubes to generate the energy to  power the radar system. Well, the heating of that  

candy bar was really the first idea that an  engineer had that, “hey, we might be able to   harness this into some sort of an encased  Steel Cage or electrical cage”. And that   was the basis of the microwave oven.15 Yeah,  that’s used today in kitchens around the world.   So it's interesting how defense technology becomes  commercial technology. But it all comes from   innovation, because who would have known that  a heated up candy bar would become the basis of   converting radar technology into something  that could be used in the kitchen.   SL. Because we mentioned DARPA, people  are probably familiar with DARPA,  

it's a public organization, but [they would  be] also familiar with Skunk Works (Lockheed   Martin),16 a private organization, when it  comes to advanced military technology. I guess,   Raytheon Advanced Concepts & Technology, the  ACT unit,17 is a relatively new entry this   space. Can you provide some background on  the ACT unit? How old is it? What's the   story behind it? And why was it established? BT. Yes, ACT began as a part of the business  

of Raytheon in 2007 and it was stood up  essentially to focus on prototyping capabilities,   largely under sponsorship from DARPA, and IARPA  and the US Air Force, organizations like that.   But it was stood up in order to explore the bounds  of sensors and subsystems, radars, electro-optical   instruments, infrared instruments, manned-unmanned  teaming, cyber, things like that. And it was stood   up in 2007 to focus on those early customers that  are focused on solving hard technical problems. So   the way to think about it, and I relate this back  to what I learned in my graduate schooling, was   you have to persevere through successes and  failures and research and development because   the path is not always linear. ACT was stood up to  focus on prototyping those systems, what's called  

6.1 to 6.3 funding or the prototype funding  for the US military and for our warfighters.   SL. What's 6.1 to 6.3? What's that? BT. Yeah, 6.1 is a category funding   in the United States. 6.1 funding is what we  call basic research. So if the US government   is going to fund somebody to do the most basic  research, the most exploratory, the most nascent,   that's what they call 6.1. And then when  you get into what's called 6.2 and 6.3,   you're starting to take those technologies and  combine them together to develop a new prototype,   and to wring it out and to see if it's going  to work. Within the US military establishment,   6.1 to 6.3 funding is often done well  before requirement is even established,  

because it's not clear that the US military is  going to establish a requirement for anything   until they know that technology fundamentally  works. So ACT's job is to help prove that point.   Sometimes we succeed, sometimes we fail.  But either way, we're going to persevere   through that challenge and try and solve that  prototype for Raytheon and for the warfighter.   SL. That links a little bit to the concept of  "high payoff and high-risk". Does that apply to   ACT as it applies to DARPA or there's  a slightly different mind-set because   [Raytheon] is a private company? BT. No, it's absolutely the same. It's   a great term "high payoff, high risk". A lot of  people would like to say, well, it's "high risk,  

high payoff". The point is, we're after the  maximum payoff we can get in the development of   new technology or a prototype. We accept the risk  that goes along with it and we understand that   our goal was to be successful, but sometimes we  will not be and so we go on to the next challenge.   But you're absolutely right. It's the highest  payoff we can get. And then we'll accept the risk  

along the way. And that that's fundamentally what  goes on in what I said, 6.1 to 6.3 research.   Once you start getting into 6.4 full blown  prototypes, or experimentation in the field with   the US military, with a warfighter, at that point,  the risk has been reduced substantially. And it's   then about experimenting with the concepts to  make sure that the military understands them and   then they can derive a formal requirement from  that, having the confidence that in this case   Raytheon can deliver the systems needed. Josephson Junction Microwave Bolometer   SL. Probably the recent papers that were published  in collaboration with Raytheon are part of this   type of research, right? There were some high  profile publications that Raytheon published   in Nature18,19 and Science,20,21 in collaboration  with groups worldwide top groups in Spain, Korea,   Japan and so on. So there was one publication in  Nature [titled] “Graphene-based Josephson Junction  

Microwave Bolometer”,18,19 where basically  you published a paper that details a bolometer   that is 100,000 times more sensitive than the  current commercial sensors. Can you tell me a   little bit about that work? What was that about? BT. Absolutely. That is what I would call 6.1 or   fundamental research. And that particular research  was attempted in order to validate an extremely   sensitive infrared detector, you call that out  correctly, it's called a microwave bolometer.   In this particular case, one of the researchers  at ACT, I think they partnered up with MIT,   developed essentially a single layer of  graphite, we call it a graphene detector,   in between two niobium electrodes on what's called  a Josephson Junction. That particular detector is,   as you said, extremely sensitive for microwave  infrared radiation. We've already sold one of  

those sensors to a university in Germany  that's using it for Dark Matter detection   in deep space. But that's an example of where some  researchers attempted something for the first time   to see how well that detector would work. That  is 6.1 research and we're going to carry it   forward and see what other system and prototype  applications that we can achieve with that.  

SL. Do you think it's an issue of the fact  that these detectors need to operate at   very low temperatures or near zero Kelvin? BT. When those detectors are operating at those   extremely low temperatures, what's called the  noise floor drops, and the sensitivity gets much,   much better. That was one of the reasons it was  attempted with graphene. Graphene as the material   is something that's being worked  on for the last 5 to 10 years.  

But what's novel here is the fact that it  was embedded in between two niobium junctions   in an extremely sensitive framework that can  be used for deep space astronomy, or it can   be used for switching and potentially quantum  computers. There's a variety of applications   that we see it can be employed in. But in this  particular case, the first implementation is for   Dark Matter detection and for essentially  extremely sensitive infrared astronomy.   SL. Because you mentioned that they are  very small, then it's going to be easier to   assemble them into a matrix to build up a  full size detector for imaging purposes.   BT. Those are the next sets of applications we're  looking at with that particular technology is “how  

do I scale up with many detectors?” In the case  of quantum computing, if I want to use them as   extremely sensitive photon detector, inside  of a quantum computer in a very cold chamber,   “how can I scale up with those as  well?” But the first step along the way,   in terms of this high payoff high risk approach,  the first step along the way, was to validate that   the single detectors work extremely effectively  by themselves. And that's what we've done.   SL. You guys work a lot with the universities  and I guess you do lots of partnerships with   universities. Do you have any research grants  available for scientists where they can go and   apply? Is there anything like that? BT. We do. Well, across Raytheon   Intelligence & Space, number one,  we work with a lot of universities,   on joint proposals. We do a lot of work from  the standpoint of internships across Raytheon  

Intelligence & Space. Frankly one way that we're  able to find great young talent to join Raytheon   Intelligence & Space is by the collaborative work  and the internships we do with universities.   In terms of specific grants,  I know universities will   pursue specific grants on their own.  [At] Raytheon Intelligence & Space   (ACT), most of our work is what I call CRAD  [Customer Research and Development], we do   a lot of work with universities in that,  where we'll be on the receiving end of   crowdfunding from the US government and then  we'll have grants or some sort of fixed price work   that we'll do with universities. I know, particularly on the 6.1 and 6.2,   where across Advanced Concepts & Technology we  do a lot of work with US universities today and   it's a key part of some of the advancements we  make and it's also a key part of our recruiting   good talent for the future. That's, that's a  critical part of the technology ecosystem.  

Quantum Computing SL. Now, in terms of quantum computing,   I believe you're working on quantum computers  as well, have you built one at Raytheon?   BT. Yeah, so ACT is working on what I would call  systems engineering of quantum computing. What I   mean by that is, there's a substantial amount of  money in the United States and around the world,   being dedicated into what I'll call large number  of qubits, a qubit is a quantum bit, large number   of qubits, for scaling up quantum computers  and applications, commercial and otherwise.   In the particular case of ACT and Raytheon  Intelligence & Space, we're focused on the   system engineering applications to understand  the algorithms, to understand the applications   such as optimization of aerospace structures,  and systems, and we're focused on understanding   the systems engineering and the noise  floor limits of the quantum computers.   It's one thing to simply say, "Well, I can build a  quantum computer with 50 or 100 qubits". The real   question is, "Can I build them and understand what  their performance is? What their noise floor is?   How well they perform with error correction  and with error rates and understanding it.  

It's simply not enough to just have a  large number of qubits in operation,   you have to understand from a systems engineering  framework, and how they work not just in theory,   but an operation in order to know what are the  potential applications we can really use them in.   So at Advanced Concepts & Technology, we're  focused on that systems engineering question.   SL. What can be done right  now with quantum computers?   BT. They are still in the research stage,  there are many press releases every year that   come out about “well, we have 20 cubits  or 30, or 40, we scaled all these up”.  

I think most people understand that in the near  term the applications for quantum computers are in   signal processing and optimization problems. And  what I mean by that is, when I want to scale up   and do a large number of qubits in parallel, and  I understand how to characterize each one of them,   then I can solve signal processing or  mathematical problems we call optimization,   which are problems in which I need to  scale a number of parameters in parallel,   and process them and then come out with a  solution. That's fundamentally different than our   canonical pipeline processors that we have in  large scale today. So we think those are the   near term applications. Longer term,   there's obviously desires to use quantum computers  from the standpoint of encryption, understanding   encryption, and what the fundamental limits are.  There's something called Shor's algorithm it was  

done many years ago, which postulated that  a highly performing quantum computer would   be able to break even the most demanding  encryption.22 So we do see those and those   potential applications coming down the pike. But today, what we're focused on is two things.   Number one, the system engineering question and  understandings out exactly how well they work with   the noise, what the noise sources are, and how to  characterize them. In the near term, applications   we see are in mathematical optimization. International Arms Trade  

SL. In terms of international business, I would  imagine that you're only allowed to sell non   state-of-the-art technology outside the USA.  I would imagine the USA would keep the most   advanced devices and things. So if you want to  sell something overseas, do you need approval from  

the US government for each contract you might need  to sign? What you're allowed to sell overseas?   BT. Raytheon Intelligence & Space is  obviously a US-based defense contractor,   commercial, and aerospace and defense. And we  develop quite a bit of advanced technology.   From a business standpoint, and from a United  States government regulation standpoint, we do   carefully evaluate and adhere to regulations in  terms of what we're able to sell internationally.  

It's not that we desire not to,  but from a business standpoint,   and from a proper regulation standpoint, we adhere  to all the regulations as we're supposed to.   There's ITAR [International Traffic in  Arms Regulations] rules and EAR [Export   Administration Regulations] rules. But between  both of those, we carefully follow those rules.   Having said that, there are systems that  we have sold internationally, and we do   you know, every year, one example of what  ACT has sold internationally was there was a   counter sniper shot detection system that  was prototyped and developed by Advanced   Concepts & Technology back in the early 2000s.23  And then, at the time, it was it was developed   and sold by BBN, which is a part of ACT today.  Those systems were provided to US warfighters. In  

the 2005-2006 timeframe is when they started to be  fielded. And they're sold internationally today in   full authorization with ITAR and EAR regulation. So, no, in fact, we do sell internationally,   but we're going to properly follow the  US regulations and laws as we do so.  

SL. What's your approach towards preventing  reverse engineering because I mean,   software can be reverse engineered, you just need  to disassemble it and reassemble it. Hardware   can be reverse engineered, it's tougher, it's  difficult to disassemble the microprocessor and   a chip. But larger parts like aircrafts and other  things are probably easier to reverse engineer as   long as you can maybe replicate what was done  with the materials. How do you protect your   systems from being reverse engineered? BT. An active area research that we are involved   in is trusted computing, trusted distributed  systems. The United States government is  

interested in having micro electronic systems  that are trusted, so that we provide them   to the warfighters for operational systems, that  they have the utmost confidence that they can   trust those systems. And that's an active area of  research that we're working on today. I know the   United States government has funded, different  institutions, Raytheon's involved in that,   and yeah, that that is the way I would, I would  answer that questions that were focused on   trusted systems in operation. SL. I don't know maybe this is a silly question.   But let's say that you are flying some drone  in the air in the sky and another drone falls   in some country in some area with insurgents. Do  you have any mechanism to like destroy it so that   nobody can go and check what's going on there? BT. I think the question you bring up is something   in the nature of operational military  units. Certainly, any military equipment,   when it's employed in an operation,  there's a risk that it's going to fall into   the hands of the threat. That's something  that the US military will consider in the  

course of their operations. From a technology  standpoint, yeah, we'll do everything we can   to develop systems that are trusted so that  if those sorts of situations do happen,   we'll have procedures in place to consider how  those systems are protected in the future.   ARAKNID and DyNAMO SL. Now talking about warfighting and strategy,  

I saw your 2016 plenary talk at SPIE Defense where  you spoke about advanced platforms for sensing   in the air, space, sea, undersea and ground  domains.24 My understanding is that the Joint   All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) is  a DoD initiative to connect networks from   different domains into a single network to enable  faster decisions and actions. So in essence,   speed is the best weapon probably.25 So what's  the role played by Raytheon in JADC2?26   BT. Let me start by highlighting that the JADC2  is one element under a US military doctrine,  

I believe that the Vice Chair of the Joint  Chiefs of Staff highlighted recently,   it was General Hinote, highlighted Joint All  Domain Operations (JADO). Joint All Domain   Command Control is a piece of the implementation  under that doctrine. I know there's ABMS (Advanced   Battle Management System), there's Project  Convergence, Project Overmatch. Those are all   pieces underneath Joint All Domain Operations. Within Joint All Domain Command and Control,   one thing that that ACT Raytheon  Intelligence & Space is working on   is advanced software that can be enablers. So  there's two specific elements that we're working   on, one is software and one is communications.  I would phrase these as enablers for JADC2.  

In the case of software, we have a piece of  software we've developed called ARAKNID [Anytime   Reasoning and Analysis for Kill-Web Negotiation  and Instantiation across Domains],27 which is   essentially software that enables multiple units  in a warfighting domain to bid and subscribe   to the resources available to conduct combat  operations. One of the most difficult challenges   in JADC2 is how do you allocate the resources  available, the sensors, the platforms? How do   you allocate those to support the mission  given that the mission is always dynamic,   it's always changing in real time? You may have  an operation or at the start of the conflict,   you begun, but then very quickly, the situation  changes. And so within those changing situations,   a piece of software that ACT is providing to the  military, an experimentation, we'll see how they   ultimately acquire it. But under experimentation,  what we're validating with the ARAKNID software   is that you can bid and subscribe in terms of  sensor and resource allocation dynamically,   as the operation unfolds in a very  efficient fashion. That's one piece  

of JADC2 two that we're supporting. Another piece has to do with communications   in all these operations, you have multiple  security levels with multiple military units   with multiple services. They have different  protocols, they have different hardware,   they have different security levels. And so  within that we've developed software that  

can be implemented on various radio systems,  we call it DyNAMO [Defense Advanced Research   Projects Agency's Dynamic Network Adaptation for  Mission Optimization].28 And in essence, what it a   multi-level, multi secure mesh networking that can  support these dynamic operations in real time.   So both DyNAMO and ARKNID are currently being used  in an experimentation today that can support the   development of JADC2 in support of Join All Domain  Operations. We'll see ultimately, where the US  

military goes from an acquisition standpoint, but  at least from an experimentation and prototyping   standpoint, that's where we're focused today. SL. So and basically, this also links to the   concept of mosaic warfare. We  discussed this concept with   Dr. Grayson from DARPA.29 He spoke about mosaic  warfare and this is part of it, I guess.   BT. Yeah, so DyNAMO and ARAKNID were both funded  by the Strategic Technology Office out of DARPA,  

led by Dr. Tim Grayson. Within the  framework of DyNAMO and ARAKNID,   indeed, Tim had explained on behalf of DARPA,  the mosaic warfare construct, which was,   you're stitching or you're integrating  together different pieces of technology.   They weren't necessarily architected upfront,  but you put them together after the fact in   a mosaic like framework. I believe that's  the way the Dr. Grayson was explaining it.   SL. Are ARAKNID and DyNAMO systems any way related  to DARPA's STITCHES [System-of-systems Technology  

Integration Tool Chain for Heterogeneous  Electronic Systems]?30 So DARPA's STITCHES is   a way to connect systems that weren't meant to  be connected. So it's a sort of middleware...   BT. Yeah, STITCHES is a part of one of the  programs that was developed at a Strategic   Technology Office of which Arachnids is a  part, so you're exactly correct. That is a  

piece of the overall thrust of technology that was  being funded by the Strategic Technology Office.   Directed Energy Weapons SL. Now talking about the directed   energy systems. These are this basically  weapons that can hit and damage a target   by focusing a high energy electromagnetic  or sonic wave and even charged particles on   it. So the ACT unit developed a system called  High Energy Laser Weapon System [HELWS], which   uses a multispectral targeting system [MTS] pod  to perform surveillance and counter drone attack   missions from a lightweight vehicle; basically  a dune buggy, a desert car.31,32 So what are the   components of this system and how does it work? BT. Yeah, the HELWS that you referred,  

it was basically a rapid prototyping  effort [partially] funded by the US   Air Force for Advanced Concepts & Technology  to prove, in a prototype configuration,   that a directed energy capability could be put  on a small... you call it a dune buggy... it was   actually an MRZR, which is an all-terrain vehicle,  I believe, developed by Polaris Corporation.   In this particular case, the HELWS was employed in  a prototype configuration on an MRZR to validate   that that direct energy capability could be used  to neutralize small drones on the battlefield. The   way to think about it is you might have a radar  system in a tactical situation that could detect   these drones or these small quads, which can  be threats to the worldwide US military forces   and others. The direct energy capability can be  used to neutralize those threats in flight once   they've been cued up by a radar system. The advancement here these are these   are essentially fiber coupled systems  with solid state power amplification.  

So from a power added efficiency standpoint and an  end-point standpoint, when it's embedded inside of   an MTS [multispectral targeting system], a  small turret and put on one of these small   all-terrain vehicles, it shows a capability that  could be useful to the US military in the future   when dealing with these small drone threats. The part that I'm proudest about is that the team   from ACT pulled this together and in 24 months  under [partial] Air Force sponsorship, and showed   what can be done. And now it's up to US military  to decide requirement and acquisition standpoint,   what they want to do next, but at least from the  standpoint of taking the technical question off   the table, we've shown that this can be done. SL. And so this was adapted from the system   that was mounted on the Reaper drone, right? BT. Yeah, so the MTS platform, the MTS ball,   turret, which is used for electro  optical and infrared sensors, has   been put on a variety of US military aircraft. SL. So there are two main components, there is   the sensing part, and there is the laser part that  attacks the drones basically. In terms of sensing,  

you have a hyperspectral camera I guess. I used  once a hyperspectral camera; we were looking at   some materials. The most surprising thing is that  it generates a huge amount of data because you   don't just have an image. But for each pixel, you  would have a spectrum. So if you have an image,   like let's say 4k images, maybe 25 megabytes, but  if you multiply that by the number of [elements]   that you have in a spectrogram, that becomes like,  I don't know, if the vector is 1000 elements,   that becomes 1000 times larger, so 25 gigabytes.  And if you have 30 frames per second, then you  

start getting terabytes. So how do you handle  complexity with these systems? And what do you   get from different frequencies when you sense? BT. So if we transition now and talk about just   hyperspectral imagery, Raytheon and others,  obviously have developed hyperspectral   instruments in short-wave, mid-wave, long-wave  bands. You're absolutely right, when you use a   hyperspectral instrument in a look-down mode, from  air or other places, you generate what's called a   hyper dimensional space. In other words, each of  those, each of those spectrum that you've divided   up from the imaging sensor generates a huge  amount of data, whether it's high frame rate or   low frame rate, and depending upon the number of  spectral channels. You're absolutely right, that  

that has been one of the... you can call it… an  opportunity and you call it challenge of employing   hyperspectral instruments over the last 25 years  has been in fact the amount of data it generates.   But from that data, you can look  for match filters, match signatures,   you can do atmospheric correction, you can often  segment a military target that employs you know,   Camouflage, Concealment and Deception  (CCD), you know, detect decoys from a   real target. But you're absolutely right,  hyperspectral imagery is a very powerful   enabler and something that that ACT works often. SL. What do you get from different frequencies?   What's the range of frequencies they are using? BT. Yeah, I think you can think of a being used  

all the way from, you know, 0.4 microns up to 10,  or 11 microns. So all the way from the visible,   near infrared, up to the long wave infrared.  There's all kinds of different things you can use   it to segment, manmade materials from otherwise,  you can use it to segment different types of   vegetation. In the commercial sector, there's  lots of employment of hyperspectral imagery for   crop detection to look for healthy crops versus,  unhealthy crops, farmers are looking at that.  

The US military is interested in  looking at long wave signatures for   detection of effluence and signatures in that  area. There's been some use by the military   to look for camouflage versus non camouflage  targets. There's a whole range of capabilities   that can be analyzed from the visible all the  way to the long wave infrared, but as you said,   one of the big challenges coming out of it is  just the amount of data it generates is enormous,   which I believe it's an opportunity. SL. Now talking about the laser system,   how long would it take to take down a drone like  Phantom 4 and old Phantom four a DJI Phantom four,   like a drone, like the size more  or less, how long would it take?   BT. I'm not going to get to the  specifics of the employment,   how long it takes, but suffice to say within that  24 month prototype program, we validated that,   you know, in the case of HELWS, a 10 kilowatt  system can bring down a quad, quad drone, a small   drone. And we validated that within that program. SL. Have you tried it with this swarm drones?   BT. I'm not going to get into specifics. This is  something that's [partially] funded by the US Air  

Force, you can evaluate its effectiveness  against these emerging classes of threats.   You can imagine that, as these systems  proliferate, it's going to be a threat   to military forces all over the world. SL. And also, well, things like stadiums,   things like airports. So there are plenty  of commercial applications as well.   BT. I imagine the commercial sector and the  private security business, they're going to   be every bit as interested in how they can defend  against potential threats from the small drones.   SL. Yeah, and power plants and things like that.  And I'm going to ask you something silly. I don't  

remember if it was one year ago or something,  there was an incident at a nuclear power plant in   Palo Verde that was attacked… not attacked…  but there were drones.33 And they said, those   are UFOs. Would you use that system against UFOs? BT. Well, I yeah, I'm not going to speculate...but   there is no doubt that small drones have  proliferated World-wide. If somebody saw them   over Palo Verde [?], or somebody saw them over a  military installation, it's something that I think   we've all come to expect, based on  the fact that they're affordable,   and they're deployed worldwide. So it's not  to me unusual that people are going to find  

these small drones in places that you probably  wouldn't want them. It's something as a society,   we're going to have to come to grips  with and that's why we have regulations.   That's why hopefully, the FAA [Federal Aviation  Administration] is working on those sorts of   things. But from a military standpoint, that's  what I'm going to focus on, as part of Advanced   Concepts & Technology is what can we do to defend  the warfighter against those potential threats   and give them the best chance for success. SL. Yeah, because I mean… I don't remember where   it was, maybe it was somewhere in the Middle East,  they were equipping these drones with explosives,   and then they were launching them. Commercial  drones. I mean, you just mount some explosive,  

and then you send them to targets and civilians… BT. You just pointed out the prime example of why   it's of concern to the US military, because  we're interested in protecting our warfighters   or peacekeepers in harm's way, then we've got to  give them the best capabilities to defend against   the threat. And you're right, the proliferation  of those lower cost systems, even though the   payload is not that great, it's enough that it can  provide a threat with a capability against the US   military. So that's why we're interested in this  direct energy capability that could be put onto a   small all-terrain vehicle with forward  deployed forces to protect themselves.   One of the reasons that we were interested  in this 24 month prototype effort was that   directed energy capability provides,  quote, unquote, an unlimited magazine.   If I had to use a bullet or some sort of  projectile to try and bring down that small drone,   I've got to worry about number one, where do those  projectiles, how do I logistically provide them.  

Depending upon my accuracy can actually hit the  threat system for anything that I miss, where   those projectiles come down. And having a direct  energy capability provides notionally unlimited   magazine to deal with these lower cost threats. SL. So you don't need to reload the laser   system. As long as you have power, you can  still send pulses and pulses and pulses.   BT. Exactly. Digital Engineering   SL. Talking about systems engineering... this  is an interdisciplinary field of engineering and   engineering management that focuses on how  to design, integrate and manage systems   over the life cycles. These  concepts have been around since  

many years, but maybe what was  missing was computational power,   able to support complex simulations and maybe  usable digital twins. What's digital engineering   and how was it used to speed up the design  and prototyping of things like, for example,   sixth generation fighter jets or other systems? BT. From a sixth generation sensor standpoint,   we are using the digital engineering thread to  validate the entire prototype development of a   sensor from concept formulation all the way to  the final testing. As opposed to thinking only   about digital prototyping for the standpoint of  computer aided design of a mechanical system,   the digital engineering thread means you  record and you digitize everything in the   process along the way from the standpoint of  initial concept formulation, to the software   development to the actual mechanical hardware, to  the supply chain. All of that gets digitized as   a portion of the record of the development of the  capability. And it's done for two main reasons.  

One is, from a standpoint of prototype formulation  it minimizes the number of mistakes and iterations   that you have to do because you got a  good digital record right off the bat.   And then the second aspect is, once you  complete the prototype project successfully,   for example, that high energy laser weapon  system, we've got a full digital record now.   So if there's another part of Raytheon that  is going to go in and produce the system   in response to the US military saying, “Hey, we  want to acquire multiples of those not just that   first prototype”, then we've got a complete  digital archive of the entire system and   the process by which we used to develop it that  enables the production to be just much better.   From a sensor standpoint, it means that the  number of iterations in the design cycle, you can   actually do more iterations digitally. If I had  to do all that in an analog framework with teams   of people developing a new sensor, developing a  new concept, if I'm going to use evolution from   the multispectral targeting system you're talking  about, I don't, but if I use something like that,   if I did that analog, I would have to use  engineering teams multiple times to cycle   through the design. Once I do it digitally, I can  do it much more rapidly and much more accurately.  

So then once I finally bend the metal the first  time, then the odds that I'm going to get it right   the first time are much higher. And that's another  reason to the digital thread is it just allows me   to cycle through the design  process much more rapidly.   Within the software framework, there's a term  within Agile software development, called   Continuous Integration and Test. And what that  means is once I developed some software within   the digital thread that might be as the sixth Gen  sensor programs once I go into a testing framework   10-15 years ago, I might have to have a software  developer spend day and night, pressing the Return   button to keep running the software to validate  whether it works or not. In a digital thread, that  

continuous integration and test that regression  testing, as we call it, is done automated.   And it can run 24/7 without any humans at all,  that entire process means I'll reduce the number   of errors, I'll find my bugs faster. And that that  just speeds up the accuracy and the performance   of the entire system in a much better way. SL. So this is hardware development taking   suggestions from the best practices  from software development, basically.   BT. Oh, absolutely. The Agile software development  cycle predated the digital thread by probably 10   years. And that was really a recognition… the  Agile software development cycle came out of  

the commercial industry. And now it's gone into  the defense industry and we're gradually shifting   our programs to be Agile DevOps. And within  ACT, we're threading that now to be as well,   our hardware development programs and  that the way we're leading the way.  

SL. Would you be able to explain what's Agile  programming and development for the audience?   Because that's very important. BT. Absolutely, yeah. So Agile software   development is fundamentally a construct where  the evaluation metric for software development   is fundamentally a unit of time. What it means  by that is, I'll set up a particular thread  

or a sprin, it’s typically what's called  a 30 day sprint. Within that 30 day sprint   of software development, you'll have a set  of stories, or touch points from a software   development standpoint, and you'll iterate  them very rapidly within a period of time, so   that over a 30 day period, you may cycle through  three or four elements of software development.   In the older type approach what was  called a Waterfall, you'll set up a   whole set of requirements, and then you'll  lay out an 18 month plan to accomplish it.  

And then you'll work like crazy to accomplish  all those goals. And in many cases, you'll   be successful. But the commercial world 15 years  ago identified that if the unit of measure within   software developments focused on time, they could  adopt a more Agile approach that was efficient in   the employment of the use per hour of a software  developer. And so in that particular case,  

software led the way and now hardware is folding  in nicely working on developing hardware in an   Agile framework, which is exactly what  the digital engineering thread is.   Millimeter-Wave Digital Array Phase 2 Contract SL. Now, talking about sensors,   transmitters, and receivers… There was an  article that said that "Raytheon Unit wins DARPA   Millimeter-Wave Digital Array Phase 2 Contract".34  So my understanding is that there is an interest   in developing more capabilities in terms of  millimeter wave communication between different   units because, essentially, the radio frequency  spectrum is very crowded. Can you explain what  

the situation is? Why is it crowded? And why  there is a need to move to let's say 5G bands?   BT. Millimeter wave is of utility to US military,  because as you go higher in frequency, if you go   from S band up to X band, and then you go up to Ka  and beyond, you know, 35 GHz and beyond. As long   as I maintained an effective fractional bandwidth,  I have more capabilities, because of the   directionality and the total bandwidth capability  within that frequency range. Now, as you go higher   and higher frequency, you have water vapor, and  so you have atmospheric attenuation that kicks in.   But nonethelessthe US military in many ways is  migrating capabilities up into the millimeter   wave. So that's one reason that Raytheon  within the MIDAS program, were pursuing it.  

But let me take a step back for a second.  Raytheon technology has been working on   radio frequency systems for many years  and for many years those systems were   segmented. So on an aircraft you might have  a communication subsystem and then you might   have an electronic attack subsystem, and  then you might have a radar subsystem.   But those were all three different systems.  In the MIDAS program, what we're validating  

is that I can combine all three of those together  into what's called a multifunction system.   The US military ultimately wants that because  they'd like to have one aperture on a notional   aircraft that has all those functions combined  together, because from a real estate perspective,   on that vehicle, I combined it all into one piece  of real estate, which is very valuable for the US   military, the real estate on these platforms. So developing a multifunction system in   the millimeter wave is extremely  capable and extremely effective.   The US military — and that's what the MIDAS  program is all about — is showing that within   the millimeter wave frequency I can do  radar, EA [Electronic Attack], and comms   all out of the same aperture, all in a way  that's highly directional as a function of   essentially a phased array. And so within that  program, we're developing all the subsystems,   and TR [Transmit/Receive] modules, how you do  the three dimensional stacking, it's all a very   demanding, technical application. Referring back to what I said at the   start. It's a high payoff application, not  without its risks, but it's a high payoff  

application for the US military to develop  a millimeter wave multifunction system,   and that's what we're pursuing. SL. So when you work with frequencies,   I don't know exactly what frequency frequencies  you're using, I guess, from 30 to 300 GHz...   BT. 55:41 Well, millimiter waves... when you're  getting up to 300 GHz that's much higher, that's   what's called THz, sub-THz. But, you know, the  standard millimeter wave is I think most people   consider it to be in what's called a Ka band. SL. Is distance an issue? Because I mean,   if you're working with radio waves distances  is not really an issue, but when you get   shorter wavelengths, maybe distance is  an issue, and you need to increase power.  

Is there any drawback with these frequencies? BT. Well, no, I think that   from a system engineering and an  architecture scaling standpoint,   it ends up being what's called a power aperture  issue, which is “Do I have the aperture necessary   within the power and the transmitter-receiver  elements in behind to generate the power   necessary to accomplish the mission, taking into  account the atmospheric?” That's something we   account for within the whole system engineering  design process, back to that digital engineering   thread. Now, that's all accounted for. Another reason it's not just because   the radio frequency spectrum is crowded below  it, but there's also reasons you want to go   higher in frequency, because in some cases  the application gives you better resolution.   In terms of going higher power, higher  frequency, it's more demanding technologically,   which is one reason that Raytheon's being  paid to do this in the MIDAS program.  

SL. Is there any link with the Starlink  constellation or that's totally unrelated? Because   Starlink is beaming 5G? I don't know if that can  be used for communication with your systems.   BT. That's slightly different, but at Advanced  Concepts & Technology, we are being paid by the   US Air Force on a program called Global Lightning,  to demonstrate that we can communicate from a US   military aircraft to the Starlink constellation.  And the way to think about it is there are a  

variety of what we call P-LEO, a proliferate  LEO [Low Earth Orbit], constellations. Starlink,   Telesat, One Web, Kuiper, they're all examples  of emerging proliferate LEO constellations. The   US military is interested in seeing, can their  aircraft communicate directly with these emerging   constellations for military purposes. Within  the "Global Lightning" program we are in fact  

being paid to validate that we can demonstrate  connectivity between the US military aircraft and   Starlink. And that that program is well underway. Synthetic Biology   SL. So the last thing I wanted to  discuss about was synthetic biology. So   you guys are working on synthetic biology,  according to your website... I mean, it's a big   field, I didn't know it existed, I just found that  there is an entire section on the Nature magazine.   So synthetic biology is that convergence  of biology and computer science, basically.   What's the philosophy behind this approach and   what projects are you working on right now? BT. Sure. Well, let me back up for one second,  

within Advanced Concepts & Technology we'll work  on kind of what I’d call two different types of   technology categories, we're going to work on  things that are just completely disruptive,   there's no requirement whatsoever for  it, and in other cases we'll work on   emerging areas of technology or  maturing or technologies that integrate   in concepts that the US military can only think  about. So MIDAS and Global Lightning are examples   of things they can already see a path to. Synthetic biology is what I call a disruptive   area. There's no requirement yet. And yet, as  you pointed out, there is in fact, a merging of   biology and computer science that's unfolded over  the last 10 years and within ACT, we're looking   at that area to try and understand what are the US  military capabilities that might come out of it.   One example is, we have a group  of scientists that understood   that the technologies necessary to conduct deep  packet inspection of high data rate networks,   that the ability to understand those packets of  information, that same algorithmic approach can   be used to look through DNA sequences. And so  we had a bunch of scientists that said “Hmm,  

if I can look at deep packet inspection  to understand if there's a nefarious   Cyber traffic on a data rate of a network, could  I use that same approach to look for pathogens   that somebody might put digitally in the sequence  of DNA?” And they've been working on that for the   last 10 years. In fact, we've successfully  completed that under an IARPA program.   And we've been able to complete the licensing  of what we call our FAST-NA algorithm.35   Because there are there are DNA manufacturers in  the United States today and they'd like to know,   if somebody gives them a DNA sequence to  manufacture the material, they want to make sure   nothing pathogenic is in there, they want to make  sure nothing nefarious is in there. So they're  

employing an algorithm that ACT has developed  to check the data sequence in the DNA digitally   to make sure there's nothing nefarious before  they go produce it. So that's one example.   Another example of synthetic biology that  we're working on is the utilization of   essentially sequences of material that will  penetrate down into the soil, try and detect   if [there’s] explosive materials below the soil  like an IED. And then it will propagate back up to   the surface and fluoresce at the surface so that  a warfighter might be able to say, "Hey, don't   go near that region or that area of the ground,  there's something underneath that". And we're   essentially going to use propagating algae back to  the surface to fluoresce up and give off the light   so you can see it. So that's the second example  of biology that's being used synthetically.  

A third example is we have some scientists that  are working on a program sponsored out of DARPA   to understand if naturally occurring shrimp that  actually snap when they when they snap their claws   together, if the sonic signature that they emit  underwater can be used as a signal of opportunity   to detect maritime threats underwater. So the point is all three of those   that fast DNA algorithm, the explosive  detection subsurface, and snapping shrimp,   not one of those is a requirement. But  all three of those or any of the three,   depending upon if they ultimately turned out to be  successful, may be very effective in the merging   of biology and engineering, computer science and  the US military to provide capabilities and that's   an example of disruptive technology that we'll  pursue and sometimes ACT we may pursue that for   10 years before we decide whether to stop working  on it or to or to transition it because sometimes   it takes many years for a disruptive area  of technology to really come to fruition.  

SL. When it comes to synthetic biology  there seems to be a convergence between   bio warfare and cyber warfare. So does it imply  that maybe¬ — this is a big perspective — maybe   the only way to survive bio warfare is to  upgrade humans, as if they were machines   with the next available antivirus upgrade? BT. Well, I think the way I would phrase that,   Sam, is that we're focused on in the case of the  synthetic biology, the work that we're doing,   we're focused on, in the case of the pathogenic  sequences, finding things in the data and taking   advantage of the cyber capabilities and  the data analytics that we understand,   to provide in this particular case capabilities  to find pathogenic sequences in the DNA.   From the overall biowarfare standpoint,  I’m not going to comment on that at all.   You know, from an Advanced  Concepts & Technology standpoint,   in the case of synthetic biology, we're focused  on the maturing area biology and data science   and how it can be used in a protective way for  our warfighters and also to understand from a   disruptive innovation standpoint, where biology  is headed as a maturing engineering field.  

I made the comment earlier about Agile and Agile  operations and DevOps and things like that,   in the maturation of the software engineering  field, and then we're migrating that into our   hardware, the same sort of thing is happening  in biology. Biology was for a long, long time,   an analog field where a scientist or researcher  might work in a laboratory with a beaker and check   an experiment one at a time. What we understand  now is that with the with the rich capabilities of   data analytics, that we can start to bring that  maturing field of data analytics into biology   and help make advances that might be beneficial  for our warfighters, from a defensive standpoint.  

SL. Yeah, yeah. All right. Thank you very  much. I think we can close it here. Unless   we want to add some other points. Would you  like to add anything else to this discussion?   BT. Just first I want to thank you for your time  today, Sam, but I just want to reiterate that,   you know, the Advanced Concepts & technology as  part of Raytheon, Intelligence & Space, is really   excited to be the prototyping arm and to provide  capabilities in the disruption in the emerging   area of technology, that's useful to help pioneer  Raytheon's Intelligence & Space going forward.   SL. All right. Thank you so much  for your time, and hopefully we can   chat again when I would be in the USA. BT. Thanks Sam. I appreciate. it was  

really great to spend time with you  today and to be able to talk about   Advanced Concepts & Technology as a pioneering  innovator for Raytheon Intelligence & Space.

2021-08-10 13:05

Show Video

Other news