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Home : Media : News
NEWS | Jan. 26, 2023

NSWC Crane engineer named DARPA RISER

By NSWC Crane Corporate Communications

A Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) engineer and astrophysicist was named a 2022 Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Forward Riser. DARPA Risers are “up-and-coming standouts in their fields, whose research is related to national security and demonstrates the potential to lead to technological surprise — the heart of DARPA's mission.” DARPA Program Managers identified a small group of early career scientists and engineers to join the 2022 DARPA Risers cohort, which provides individuals in the early stages of their research career a unique opportunity to be recognized for their notable work and present their ideas directly to DARPA.

Blake Davis presented research and ideas on an Automated Celestial Navigation System which potentially could be used as a multi-platform alternative to Global Positioning System (GPS) as part of the DARPA Forward event held at Texas A&M University November 15-16th.

“Presenting at the conference as a DARPA Riser enabled me to establish invaluable contacts who will mutually benefit from sharing input on current and future projects,” said Davis.

Celestial navigation has been reliably used by navigators throughout history; however, traditional methods limit reliability and accuracy. Davis’s research focuses on mitigating limitations imposed by traditional methods by pairing celestial observations with modern detection, instrumentation, and data processing technologies to determine a user’s position on Earth’s surface.

Davis received interest in and feedback on his research from DARPA Program Managers, as well as partners from industry and academia. This research could lead to a system capable of providing position and navigation information to warfighters in a GPS-denied environment.

“Networking opportunities during the event allowed me the opportunity to share NSWC Crane’s role in supporting the warfighter to a wide audience,” said Davis. “Specifically, I was able to discuss the unique radio frequency measurement and diagnostic capabilities I work with in my division.”

About NSWC Crane | NSWC Crane is a naval laboratory and a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) with mission areas in Expeditionary Warfare, Strategic Missions and Electronic Warfare. The warfare center is responsible for multidomain, multispectral, full life cycle support of technologies and systems enhancing capability to today's Warfighter.

Join Our Team! NAVSEA employs a diverse, highly trained, educated, and skilled workforce - from students and entry level employees to experienced professionals and individuals with disabilities. We support today's sophisticated Navy and Marine Corps ships, aircraft, weapon systems and computer systems. We are continuously looking for engineers, scientists, IT and cyber specialists, as well as trade and other support professionals to ensure the U.S. Navy can protect and defend America. Please contact NSWC Crane Human Resources at