• How best to protect first responders from anthrax

    The first responders who rushed to Senator Tom Daschle’s office on 15 October 2001 were protected by personal protective equipment (PPE); yet, nasal swabs taken from them after they got out of the building revealed that some had been exposed to anthrax; experts argue that first responders and emergency personnel should all be vaccinated

  • U.K. car theft suspect arrested by robot helicopter

    Merseyside’s $62,000 crime-fighting drone measures about a meter across and is powered by batteries that drive four carbon-fiber rotors; the drone can be controlled from about 500 meters away, but it can also be instructed to “perch and stare”’ from hidden platforms along roadsides

  • Worry: gravitational force would cause nuked asteroids to reform

    The only way to prevent large asteroids from hitting Earth is to use nuclear weapons to blast them to pieces; scientists find that this is not good enough: the gravitational force among the asteroids fragments would cause the asteroid to reform, “Terminator”-like, within hours

  • Flying ambulance: UAV will extract wounded soldiers from the battlefield

    There is one more mission being added to the ever-expanding list of operational, intelligence, surveillance, law-enforcement, first response, and disaster recovery missions assigned to UAVs: evacuating critically injured casualties directly from the battlefield to the hospital

  • Update: The FBI caps nearly 90 years of use of biometrics with its Biometric Center of Excellence

    The FBI has been using various forms of biometric identification since its earliest days — from photographs and fingerprints in its first years (and assuming responsibility for managing the U.S. fingerprint collection in 1924), to applying handwriting analysis in the Lindbergh kidnapping case in 1932, to its laboratory’s pioneering work on raising latent finger, palm, and other soft tissue prints from evidence, to today’s development of DNA analysis as a means of genetic fingerprinting

  • Underground intelligence satellite navigation will work off lightning strikes

    The U.S. ubiquitous eye-in-the-sky satellites have driven more and more people and things of interest to disappear underground (just think Iran’s nuclear weapons program); deep tunnel complex shields an organization from the prying eyes of satellites, and it is also good protection against a sudden bombing raid; the U.S. military wants to be able to peek and conduct operations underground

  • Washington State, federal officials in dam-related disaster resilience exercises

    Officials from the Tri-Cities area of Washington State, neighboring areas, and federal agencies participate in a exercise aiming to develop a strategy to improve disaster resilience and preparedness in the event of severe flooding along the Columbia River, flooding which leads to overtopping and subsequent breaching of levees in the Tri-Cities area

  • World's first practical jetpack commercially available for $75,000

    Kiwi company Martin Aircraft is offering the world’s first commercial jetpacks; the machine is expected to revolutionize the military and be taken up by emergency services; the jetpack travels for about 30 minutes on a five-gallon tank of premium gasoline, has top speeds of 60 mph, and reaches heights of 2,400 meters (about 1.5 miles)

  • Tiny sensor "listens" to gunshots to identify source of fire and type of weapon

    The sensor, developed by a Dutch company, is smaller than the head of a match, made of two 200-nanometer-thick, 10-micrometer-wide platinum strips that are heated to 200 degrees Celsius; the sensor does not truly “listen” to sounds; rather, it senses air particles that flow past the platinum strips and cool them unevenly

  • Toronto police to buy encrypted radios

    The Toronto police will spend CAN$35 million on encrypted radios; new system may shut out public eavesdroppers — by tow-truck drivers, the media, scanning enthusiasts — starting with the June 2010 G20 summit

  • The last frontier: DARPA wants to make the Earth's crust transparent

    Seeing through the Earth’s would allow the development of tools to protect civilian populations from the ravages of natural disasters; these same tools could be used for military purposes against enemies — detecting, targeting, and destroying hard and buried underground facility (UGF) targets

  • Geospatial Corporation maps the world under the Earth's crust

    Pennsylvania-based Geospatial Corporation — company’s motto: “Mapping the underground / Managing the global infrastructure” — offers a solution which creates detailed 3D maps of underground regions; the Pentagon has already contracted Geospatial to create 3D maps of the deep earth beneath their “critical facilities”

  • Wireless communication solutions for emergency situations

    At one time, traditional broadcast networks — radio and TV — were adequate for alert services and information dissemination during disasters and emergencies; these means do not allow communication among individuals; modern mobile devices might prove increasingly resilient in emergencies and could be the most accessible platform for the majority of people

  • DARPA looking for military iPhone and Android apps

    Pentagon’s research arm is looking for apps to be written for the iPhone or for handsets running Google’s Android OS — “with potential relevance to the military specifically and the national security community more generally”

  • U.S. Army looking for robots to extract wounded soldiers from battlefield

    Rescuing wounded soldiers under fire is itself a major cause of military death and injury; the U.S. Army asks inventors to come with idea for a Robotic Combat Casualty Extraction device; the robot should not only be strong and dexterous, but should also be capable of planning an approach and escape route without prior knowledge of the local terrain and geography