Northrop Grumman [NOC] on Tuesday said it will be investing in and collaborating with Deepwave Digital, which is developing artificial intelligence (AI)-based technologies that improve communications processing.
Terms of the investment were not disclosed although Deepwave said separately that Northrop Grumman was the lead equity investor as part of the company’s new $3 million series investment round.
“Northrop Grumman will closely collaborate with Deepwave Digital on projects and applications that are important to quickly delivering capabilities to our customers,” a Northrop Grumman spokeswoman said.
Deepwave Digital is a startup that is based in Philadelphia and was founded in 2017. Northrop Grumman said that the company’s technology “allows radio frequency (RF) engineers to incorporate AI into their communications, spectrum monitoring, navigation and other RF systems using machine learning to provide quicker answers on large amounts of data being analyzed.”
Deepwave is able to put its AI engine onto the signal edge of an RF system, which reduces network bandwidth, latency and analysis requirements, the company said.
Deepwave said on Tuesday that its “Artificial Intelligence Radio Transceiver product line has shown to be a valuable asset for a wide range of aerospace and defense applications including cognitive radio, signal detection, classification, and localization. Deepwave Digital is working with Northrop Grumman to integrate Deepwave’s technology and innovations in edge compute AI into an array of sensor systems which improve capabilities and longevity.”
For Northrop Grumman, the investment gives it access to new commercial technologies.
“We’re evolving the way we thing and the way we work, to use emerging commercial technologies to provide our warfighters the most advanced capabilities more quickly,” Chris Daughters, vice president of Research, Technology and Engineering at Northrop Grumman’s Aeronautics Systems segment, said in a statement. “Our partnership with Deepwave Digital combined with our advanced autonomy expertise will enhance the agility, speed and affordability our customers expect.”
Northrop Grumman said it plans additional partnerships with companies that have “discriminating technologies.” The company’s spokeswoman also said Northrop Grumman’s research organization collaborates with university programs.
“Startups that partner with us will gain access to our world-class engineering, talent, research resources, and state-of-the-art laboratories and technology,” she said. “And, Northrop Grumman gains the ability to look at our most complex problems in interesting new ways by exploring the technology of the startups with which we partner.”
Boeing [BA] and Lockheed Martin [LMT] the past few years have been making minority investments in startup and venture-backed companies to bolster their access to cutting edge technologies in areas such as AI, advanced composites, autonomous systems, cyber, 3D manufacturing and other areas.