The 4th Wave of Electronic Dev with Mark Rosker DARPA

by Samuele Lilliu | 4 March 2022

Dr Mark Rosker discusses innovation strategies led by the DARPA’s MTO office, including the Electronic Resurgence Initiative.

In this Bullaki Science Podcast Dr Mark Rosker discusses with Dr Samuele Lilliu various innovation strategies led by the DARPA’s MTO office, the Electronic Resurgence Initiative and how DARPA is supporting the 4th wave of electronic development, advances beyond the von Neumann Architecture, hardware security, new types of devices that can work at extreme temperatures, and electronics resilience towards EMP attacks.

As the director of the Strategic Technology Office at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (or DARPA), Dr Mark Rosker leads the office in development of develop high-performance intelligent microsystems and next-generation components to ensure U.S. dominance in the areas of Command, Control, Communications, Computing, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR), Electronic Warfare (EW), and Directed Energy (DE). The effectiveness, survivability, and lethality of these systems depend critically on the microsystems contained inside. Mark was a program manager in the office from 2003 to 2011, where he developed a portfolio of technical programs in gallium nitride and other compound semiconductor radio-frequency devices, heterogeneous circuit integration, terahertz electronics and quantum cascade lasers.

This is an example of a professional high-quality remote video podcast where both the host and the guest can benefit from the support of two film production crews at different locations.

It took me a while to plan for this video production. After going through various DARPA patents and press releases, I pitched the idea of doing a podcast on some of the most interesting programs at DARPA’s Microsystems Technology Office to DARPA’s communication team. Immediately after the approval I had a preliminary chat with Mark Rosker for a brief overview and brainstorming.

I then discussed technical aspects of the video production with the director of photography from DARPA’s communication team. From our side, we filmed from our studio with the usual three cameras setup. On their side they had an analogous three camera setup in a sound treated recording booth. I prepared a technical document which included the look and the framing I was after to ensure the right match with my setup. I did generate a shot list using Matt Workman’s CineTracer, which is an application that allows users to generate and build a filming set in a virtual environment. This is briefly illustrated in this video:

Other technical aspects included camera and sound settings. One hour before the podcast we initiated the Zoom call and we did all the required testing of our setups. Checks from my side were facilitated by deploying the Black Magic ATEM mini device on both setups. The ATEM mini can be connected to 4 HDMI inputs from 4 different cameras, which can be then feed into a computer as a webcam. My counterpart at DARPA was able to switch between each of their three cameras and show me the life feed in real time.

The interview was supersmooth. After editing and extracting the transcript, I got in touch with Forbes, to see if they were interested in running a story on the topics I discussed with Mark. I had the pleasure to collaborate with David Hambling in the preparation of the article, which was eventually published in Forbes.