• U.K. project examines the idea of a nuclear-powered passenger aircraft

    As worries about the rising price of oil and climate change grow, so grows the interest in nuclear power — but not only for ground-based power generation; a U.K. government-funded project examines the idea of nuclear-powered passenger plane

  • Pentagon interested in submersible aircraft

    DARPA asks for proposals for a submersible airplane; the agency admits that this has never been done before, and that many of the design requirements of airplanes contradict the design requirements of submarines; still, the agency says that we may solve the contradiction if we were to think not of a flying submarine, but of a submersible aircraft

  • New reactor design lessens risk of weapon proliferation

    Nuclear materials for power reactors cannot be stolen by those interested in using it for nuclear weapons while the material is in the reactor — it is too hot to handle; the risks of diversion are during the enrichment process, and while the material is being transported; to lessen the risk, researchers offer innovative reactor design

  • Closed Maine suspension bridge used for anti-terror testing

    DHS is using a closed Maine bridge for tests on how to fortify bridges against terrorist attacks

  • Innovative shoe scanner to make travel safer, lines shorter

    University of Manchester researcher develops a technology which allows security personnel to spot people with concealed items in their shoes as they walk through passport control or through traditional security checks

  • Using pre-cast abutments to build bridges faster

    Wisconsin contractor using pre-cast, segmental abutments for the first time to build a bridge in Wisconsin; technique may allow building bridges 30 percent faster

  • Briefly noted

    Laser raygun plane gets $30m extended evaluation… Security wonks warn of cell phone zombie uprising… Aladdin’s cyber security center… Gartner: Top 10 strategic technologies for 2009

  • SAIC to develop artificial nose

    DARPA awards SAIC a contract under the RealNose program; the project aims to create a device which emulates dogs’ olfactory system

  • Thales opens European security center

    More than 25 percent of Thales’s revenues come from its security systems, which totalled approximately €3.4 billion in 2007; the French giant launches a security research center dedicated to homeland security

  • UAVs-mounted aircraft defense system demonstrated

    Until now there have been two leading approaches to protecting civilian aircraft from shoulder-fired missiles: One approach proposed placing the defensive systems on the planes to be protected, the other advocated surrounding airports with a protective umbrella; a third approach has now been demonstrated: Mounting defensive systems on UAVs loitering high in the sky

  • Portable imaging system helps response to natural disasters

    Yellow Jackets researchers develop an imaging system which can be affixed to a helicopter to create a detailed picture of an area devastated by a hurricane or other natural disaster

  • Better coastal defenses against large waves

    Coastal defenses have to withstand great forces and there is always a risk of water overtopping or penetrating these structures; Liverpool University’s mathematician says we need new concepts for coastal defenses

  • DARPA seeks ultrasonic tourniquets

    New device, placed on the arm or a leg of an injured soldier or first responder will use ultrasound scanning to pinpoint internal bleeding, before focusing “high-power energy” on the bleed sites

  • Northrop Grumman delivers first, if under-powered, raygun to U.S. military

    The U.S. military wants a beam weapon capable of at least 100 KW to shoot down incoming artillery shells or missiles; Northrop’s Vesta II can offer only 15 KW — capable of disrupting cellphone towers, car engines, and unexploded munitions; it is a start

  • More on the danger of GPS spoofing

    The military version of GPS includes security features such as encryption, but civilian signals are transmitted in the clear, unencrypted; a suitcase-size transmitting device can easily fool a GPS receiver; the power grid may be disrupted, and ankle-bracelet-wearing criminals walk about freely