Company History


Areté is derived from the Greek word “ἀρέτη”, meaning the pursuit of excellence and the achievement of maximum performance.


Areté was founded in 1976 by five scientists, tasked by the DoD to help solve the challenge of detecting weak signals in heavy clutter over very wide areas. The signatures involved in this work were so weak that any advancement in signal processing algorithms demanded a new approach and understanding of the underlying fundamentals affecting the sensors and signal phenomena in the environments of interest.

This first-principles-of-physics approach has been a hallmark of Areté’s development programs for the past 40 years


Areté now works across the electromagnetic spectrum. We develop sensors and the associated signal processing algorithms necessary for the extraction and interpretation of data for systems operating under water, in the atmosphere, and in space.

With our emphasis on enhanced signal processing and real-time executable software, Areté is able to improve the performance of existing sensor systems at fractions of the cost and time to operations of replacement systems. We work directly with customers and partners seeking maximum performance.


Building on our expertise in detection theory we will continue to exploit the contextual, spatial, spectral, and temporal characteristics of data, incorporating them into our signal processing algorithms. These robust algorithms will continue to enable Areté to rapidly deliver innovative solutions to the ever evolving challenges of our customers.

In Memory

Dr. D. Michael Milder

Dr. D. Michael Milder was one of the founders of Areté Associates. He was a renowned scientist whose imaginative insights in many branches of physics, including modeling, processing, and interpreting space-time ocean surface and subsurface measurements, had a profound impact on our nation’s security. In addition, he endowed four permanent undergraduate scholarships to cover living expenses each year at the California Institute of Technology, funded with a donation of Areté stock. In tribute to Michael’s profound technical contributions to Areté and our country, the Michael Milder Award for Discovery and Invention was created to recognize the highest level of technical discovery and invention attained by Areté employees.


Dr. John Dugan

Dr. John Dugan was a Principal Investigator on basic and applied research projects in aircraft and spacecraft remote sensing, turbulence in the marine boundary layers, and wave physics of many types. He was a specialist in experiment design, instrumentation development, and analysis of multi-dimensional data, particularly in respect to prototype development and testing. His last projects involved time series imaging of the littorals for USN and USMC tactical missions in support of expeditionary warfare. He formed Areté’s Field Measurements Group that continues to provide ocean and aircraft related experiment design, instrumentation development, field support, data management and production of results for projects within and outside the company.