Immediate Release

DoD Research and Engineering Capability Prototypes Program Wins Prestigious R&D World R&E 100 Award

Nov. 22, 2021

DoD recently announced that the Capability Prototypes’ innovative Motion Under Rubble Measured Using Radar (MURMUR) program in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering’s Directorate of Research and Engineering for Advanced Capabilities won the R&D World R&D 100 Award in the Software/Services category ( 

“I’m very proud of the MURMUR team’s accomplishment,” said Jon Lazar, Director of Capability Prototypes.  “They took someone’s novel idea, rapidly prototyped it into a real capability, and transitioned that capability directly to DoD end users for immediate use.  That’s just the sort of innovation DoD needs.”

Co-sponsored by US Special Operations Command and developed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Lincoln Labs, MURMUR is a lightweight, portable through-the-wall life-detection radar that rapidly detects, ranges, and characterizes survivors in the complex conditions of rubble and degraded infrastructure. Unlike many of its competitors, MURMUR makes detections in real time and operates at a larger standoff distance.

MURMUR is small and lightweight sensor that is integrated on an unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) for rapid, remote deployment to disaster sites. Radar operators can remotely control the system to fine-tune its sensitivity, while search and rescue team members see detections in real time on a mobile device.

Established in 1963, the R&D 100 Awards is the only S&T (science and technology) awards competition that recognizes new commercial products, technologies, and materials for their technological significance that are available for sale or license.  The R&D 100 Awards have long been a benchmark of excellence for industry sectors and highlights the impact of the MURMUR project.

About OUSD(R&E)

The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering is responsible for the research, development, and prototyping activities across the Department of Defense.  OUSD(R&E) fosters technological dominance across the DoD ensuring the unquestioned superiority of the American joint force.  Learn more at or follow us on Twitter:  @DoDCTO.