DARPA N-ZERO Program Seeks to Reduce Unattended Ground Sensor Power Needs

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February 15, 2016 | Originally published by Date Line: February 15 on

U.S. government researchers are asking industry to find ways of boosting the energy efficiency of unattended sensors by reducing or eliminating the standby power that these sensors consume while waiting for signatures of interest.

Officials of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington, Va., have released a solicitation (DARPA-BAA-15-14) for the Near Zero Power RF and Sensor Operations (N-ZERO) program to transform the energy efficiency of unattended sensors by eliminating their need for standby power.

The improved energy efficiency is expected to result in an increase in the sensor mission lifetime from months to years by creating intelligent sensors that can process and detect RF and physical sensor signatures, consume less than 10 nanowatts of power, and attain a low false alarm rate of 1 per hour or better in an urban environment.

The DARPA BAA for this effort can be found under Fed Biz Ops (FBO) Solicitation Number: DARPA-BAA-15-14, Near-Zero Power RF and Sensor Operations: