• 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Novel network model to help in cyberwarfare, conservation, and disease prevention

    Computer networks are the battlefields in cyberwarfare, as exemplified by the U.S. recent use of computer viruses to attack Iran’s nuclear program; researchers develop a computer model which could help military strategists devise the most damaging cyber attacks as well as guard America’s critical infrastructure

  • DARPA invests in hypersonic technologies

    Stealth technology offered the U.S. military many advantages, but that strategic advantage is threatened as other nations’ abilities in stealth and counter-stealth improve; restoring that battle space advantage requires advanced speed, reach, and range; DARPA says that hypersonic technologies have the potential to provide the dominance once afforded by stealth to support a range of varied future national security missions

  • Advanced IED detectors save lives

    Almost 60 percent of all coalition forces wounded or killed in Afghanistan since the start of the war in 2001 have been due to IEDs; to complicate matters, insurgents in Afghanistan have been increasingly constructing IEDs to circumvent simple metal detectors; some IEDs contain rudimentary materials such as wooden boards, foam rubber, and plastic containers; the finished product contains very little metal making it difficult for a traditional metal detector to pick up

  • First successful "spoofing" of UAVs demonstrated

    A research team successfully demonstrated for the first time that the GPS signals of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), or drone, can be commandeered by an outside source — a discovery that could factor heavily into the implementation of a new federal mandate to allow thousands of civilian drones into the U.S. airspace by 2015

  • DARPA’s UAVForge shows challenge of developing perch and stare UAV

    DARPA’s UAVForge is a crowdsourcing competition to design, build, and manufacture an advanced small UAV; the competition aims to determine whether a loosely-connected community of UAV enthusiasts could develop a militarily relevant back-pack portable UAV with specific capabilities

  • New device allows users to scale walls, mountain faces

    A group of mechanical and aerospace engineering students, using engineering principles, basic math, and ingenuity, have designed a system which would enable special operations force personnel, first responders, and members of search and rescue teams to scale buildings or mountain faces under a variety of conditions

  • Raytheon demonstrates missiles to engage swarms of small boats

    In the event of a military a U.S.-Iran military clash, the Iranian Navy plans to use hundreds of small boats, equipped with anti-ship missiles, to attack larger U.S. ships in the waters of the Persian Gulf; the Griffin B missile from Raytheon aims to offer an answer to the small-boat problem, and the company says that in a recent live-fire demonstration, the U.S. Navy proved the ability of the Griffin B missile to engage rapidly moving small boats

  • Students build slingshot-driven test for artillery shells

    The current method the U.S. Air Force uses to study the behavior of artillery shells causes these shells to be destroyed in the process; the Air Force wants to know more about the behavior of artillery shells as they accelerate and decelerate – and Rice University students invents a device to stop high-velocity projectiles without destroying them

  • Improving fast-moving mobile networks

    Mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs) allow people in multiple, rapidly-moving vehicles to communicate with each other – a useful technology in for emergency-response situations or soldiers under fire; researchers have devised a method to improve the quality and efficiency of data transmission in these networks

  • Teaching robots to pick up oddly shaped objects

    The use of robots in military and first response missions is growing; in some of these missions – for example, checking a suspicious object, lifting an oddly sahped IED off the floor — robots need more flexibility and dexterity than is currently available; researchers offer encouraging news on this front