• U.S. to receive Canadian radar feeds to combat drug smugglers

    The Canadian government will soon start supplying DHS with data from its radar feeds to help border officials prevent low-flying airplanes from entering U.S. airspace to smuggle drugs along the northern border; in November the Canadian government will begin sending surveillance information collected from its twenty-two radar feeds to the U.S. Air and Marine Operations Center in Riverside, California; the data will be used to detect “unlawful entry into the United States”

  • Sophisticated new gadgets helped Navy SEALs take down bin Laden

    In the daring raid that killed Osama bin Laden, Navy Seals were likely outfitted with latest in high-tech weapons and gadgets; Fox News speculates on five key technologies that could have helped the highly trained members of Navy SEAL Team 6 successfully complete their mission including bomb sniffing dogs, satellite-linked helmet cameras, and modified stealth Black Hawk helicopter

  • Smartphones offer investigators gigabytes of personal data

    Unbeknownst to most smartphone users is the fact that investigators and criminals can access nearly every detail of a person’s private life just by gaining access to their phone; a forensic investigator can use a few simple tools to uncover a mountain of personal information including texts, photos, tweets, Facebook messages, emails, and important appointments; given the wealth of information that authorities are able to collect without a user’s knowledge, privacy advocates are not pleased; advocates are pushing for laws that regulate what type of information law enforcement officials can collect and what is off limits

  • Indian explosives detection technology comes to U.S.

    A south Carolina-based company signs a memorandum of understanding with India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) to enhance the DRDO-developed Explosives Detection Kit (EDK) so it meets standards that will allowed it to be used by the U.S. military and homeland security

  • U.S. Army picks Android

    Need artillery support? Android has an app for that; or will have, soon enough; while Apple scrambles, Google’s Android is picked as the operating system for the U.S. Army’s and Marine Corps’ smartphones; third-party developers will receive kits in July, with testing scheduled for October

  • U.S. deploys UAVs to Libya

    In response to NATO’s air dominance over Libya, the Libyan military and the foreign militias Gaddafi has recruited from other African countries have changed their tactics; they now ride around in pick-up trucks dressed in civilian cloths, thus making it difficult to identify them from a high-flying aircraft; also, in addition to shelling cities and other locations where the anti-Gaddafi forces congregate, the pro-Gaddafi forces have engaged in urban warfare; they place snipers on balconies and roof-tops to terrorize the pro-rebel population at the same time that small units, operating in the streets, ambush and engage the disorganized rebel forces; the UAVs are meant to provide NATO commanders with better information on what is going on streets and between buildings; Gen. James Cartwright, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the use of drones will give the edge to the international forces in crowded urban areas, where they are struggling “to pick friend from foe”

  • U.S. Air Force wants mind reading aerial drones

    The U.S. Air Force is currently working with several firms to develop aerial drones that have the ability to think and anticipate a controller’s actions before it occurs; the Air Force began exploring this capability in order to avoid collisions during takeoff and landings at busy airport terminals where both manned and unmanned planes launch; to address this problem, the Air Force awarded contracts to several firms to develop predictive software that can anticipate a pilot’s reaction if a drone is flying too closely

  • Army spends $50M for translation app that is already available

    This year the Pentagon has set aside nearly $50 million for the development of a sophisticated smartphone translation app that would allow troops in Afghanistan to translate Pastho and Dari; but some troops have already begun using the SpeechTrans app to translate Arabic which can be downloaded on any iPhone or iPad for less than $20, and the New Jersey based company is hard at work on an Afghan language edition of its app; one defense analyst questions the need to spend millions on research when “good enough” technology is already available, especially in light of congressional efforts to cut the deficit

  • New rifle sighting system dramatically improves accuracy

    Crosshairs automatically adjust for conditions in real time; a fiber-optic laser-based sensor system automatically corrects for even tiny barrel disruptions; the system, developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s (ORNL), precisely measures the deflection of the barrel relative to the sight and then electronically makes the necessary corrections; the new sensor is 250 times better than that of traditional crosshairs, which can be manually adjusted by one-fourth minutes of angle; the ORNL sensor can sense angular displacement and shift the reticle (crosshairs) by 1/1,000th of a minute of angle

  • Chips may sabotage hi-tech weapons

    Countries producing sophisticated weapon systems do not want these systems to fall into the wrong hands; one idea is to plant a chip in these weapons which would allow the country that supplied them to destroy or disable them remotely; already there are worries that with chip manufacturing moving outside the United States, foreign powers may bribe or coerce chip manufacturers into planting “backdoor” circuits in chips these manufacturers sell American defense contractors

  • U.S. Army surveillance blimp destroyed in accident

    The U.S. military wants to place powerful sensors on blimps, and have these blimps loiter the sky above the battlefield; the sensors, produced by Raytheon, will enable battlefield commanders to increase their wide-area protection against land-attack cruise missiles; last September, two blimps moored next to each other in the Elizabeth City, North Carolina manufacturing facility, collided after one of them almost got loose; the cost to the Army: $168 million

  • U.S. to reconsider use of drones in Pakistan

    In the last twenty-four months, U.S. drones have killed some 1,000 militants — but also about 600 civilians; in an effort to shore up fraying relationship with Pakistan, the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan said the United States would examine the continued use of drones in the war against the militants; Pakistani prime minister Asif Ali Zardari said the drone war has destabilized Pakistan and made political and economic reforms more difficult to accomplish

  • Rebels may sell missiles to finance campaign

    In a congressional testimony, General Carter Ham, commander of the U.S. Africa Command, underscored the threat from shoulder-fired missiles looted from Libyan arms depots; Gen. Ham estimated that 20,000 of these missiles may have been in Libya at the time of the uprising; carried and fired by a single fighter, these missiles travel at supersonic speeds from a shoulder-fired launcher toward the heat signature of an aircraft engine, where they detonate

  • Hi-tech goggles to reduce number of friendly fire incidents

    The modern battle-field is saturated with autonomous, remotely controlled platforms and weapons, and everything moves very fast; in addition, many of the engagements take place in close quarters; all these increase the risk of friendly fire; DARPA wants a small New York company to develop augmented reality goggles which will tell soldiers on the ground which air assets are nearby, bearing which weapons, thus resulting in more accurate destruction of enemy assets, less risk to friendly forces, and fewer civilian deaths

  • New Zealand company to offer personal jet packs

    A New Zealand company has successfully tested a jet pack, and will soon make it commercially available for about £50,000; in tests, the pack, which weighs less than 254 pounds, traveled 30 miles in 30 minutes on a full tank of fuel; it reached heights of up to 2,400 meters and top speeds of 60 mph; the company said the pack could be perfect for the emergency services, private users, and even the military