Advancing the Nation’s Security

Achieving success through partnerships

Partnerships are a key driver of Indiana University research—expanding access to faculty innovations and discoveries across the state and beyond. Fiscal year 2019-20 saw a number of vital relationships created or renewed between IU and its partners:

New collaborative space for engineering

The Multidisciplinary Engineering and Sciences Hall, a state-of-the-art laboratory space, has been created to invigorate collaborations in engineering, informatics, and computing. Researchers will work side by side in the space, called MESH for short, sharing access to specialized equipment and developing solutions to national security challenges. The space was created as a result of a renewed and expanded Educational Partnership Agreement between IU and Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division. The agreement also allows Crane to continue investing in the educational advancement of its employees and improving workforce development.

Learn more about MESH

Empowering national defense with advanced information systems

Collaborative research in artificial intelligence and quantum science is being enabled by new Cooperative Research and Development Agreements between NSWC Crane and IU. The quantum research program will develop technology to detect and measure the effects of radiation on quantum information systems, with the goal of developing a radiation-hardened quantum information processor for the field. The artificial intelligence work is focusing on developing fully autonomous and rational behaving machines that collect and deliver critical data while they explore unknown terrain.

IU is also a part of a new university-based partnership called the National Security Academic Accelerator program, a part of the National Security Information Network. The IU accelerator will leverage the university’s strengths in applied artificial intelligence and machine learning as well as quantum information science to speed technology development and the transition of new technologies for use in both government and commercial markets.

A lighter-than-air competition

A long-planned, first-of-its-kind competition will contribute to knowledge about how to build and deploy advanced autonomous "lighter than air" vehicles. Scheduled for fall 2020, the event, in which teams fly helium balloons through a special course of hoops, is being co-hosted by the Office of Naval Research at IU's Multidisciplinary Engineering and Sciences Hall and will include participants from multiple institutions.

Accelerating the development of hypersonics

IU is a new member of the U.S. Department of Defense Joint Hypersonic Transition Office, established in part to create a university-led consortium that will fuel development of hypersonic technologies. Hypersonic systems can travel at Mach 5 or higher, which is five times the speed of sound or greater.

Enhancing autonomous vehicle systems

The Vehicle Autonomy and Intelligence Lab at IU Bloomington is developing planning and decision-making components to help autonomous ground vehicles maneuver in complex environments. The lab's research has received funding from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory's Scalable, Adaptive and Resilient Autonomy program. 

Learn more about the Vehicle Autonomy and Intelligence Lab