Email this Article Email   

CHIPS Articles: DARPA Renews Popular HO HO HO Program

DARPA Renews Popular HO HO HO Program
Initiative shares cutting-edge research to assist St. Nick and keep morale high for Service members, veterans, and their families during the holiday season
By DARPA News - December 16, 2016
DARPA announced it would extend for the third year its High-speed Optimized Handling of Holiday Operations (HO HO HO) initiative, in which the Agency shares some of the year’s top breakthroughs to help Santa Claus and his elves more quickly and efficiently complete their holiday duties. This year, through HO HO HO, Santa and his North Pole crew have been granted special access to research tools from the following DARPA programs:

Software from the Cyber Grand Challenge (CGC), to help prevent tampering with Santa’s Naughty & Nice lists

-- DARPA’s Cyber Grand Challenge was designed to accelerate the development of advanced, autonomous systems that can detect, evaluate, and patch software vulnerabilities before adversaries have a chance to exploit them. The CGC Final Event, which in August drew an audience of 5,000 hackers and other computer security experts, proved the potential of machine-speed cyber defense. All of the code produced by those automated systems was subsequently released to allow others to learn from and improve upon it. Santa is leveraging this groundbreaking research to protect his most important data from cyberattacks by people on the Really Naughty list.

-- Thermal management technologies developed through the Intrachip/Interchip Advanced Cooling (ICECool) program, to help keep Santa’s extensive computer networks from overheating in a warming Arctic.

-- ICECool is exploring ways to embed innovative heat-dissipation technologies deep within the very chips that power high-performance computers, solid-state lasers, and other energy-intensive electronics. Prototypes have been installed in the nodes of Santa’s ELFNet delivery coordination system so as his schedule heats up, his networks won’t.

Tools, data, and algorithms from the Transformative Design (TRADES) program to help imagine and create entirely novel toys.

-- TRADES envisions using machine-assisted understanding of advanced materials and fabrication methods, including additive manufacturing, to rethink military system designs and create capabilities that are currently impossible. Santa’s workshop has always been on the cutting edge of creativity, but with TRADES the elves are inventing toys that are lighter for Santa to carry and a lot less likely to break on the first day.

Software and equipment from the Multifunction RF (MFRF) program to help Santa see through fog, snow, and other vision-obscuring weather.

-- MFRF is developing a multifunction onboard sensor so pilots can land safely in brownout/whiteout conditions, avoid collisions with other aircraft or obstacles in inclement weather, and map difficult terrain even in low-visibility conditions. MFRF’s plug-and-play, easily upgradeable system architecture made it easy to adapt even to Santa’s legacy sleigh, and will help guarantee smooth navigation from rooftop to rooftop, even when Rudolph’s nose is on the blink.

-- A lightweight, conformal undersuit from the Warrior Web program to help ensure Santa doesn’t injure himself while scaling chimneys with his heavy sack of toys.

Warrior Web is developing a wetsuit-like garment that, when worn under traditional combat gear, would help warfighters avoid musculoskeletal injuries from carrying heavy loads while also augmenting the work done by wearers’ muscles to reduce fatigue and improve physical performance. St. Nick, who is famous for his less-than stellar abs, has agreed to help with DARPA’s ongoing evaluation of the prototype suit’s performance — although in this case he’ll be wearing the suit under non-standard-issue red velvet camo.

Finally, in addition to working directly with St. Nick, DARPA has expanded HO HO HO this year to include U.S. Air Force Space Command (AFSPC). At a mountaintop event in New Mexico this past October, DARPA marked the formal transition of its Space Surveillance Telescope (SST) from an Agency-led design and construction program to ownership and operation by AFSPC, which has announced plans to operate the telescope in Australia jointly with the Australian government.

The quickest and most nimble large telescope in the world, SST has developed many technological firsts that are helping redefine what telescopes can do. Of immediate relevance to the HO HO HO initiative is that SST is the latest addition to AFSPC’s Space Surveillance Network, which helps the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) track Santa’s flight path on Christmas Eve.

“DARPA, America’s technology innovation ecosystem, and St. Nick all share the common goal of making the world a better place by dreaming big and redefining what’s possible,” said an Agency spokesperson, speaking from DARPA’s undisclosed northernmost workshop. “We are happy to see our advances being put to use for such a good Claus, and we thank Santa and his helpers for their commitment to innovation.”

DARPA’s High-speed Optimized Handling of Holiday Operations (HO HO HO) initiative aims to help Santa Claus and his elves more quickly and efficiently complete their holiday duties by providing access to research from numerous DARPA programs. This year’s contributions include technologies developed through the Cyber Grand Challenge (upper left), Intrachip/Interchip Enhanced Cooling (ICECool)(top center), Transformative Designs (TRADES)(top right), Multifunction RF (MFRF)(bottom left), Warrior Web (bottom center), and the Space Surveillance Telescope (SST).
DARPA’s High-speed Optimized Handling of Holiday Operations (HO HO HO) initiative aims to help Santa Claus and his elves more quickly and efficiently complete their holiday duties by providing access to research from numerous DARPA programs. This year’s contributions include technologies developed through the Cyber Grand Challenge (upper left), Intrachip/Interchip Enhanced Cooling (ICECool)(top center), Transformative Designs (TRADES)(top right), Multifunction RF (MFRF)(bottom left), Warrior Web (bottom center), and the Space Surveillance Telescope (SST).
Related CHIPS Articles
Related DON CIO News
Related DON CIO Policy

CHIPS is an official U.S. Navy website sponsored by the Department of the Navy (DON) Chief Information Officer, the Department of Defense Enterprise Software Initiative (ESI) and the DON's ESI Software Product Manager Team at Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific.

Online ISSN 2154-1779; Print ISSN 1047-9988
Hyperlink Disclaimer