Pentagon research chief moves to google

Google has long been working on future technologies such as self-driving cars. The area with the alleged code name "google X" is supervised by co-founder sergey brin, according to media reports.

DARPA (defense advanced research projects agency) was founded in the late 1950s by the u.S. Government in response to the launch of the first soviet satellite. It was intended to avoid being caught cold again by technological advances made by the other side. The agency’s main task is to develop promising technologies that can benefit the U.S. Military. It was, among other things, a cradle for modern computer networks: the ARPANET was the forerunner of the internet in the 1970s. Today’s projects include military robots, intelligent surveillance systems and missile technology. DARPA also held several competitions for self-driving robotic cars, in which the current google team around sebastian thrun was successful.

The position dugan is to take at google was not initially disclosed on tuesday. The 48-year-old became the first woman to head DARPA in the summer of 2009. She had already worked for the agency as a project manager in the 1990s. A year ago, a "wired" report caused a stir, revealing that some DARPA contracts had been awarded to the specialist company redx defense, in which dugan still has a stake. She justified it by saying that the company’s expertise in detecting explosive devices is unique. Pentagon launches review of contracting practices.

At the same time, dugan was praised for strict cost discipline at DARPA, which is often known for extremely expensive and daring projects. She also has a reputation as a demanding boss who can unleash the creativity of her employees. DARPA’s priorities include cybersecurity and strengthening manufacturing in the U.S. Dugan repeatedly expressed concern that america was outsourcing everything possible and losing important capabilities for the future.

Dugan’s spokesman told wired she couldn’t turn down the offer from a company as "innovative" as google. The decision had nothing to do with the review of contract awards.

According to a report in the "new york times", "google X" is an area of the internet company surrounded by strict secrecy. Many google employees didn’t even know it existed. Research is said to have been carried out there on all possible futuristic ideas, up to and including space elevators.

DARPA’s research was at the root of several of today’s technologies, such as stealth aircraft and GPS navigation. At the same time, the agency is said to have gotten bogged down in the cold war with expensive projects such as telepathic warfare or "mechanical elephants" for rough terrain. She also plays a role in many conspiracy theories, for example about alleged highly secret research on time travel and teleportation.