• Syrian rebels trained in handling, securing chemical weapons

    The United States and some of its European have issues contracts to defense contractors to train Syrian rebels on how to identify, handle, and secure chemical weapons stockpiles in Syria; some of the training is done in Jordan, but some of the contractors are already inside Syria, where they, and U.S. intelligence operatives, are working closely with friendly rebel groups to monitor Syria’s chemical weapons production and storage sites

  • Detecting tunnels -- used to smuggle drugs, weapons, or people – is not easy

    It seems reasonable to assume that it would be easy to use seismic waves to find tunnels dug by smugglers of drugs, weapons, or people, but this assumption is wrong; scientists are trying to get a better look at the ground around tunnels to learn why seismic data finds some tunnels but not others – and come up with a seismic detection process for the border and other areas where tunnels pose a security threat

  • Marine robot completes 9,000 mile cross-Pacific journey, setting new world record

    A wave-powered robot completes a 9,000 nautical mile (16,668 kilometers) scientific journey across the Pacific Ocean to set a new world record for the longest distance traveled by an autonomous vehicle

  • Revamped DARPA inventor mentorship programs increases funding

    DARPA says it wants to ensure that young scientists with novel ideas which may advance U.S. national security receive the funding and mentorship needed to investigate them; as the DARPA Young Faculty Award (YFA) program enters its seventh year, changes in scope mean that 2013 recipients can expect higher levels of funding — up to $1 million available for elite young researchers — for a potentially longer duration in a program that has been reworked to involve even more direct interaction with DARPA program managers

  • IAEA: Iran finished removing evidence of illicit nuclear work at Parchin

    Iran, implausibly, may explain away its uranium enrichment activities by saying it needs the enriched material for civilian reactors and medical research (although the sheer quantities of uranium it enriches bear no relationship to either need); warhead design is done by a few engineers at secret locations; there is one activity – testing of the triggering mechanism for a nuclear bomb – that cannot be explained away (because these triggers do not have any other use) or hidden (because the testing leaves unmistakable traces); Iran has been conducting tests on a triggering mechanism for nuclear warheads at a military base called Parchin, south of Tehran, and has blocked access of UN inspectors to the site; detailed satellite imagery shows that Iran has been engaged in a frantic effort to scrub all evidence related to nuclear weapons testing activity at the military base by demolishing buildings and removing large quantities of soil that might hold traces of illicit nuclear work; the IAEA says that Iran has succeeded in its clean-up effort

  • First responders drill response to a “Night of the Walking Dead” scenario

    DHS funds were approved to pay the $1,000 fee for a week-long conference at Paradise Point Resort and Spa in San Diego; the marquee event of the summit was its highly-promoted “zombie apocalypse” demonstration; Strategic Operations, a tactical training firm, was hired to put on a “zombie-driven show” designed to simulate a real-life terrorism event; the firm performed two shows on Halloween, which featured forty actors dressed as zombies getting gunned down by a military tactical unit

  • Two small, long-endurance UAVs unveiled

    Danvers, Massachusetts-based CyPhy Works, a new robotics company, the other day unveiled two revolutionary small unmanned air vehicles (UAVs): EASE and PARC; the Extreme Access System for Entry (EASE) is an indoor flying UAV to help police, soldiers, and inspectors remain at safe standoff distances; the Persistent Aerial Reconnaissance and Communications (PARC) is designed to fly vertically and remain hovering for unprecedented long durations without operator intervention

  • Syria arms dozens of chemical aerial bombs

    President Assad has taken the last step required for using chemical weapons: over the weekend the Syrian military begun to move chemical weapons from their storage areas to military bases where the delivery vehicles of these weapons – planes, tanks, and artillery – are stationed; on Tuesday and Wednesday the Syrian military has taken the second step required before chemical weapon deployment: its engineers have begun to mix the chemicals of these binary weapons, making them operational; the bombs have been placed in hangars next to the planes which will carry them to target – and it would now be a matter of minutes from Assad ordering the use of these weapons to planes dropping them on their targets

  • CBP wants more drones, but lawmakers want more details about their use

    The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) wants to have a fleet of twenty-four drones to patrol the northern and southern borders of the United States, but Congress has yet to appropriate funding beyond the first ten drones; so far in 2012, drones have been credited with leading to more arrests and drug seizures than ever before, but their contribution is still small

  • Israel to test advanced Arrow 3 anti-missile missile

    The official in charge of developing Israel’s missile defense system said yesterday that in the coming days Israel would conduct a test of the advanced Arrow 3 missile; the Arrow 3 has been developed to shoot down Iranian ballistic missiles on their way to Israel; the Arrow 3 has been designed to intercept missiles carrying nuclear warheads – and intercept them outside the atmosphere

  • U.S. denies Iran’s claim that it had captured a U.S. surveillance drone

    Drones are used extensively by the United States to monitor not only Iran’s nuclear activities, but also its military moves on land and at sea. Iran’s state television reported on Tuesday that Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps naval forces captured an American drone that entered Iranian airspace over the Persian Gulf. The U.S. Navy quickly denied the claim

  • The Assad regime moving chemical weapons closer to delivery vehicles

    Over the weekend, the besieged Assad regime has begun to move chemical munitions out of storage to military bases where the delivery vehicles for these weapons are based; the move of these munitions was captured by U.S. and Israeli intelligence assets, and confirmed by human sources inside the regime; the readiness of the regime to place chemical warheads right next to the weapons – missiles, planes, tanks, and artillery – which will deliver them has dramatically increased the sense of alarm in the region, in Europe, and in Washington

  • Company illegally stores 6 million pounds of explosives, neighboring town evacuated

    The 800 residents of the town of Doyline, located about 270 miles northwest of New Orleans, were hastily evacuated Friday, and may be forced to stay away until today (Tuesday), after the authorities found more the six million pounds of explosives illegally stored on the grounds of Camp Minden, which used to house the Louisiana Army Ammunitions Plant

  • Squirrels-inspired deceptive robots to help the military

    Using deceptive behavioral patterns of squirrels and birds, researchers have developed robots that are able to deceive each other; the applications could be implemented by the military in the future

  • Marines looking for solar energy in combat outposts

    The Office of Naval Research (ONR) is looking to the sun for energy in an effort to help Marines do away with diesel-guzzling generators now used in combat outposts; the Renewable Sustainable Expeditionary Power (RSEP) program seeks to create a transportable renewable hybrid system that can provide Marines with electricity for a 15-day mission without relying on fuel resupply convoys that often become targets for adversaries