• New algorithm for wireless networks inspired by frog calls

    Males of the Japanese tree frog have learnt not to use their calls at the same time so that the females can distinguish among them and locate the caller; scientists say this is a model that can be used for creating a more efficient wireless communication systems

  • Studying predator search patterns to improve human searches

    The inspiration for the next Google or search-and-rescue drone may spring from a seemingly unlikely source: Watching how animals sniff out food; innovators in everything from robotics to Internet search engines study patterns that animal predators walk while searching for prey; mathematical models which have been used in the past to study these patterns, however, are in need of a little revamping, researchers say — because in the animal kingdom, scent plays a major role in tracking prey

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  • Unmanned systems emulate animals’ conditioned fear-response mechanism for self-preservation

    When animals in the wild engage in eating or grazing, their eyes, ears, and sense of smell continuously monitor the environment for any sense of danger; researchers developed a similar conditioned fear-response mechanism for unmanned systems

  • Will rising temperatures lead to rising crime rates?

    General Strain Theory has become one of the leading explanations for crime, and Emory University’s Professor Robert Agnew, has become its chief architect; he argues that rising temperatures will lead to more strains — increased temperatures, heat waves, natural disasters, serious threats to livelihood (farming, herding, fishing), forced migrations on a massive scale, and social conflicts arising as nations and groups compete for increasingly scarce food, fresh water, and fuel – and more strains invariably lead to rising crime rates

  • Study suggests ways to cut billions from Pentagon budget

    The Department of Defense currently spends $400 billion each year acquiring products and services from defense contractors. About $100 billion of the money is spent on administrative costs; one way to reduce the high administrative cists could be “relational contracting,” a concept that has helped private industry dramatically reduce the costs of doing business

  • New contracting model would allow the Pentagon to do more with less

    Old-school, transactional product support paid defense contractors to ship spare parts and do repairs; it paid contractors to “fix-on-failure”; management experts say that DoD should adopt a different contracting model: Performance-Based Life Cycle Product Support Management, or PBL; under PBL, the military buys system performance, or outcomes, rather than products or services, and a contractor is responsible for providing a defined level of equipment readiness or availability, whatever the cost

  • Iran could test-fly ICBMs capable of striking U.S. within three years: Pentagon

    A Pentagon report submitted to Congress on 29 June says Iran continues to make large strides in virtually all conventional, unconventional, and nuclear categories; the report focused most extensively on Iran’s inventory of ballistic missiles, and warned that Iran may be able to test-fly an inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM), capable of striking American soil, within three years’ time; Iran also continues to supply men, money, training, and even sophisticated weapons systems to some of the world’s best-known terror groups

  • New research raises questions about iris recognition systems

    Since the early days of iris recognition technologies, it has been assumed that the iris was a “stable” biometric over a person’s lifetime — “one enrollment for life”; researchers find, however, that iris biometric enrollment is susceptible to an aging process that causes recognition performance to degrade slowly over time

  • Using cold plasma to fight fires

    Traditional fire-suppression technologies focus largely on disrupting the chemical reactions involved in combustion; from a physics perspective, however, flames are cold plasmas; DARPA, the Pentagon’s research arm, theorized that by using physics techniques rather than combustion chemistry, it might be possible to manipulate and extinguish flames

  • FDNY conducts live fire tests to test improvements in fire department tactics

    In the name of science, but with aim of saving lives, preventing injuries, and reducing property losses, members of the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) spent much of the first two weeks in July setting fire to twenty abandoned townhouses on Governors Island, about a kilometer from the southern tip of Manhattan

  • Small, local energy technologies to help sustain vital services during blackouts

    Researchers suggest that rethinking the solution to sustaining electric power — namely, starting small — could keep critical services going, even when the high-voltage grid is crippled; the U.S. military is already taking steps to protect its power supplies in the event of a massive grid failure by adopting small, local energy technologies, and California governor Jerry Brown recently announced that he wants 12,000 megawatts of such power supplies in his state

  • ONR new universal gateway improves network data sharing on Navy ships

    On any Navy destroyer, cruiser, or carrier today, there are two networks: one for combat systems (weapons and sensors) and one for command and control, or C2, which also encompasses intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; there are some thirty interconnections between the two networks, making it difficult to integrate data into a real-time common operating picture, as well as expensive to maintain; the Office of Naval Research’s Universal Gateway, which collapses the 30 connections into a single portal

  • Voice recognition capabilities at the FBI -- from the 1960s to the present

    Chris Archer, the online content editor at IDGA (the Institute for Defense & Government Advancement), talked with Hirotaka Nakasone, a senior scientist in the FBI’s Voice Recognition Program; Nakasone examines the use and effectiveness of current speaker authentication technologies at the FBI; highlights the various challenges which are unique to voice recognition, and discusses what plans are in place for capturing voice recordings in line with the FBI’s Next Generation Identification (NGI project)

  • ONR sensor and software suite tracks, hunts down more than 600 suspect boats

    A new sensor and software suite sponsored by the Office of Naval Research recently returned from West Africa after helping partner nations track and identify target vessels of interest as part of an international maritime security operation

  • Training the nuclear forensics experts of the future

    Ten percent of the U.S. experts in nuclear and radiochemistry are at or nearing retirement age, according to a recent report from the National Academies of Science; meanwhile, not enough students are being trained to take their places; undergraduate summer programs in nuclear forensics and nuclear chemistry aim to replenish the ranks