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A better world through a systems approach

Orlando Chapter Meeting - February 2019: DARPA Discussions

  • Date:
    Feb 21, 2019 - 06:00 PM - 08:00 PM
  • Address: 3087 N Alafaya Trail
  • Location: Orlando, FL USA
  • Venue:
    FAIRWINDS Credit Union Support Center

Dinner: 6:00 PM
Chapter Business: 6:15 PM
Guest Speaker: 6:30 PM
RSVP: Eventbrite by 5PM Tuesday the week of the meeting.

You are invited to become a member of INCOSE (go to but the meeting is open to all; you do not need to be an INCOSE member to attend.

None. Dinner is provided courtesy of chapter membership with RSVP.

About the Presentation:
The presentation/discussion will provide highlights from DARPA's recent 60th Anniversary event, touching on DARPA's storied past and, more importantly, its future. When first established in 1958, no one could have imagined the outsized impact DARPA would have on the world. Charged originally with missile defense, nuclear test detection, and taking back the temporary gains the Soviets had won in space, DARPA (then ARPA) focused on the demands of the day. Remarkably, DARPA was established with a page-and-a-half long charter, written in a vague, bureaucratic style befitting the day. The charter gave DARPA the responsibility to direct and perform “certain advanced research and development projects” with the primary mission of ensuring the United States would never again be surprised by another nation’s technological advancement.

Over the years, the mission of DARPA has expanded to include creating as well as preventing technological surprise, and as many in the audience will appreciate, the dual-use nature of many of the technologies DARPA has been instrumental in developing have had profound impact beyond national security: Portable GPS receivers and voice-recognition software commonly found in mobile devices, which are so ubiquitous that they outnumber people on the planet; Unmanned aerial vehicles that routinely collect intelligence and conduct strike operations around the globe without unnecessarily placing in harm’s way our service men and women; and, most famously, the ARPANET, and its successor the Internet, have forever altered worldwide communications and commerce.

New DARPA research promises to have far-reaching value as well. From self-driving vehicles, humanoid robotics, directed energy, and artificial intelligence to synthetic biology, distributed space, and quantum computing, the investments the agency is currently making will be just as pivotal in delivering strategic military and economic advantage to the U.S. far into this century. And that is what DARPA is about….not the agency’s well chronicled past, but its future, our future, as a major world power and how we can harness the creativity and knowledge at our disposal as a lasting force for good.

About the Speaker:
Mr. Darin Smith serves as both the Director, Special Programs, and Assistant Director for Program Security in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Security & Intelligence Directorate. In his role as Director, Special Programs, Mr. Smith provides oversight of Agency-wide and inter-Agency SAP activity. Mr. Smith directs the functioning of the DARPA SAP security organization, and is responsible for oversight of SAP activity at hundreds of contractor locations across the nation. He also serves as the Agency point of contact for SAP matters to the Military Services, Defense Agencies, Office of the Secretary of Defense, and other Executive and Legislative Branch entities. In his role as Assistant Director for Program Security, Mr. Smith oversees all security services associated with collaterally classified and controlled unclassified programs. Mr. Smith previously performed as a support contractor to DARPA in several capacities, including Physical Security Manager, COOP/COG Coordinator, and Contract Project Manager. Mr. Smith has more than 25 years of experience in the law enforcement and security fields. Throughout his career, Mr. Smith has served in various positions at DARPA, the Missile Defense Agency, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Mr. Smith has also served as an independent consultant and contractor providing security consulting services to local and federal government, public utilities entities, and private industry clients.