• 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

  • Portable military barriers help Canadian city in flood fight

    Canada is using a new technology to prevent flood damage in Manitoba; the one-meter-square wire cages can be unfolded and quickly filled with dirt or mud; they can also be linked for a long row that can be set up far quicker than it takes to sling sandbags; the barriers have been used by the U.S. military to protect embassies from terrorist attacks, and have also been used for flood protection in the United States

  • OSU chemist developing solution to nerve agent exposure

    Scientists are working to develop a new drug that will regenerate a critical enzyme in the human body that “ages” after a person is exposed to deadly chemical warfare agents; the drug will counter the effects of Tabun, VX, VR, Sarin, Soman, Cyclosarin, and Paraoxon, all of which take on a similar molecular structure upon aging

  • Spray-on explosives detector

    A chemist at Oklahoma State University has developed a spray-on material that detects explosives made from peroxides and renders them harmless; the material is a type of ink that contains nanoparticles of a compound of molybdenum. The ink changes color, from dark blue to pale yellow or clear, in the presence of explosives

  • Short-range missile tracking satellite demonstrated

    There are two weapons the weak can employ against the strong: the first is terror; the second are rockets and short range missiles; to operate rockets and short range missiles, though, the weaker side must be in control of some territory and must have a state ready to supply it with these more advanced weapon systems; Hezbollah (in May 2000) and Hamas (in June 2007) came into control of territory, and are being supplied by Iran and Syria with missiles and rockets; Israel last Sunday deployed the first batteries of its Iron Dome short-range missile defense; the United States is not lagging far behind

  • Three dolphins found dead after U.S. Navy training exercise

    Three dolphins died this month during a U.S. Navy training exercise using underwater explosives near the San Diego County coast; environmentalists have argued that the Navy’s sonar exercises can deafen and even kill whales and other marine life; the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the military in 2008

  • Israel unveils Iron Dome anti-rocket defense system

    Israel on Sunday stationed the first batteries of its Iron Dome short-range missile defense system in the south of the country; the military stressed the initial deployment was experimental; after being deployed in the south, the system will then be deployed along the Lebanese border, from where Hezbollah militants fired some 4,000 rockets into northern Israel during a 2006 war; the most obvious and immediate benefit of the defensive system would be the de-fanging of the two more radical groups in the region, Hezbollah and Hamas; the system, though, is more significant in what it will allow Israel to do vis-à-vis the Palestinians: if the same rockets Hamas is firing at Israel from the Gaza Strip were to be fired from the West Bank, all of Israel’s population and economic centers will be under threat; if Iron Dome proved effective, it would make it easier for Israel to consider deep withdrawals from the West Bank, thus allowing the establishment of a viable Palestinian state without compromising Israeli security

  • Lockheed developing autonomous and covert rover

    A surveillance robot aims to operate around humans without being detected by them; the machine uses a laser scanner to builds a 3D computer model of its surroundings and uses a set of acoustic sensors to distinguish the proximity and direction of footsteps

  • CT scans help doctors treat sniper wounds

    Determining a bullet or bomb fragment’s path through flesh and bone can help doctors treat injuries and decide which patients to prioritize; instead of relying solely on visual cues and a possibly deviated bullet path, researchers are working to develop high-resolution computed tomography (CT)-based methods of accurately determining a bullet’s trajectory

  • Ex-CIA head praises drone warfare

    More than forty people were killed in Pakistan last week in a U.S. drone attack near the Afghan border; despite the controversial use of drones, ex-CIA director Michael Hayden says they are winning the war; ten years after 9/11, al Qaeda’s leadership no longer enjoys sanctuary in the tribal areas of Pakistan where for many years, it has been able to plot and train its recruits

  • Marines integrate biometrics on battlefield

    The U.S. Marine Corps is beginning to implement biometric technologies to help them identify insurgents on the battlefield; members of the III Marine Expeditionary Force in Japan are undergoing training to learn how to gather biometric data; in particular, troops are looking for fingerprints from improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to help capture bomb makers; the prints are stored in a database that will soon be shared with DHS border agents to assist with counter-terrorism efforts within the United States; border agents will be able to determine if people entering the country match any of the insurgents identified abroad

  • Army to request proposals for biological agent detection system

    The Army is set to begin requesting proposals for the initial phase of its Joint Biological Standoff Detection System Increment 2 (JBSDS 2) program at the end of March; the program’s objective is to procure fully functional biological detection systems; JBSDS 2 is designed to provide devices capable of detecting, tracking, and identifying biological warfare clouds; the program specifies that the devices should be capable of identifying any biological agent, organism, or poison that is capable of killing, incapacitating, or impeding a large force

  • Army signs deal with ChemImage for explosive detection technology

    The U.S. Army’s Space and Missile Defense command recently signed a $17 million contract with ChemImage Corporation to implement its real-time sensor technology to detect explosive threats in the field; ChemImage’s technology would give U.S. troops the ability to identify objects from a distance to determine if they are explosive, chemical, or biological threats; the devices rely on molecular spectroscopy and digital imaging to analyze material

  • Smartphones makes military networks vulnerable

    The U.S. military has increasingly integrated smartphones into combat operations, but cyber security experts warn that these devices could also pose a major security challenge to military networks; smartphones are fast becoming the target of choice for hackers; Android phone applications have no security screening procedures before they are released, while iPhone apps are only loosely screened; to secure these devices, the military can encrypt all data, turn off voice capabilities, and lock the phone to only allow the use of approved apps; the Army is considering issuing every soldier a smartphone

  • Vallon showcases innovative mine detector

    German company Vallon unveiled its latest mine detection system; one of its advantages is that it can detect mines made with no metal parts (the device can detect metal-free particles at a depth of 40 cm, and metal objects at greater depths); the UN is already deploying the device in mine-clearance operations in thirty countries