The MITRE Corporation was chartered in 1958 as a private, not-for-profit organization to provide engineering and technical guidance for the federal government. Today, with locations in McLean, VA and Bedford, MA, MITRE serves a variety of government agencies through the operation of federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs) that assist the United States government with scientific research and analysis, development and acquisition, and systems engineering and integration.

The Digital Copilot provides the single-pilot operator with some benefits of a crewed operation by use of a tablet device. It accesses a large set of aviation information sources to monitor flight progress and alert the pilot to potential safety issues.

The government first created FFRDCs in the 1940s, focusing largely on national security challenges, and providing technical capabilities unavailable within government or the private sector. Today, FFRDCs work in the fields of aviation, defense, energy, health and human services, space, federal agency modernization, homeland security, and more. FFRDCs have developed new technologies — from advanced radar and air traffic control systems, to global climate models, landmine detectors, and radiation therapy treatments for cancer. MITRE has played a significant part in many such advances, often in collaboration with other FFRDCs or national laboratories.

National Security Engineering Center (NSEC)

Technical areas such as sensors, electronics, digital systems, IT, and cybersecurity are at the core of MITRE's National Security Engineering Center (NSEC). NSEC's engineers, mathematicians, physicists, chemists, and experts in an array of disciplines bring technical knowledge and analytic understanding of the sponsors’ missions and operations.

Patient Toolkit manages patients’ illnesses. It includes simple, easy-to-use interfaces built on patient-centered, daily workflows to maximize patients’ engagement and help them develop habits that improve their health outcomes.

MITRE doesn't manufacture products or compete with industry. As an FFRDC sponsored by the Department of Defense, NSEC helps the government make choices based on objective technical assessments, mission requirements, and budgetary constraints. Prototypes or system improvements developed by MITRE staff are transferred either directly to sponsors or to commercial companies for production.

NSEC has long supported technologies such as the airborne warning and control system (AWACS) that the United States and our allies relies upon daily. New technologies include developing software for the lighter, faster communications devices today's warfighters need, and defending the nation's computer networks from cyberattacks.

At locations around the world, NSEC supports customers within the DoD and intelligence community, focusing resources on areas such as systems engineering, modeling and simulation, acquisition strategy and management, enterprise engineering, information technology, and cybersecurity.

Researchers have applied commercial technologies to create a completely 3D-printed, sensors-carrying platform controlled by a smartphone. This innovation supports the military's intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance needs effectively and affordably. Project teams also have helped develop and test identity-resolution systems that enable analysts to match individuals with formal names, aliases, occupations, and threat potential. Domestically, this work supports homeland security personnel at airports and other points of entry.

Center for Advanced Aviation System Development (CAASD)

MITRE works with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to provide the safest, most efficient aerospace system in the world, and to meet the evolving needs of the nation's airspace. CAASD works closely with the FAA to develop NextGen — the next-generation air transportation system. CAASD provides the FAA with advanced technical capabilities in systems engineering, mathematics, and computer science, and applies domain knowledge in air traffic management and airspace user operations relevant to the National Airspace System (NAS).

CAASD has contributed to the development of technologies and procedures that form the backbone of NextGen. These include using digital communications between aircraft and controllers for more accurate and efficient exchange of routing instructions, and using satellite-based positioning information to identify more efficient flight paths and improve situational awareness between aircraft.

Computational Analytic Sharing Architecture & Ecosystem (CASAE), a new IT architecture, enables the healthcare community to easily and securely share clinical analytics for application on diverse data sources.

Key CAASD developments include: 1) the Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS), a nationally implemented onboard air traffic management system that uses range and altitude data to detect and correct potential collision threats; 2) the Airport Movement Area Safety System, a runway-conflict alert capability installed at the nation's busiest airports; 3) airfield marking and lighting enhancements that reduce runway incursions; and 4) Alaska Capstone, an advanced air safety system that uses CAASD-developed technology to reduce the unique hazards of air travel in the nation's northernmost state.


MITRE operates an independent research program that explores new and expanded uses of technologies to solve sponsors’ problems; for example, research is performed through direct projects funded by government agencies to address specific needs. These projects involve aviation, transportation, cybersecurity, health, integrated sensing, communications and networking, electronic systems, information technology, modeling and simulation, and software engineering. MITRE pursues innovation and research in all parts of the company. In addition, a large portion of research occurs within an independent research and development (R&D) program.

MITRE developed a new IT architecture that enables the healthcare community to easily and securely share clinical analytics for application on diverse data sources. The goal is to solve problems and improve healthcare across the nation and the world using state of-the-art technologies and techniques. Computational Analytic Sharing Architecture & Ecosystem (CASAE) resulted from several years of internal MITRE research and development focused on moving the analytics to the data, while leaving the data safe at home (wherever it's generated), secure, and protected. This architecture supports a range of studies that could benefit patients, industry, healthcare systems, clinicians, and government organizations.

MITRE's Computer Vision Group is developing algorithms that enable computers to “see” by automatically extracting information from visual data (images, video, 3D scans, infrared).

Digital Copilot technology was developed to fulfill many of the roles of a human copilot through software algorithms that act as a cognitive assistant to a solo pilot, reducing the workload. The software can respond to spoken commands, look up information and provide it in various formats, and infer a pilot's intent. It then determines when information is required, and automatically provides it to the pilot at the appropriate time.

Current methods for gauging therapeutic response when treating arm trauma can be expensive, time-consuming, and imprecise. The Analysis for Rehabilitative Motion Sensing (ARMS) prototype system monitors and reports on a patient's arm rehabilitation activities over weeks or months. It continuously analyzes data from a sensor mounted on the impaired arm, and streams the results to a remote server for presentation to the caregiver. The system leverages sensing, mobile computing, machine learning, and data visualization technologies.

MITRE is developing optically sensed tags based on induced chemical interactions and emissions for detecting low concentrations of chemicals and materials over a range of standoff distances. Often, these materials are difficult to detect because they are present in very low concentrations and exist in complicated environments. The tagging mechanisms developed will leverage existing related technologies used for chemical-specific sensing.

Technologies in communications and networking are being developed to help military personnel and first responders overcome obstacles in the field that limit their ability to communicate.

Telepresence technologies rely on sensory input and an advanced graphical interface to give the user the impression that he or she is actually inside a made-up environment. The MITRE Immersive Vision System (MIVS) integrates commercial components with software created by MITRE's scientists. It uses a commercial hemispherical digital camera system and a head-mounted display. An orientation sensor, attached to the display, tracks the position of the user's head while allowing the person to move in any direction. A wireless signal is sent from the head-tracking device to the hemispherical camera on the robot to control its position.

To support 3D printing, MITRE developed Computationally Engineered Advanced Manufacturing of Parts (CEAMP), a technique based on algorithms for computing the optimal multi-material configurations for a single part.

Bioscope is a tool to facilitate visualization and analysis of large-scale disease outbreaks in temporal, social, phylogenetic, and geospatial dimensions in response to the pandemic preparedness community's need. The tool employs a data dictionary, database schema, and data concept to align disjointed data sources (e.g., databases and newspaper reports) on people (or animals), place, time, and viral strain characteristics. With this tool, confirmed outbreaks can be portrayed as event icons in map, timeline, and phylogenetic network views. It can depict viral strains, patient species, factors in the disease transmission environment, and geographic locations.

The Automated Worm Detection System (AWDS) makes computer networks more secure and less susceptible to malicious attacks. Its sensitive and accurate detection capability discovers worms in real time at the enterprise level, enabling responses such as quarantining infected hosts to prevent further damage. The technology uses a distributed collection approach for detecting and mitigating worm behaviors and attacks within an enterprise environment in real time. If an attack occurs, AWDS enables the rapid deployment of effective countermeasures to quarantine and block the worm before it saturates the network.

Technology Transfer

The Technology Transfer Office (TTO) ensures that the benefits of innovations reach the largest possible user base. MITRE shares innovations with sponsoring as well as non-sponsoring government agencies. In many situations, it benefits sponsors to make knowledge and intellectual property more readily available to a broader audience. Technologies also are transferred to commercial organizations so they can undertake the technical, business, and manufacturing activities necessary to bring products and services incorporating MITRE intellectual property to market. Commercialization may be the only viable transfer mechanism to bring to sponsors commercial products that are accessible, affordable, and supported.

FastLicense streamlines the technology transfer process by enabling commercial entities to pursue non-exclusive licenses for certain MITRE technologies. Technologies available for licensing range from widely applicable technologies that can benefit multiple users and industries, to specialized technologies that target a particular application.

Work with MITRE

To learn more about MITRE, visit here . For information on technology licensing, contact Vicki A. Barbur Ph.D. in the Technology Transfer Office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; 781-271-4649.

Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the February, 2018 issue of Tech Briefs Magazine.

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