• WargamesBenefits of next-generation wargames

    Technological advances for game engines and cloud architectures are fueling the development of next-generation wargames that can increase insights for policymakers. Researchers say that the new technologies are making wargame tools more accessible and providing strategists with more insights.

  • FloodsConnected vehicles’ windshield wipers could help prevent flooding

    We’ve been promised all kinds of benefits from a future of connected vehicles, but flood control? One of your car’s oldest features has been put to a new, high-tech use by University of Michigan researchers. Utilizing a test fleet in the city of Ann Arbor, engineers tracked when wipers were being used and matched it with video from onboard cameras to document rainfall. They found that tracking windshield wiper activity can provide faster, more accurate rainfall data than radar and rain gauge systems we currently have in place.

  • Missile defenseAdministration unveils its Missile Defense Review

    Thirty-five years after Ronald Reagan vowed to make nuclear weapons “impotent and obsolete,” the administration has today unveiled its Missile Defense Review – the latest iteration of U.S. efforts to build an effective ballistic missile defense. The Pentagon says that its search for more effective missile defense technologies is the result of its focus on near-peer adversaries such as China and Russia, but the administration’s Missile Defense Review appears more suitable for defending the United States against more limited attacks, such as those likely to come from North Korea or, perhaps, Iran.

  • Airport securityDrone jamming system to protect European airports, public spaces

    Airports could be equipped with technology capable of detecting and bringing down drones that stray into their air space, according to Dan Hermansen, chief technology officer of Danish anti-drone firm MyDefence. The company has developed a drone alarm and protection system that is being installed at a number of prominent sites around Europe, including an airport. It has the potential to prevent the kind of costly disruption that hit London’s Gatwick and Heathrow airports recently.

  • AIAmericans’ attitude to AI

    The impact of artificial intelligence technology on society is likely to be large. While the technology industry and governments currently predominate policy conversations on AI, the authors of a new report expect the public to become more influential over time. Understanding the public’s views on artificial intelligence will, therefore, be vital to future AI governance.

  • Water securityClean water for Africa

    Over 100 million people in Southern Africa have no access to clean water – many sources in rural areas are contaminated. In the SafeWaterAfrica project, African and European partners are working closely together to develop a decentralized system solution for water purification that can be operated and maintained autonomously by rural inhabitants. The system covers the clean water needs of several hundred people. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST are coordinating the project.

  • DronesIsraeli Drone Dome helps Gatwick airport to avoid shutdown

    Drone Dome, from Israeli defense company Rafael, pinpoints a suspicious drone and jams the radio frequencies used by its operator to control it, rendering the UAV unable to move. The British military had purchased the system a few months ago, and used it during the drone sightings at London’s Gatwick Airport.

  • DronesWays to stop a rogue drone

    By Anna Jackman

    The mounting threat of drone users not following aviation regulation or committing crimes means police need effective ways to stop and capture rogue devices. One of the key challenges for any anti-drone counter-measure is that the typical small size of most drones makes them difficult to detect and target. One novel and widely reported idea being explored by the Dutch National Police is the training of bald eagles to down drones. A perfect solution has yet to be found, but interest and investment in drone countermeasures is increasing, giving authorities a growing number of options for tackling rogue drones.

  • MunitionsMunitions that go further, much faster

    Researchers discovered a new way to get more energy out of energetic materials containing aluminum, common in battlefield systems, by igniting aluminum micron powders coated with graphene oxide. The discovery coincides with the one of the U.S. Army’s modernization priorities: Long Range Precision Fires. This research could lead to enhanced energetic performance of metal powders as propellant/explosive ingredients in Army’s munitions.

  • MunitionsAlternatives to open burning, open detonation of conventional waste munitions

    Most of the alternative technologies to open burning and open detonation (OB/OD) of conventional munitions designated for disposal are mature, including contained burn and contained detonation chambers with pollution control equipment, and many are permitted to replace OB/OD of waste munitions, says a new report by the National Academies of Sciences.

  • EscapesDeveloping concepts for escape respirator

    DHS S&T announced the Escape Respirator Challenge, a $250,000 prize competition that seeks new concepts for an escape respirator solution. This challenge invites the innovation community to submit relevant, useable, effective, and feasible concepts that protects the user against aerosolized chemical, biological, and radiological (CBR) hazards and provides oxygen.

  • Earthquakes predictionsFault displacement “fingerprints” helps forecast magnitude of rupture

    Machine-learning research helps detect seismic signals accurately, allowing them to predict the Cascadia fault’s slow slippage, a type of failure observed to precede large earthquakes in other subduction zones.

  • Airport securityAirport security screening without queues

    Researchers have invented a device that could be developed into ultra-sensitive cameras for security screening which would not require people to queue at airports. Other applications could include smaller and safer sensors for driverless vehicles.

  • First responseVitalTag to give vital information in mass casualty incidents

    When mass casualty incidents occur — shootings, earthquakes, multiple car pile ups — first responders can easily be overwhelmed by the sheer number of victims. When every second counts, monitoring all the victims in a chaotic situation can be difficult. Researchers developed a stick-on sensor that measures and tracks a patient’s vital signs to help first responders quickly triage, treat and transport the injured.

  • Search & rescueFoldable drone flies through narrow passages in rescue missions

    Researchers have developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.