• Tiny sensor "listens" to gunshots to identify source of fire and type of weapon

    The sensor, developed by a Dutch company, is smaller than the head of a match, made of two 200-nanometer-thick, 10-micrometer-wide platinum strips that are heated to 200 degrees Celsius; the sensor does not truly “listen” to sounds; rather, it senses air particles that flow past the platinum strips and cool them unevenly

  • The last frontier: DARPA wants to make the Earth's crust transparent

    Seeing through the Earth’s would allow the development of tools to protect civilian populations from the ravages of natural disasters; these same tools could be used for military purposes against enemies — detecting, targeting, and destroying hard and buried underground facility (UGF) targets

  • Geospatial Corporation maps the world under the Earth's crust

    Pennsylvania-based Geospatial Corporation — company’s motto: “Mapping the underground / Managing the global infrastructure” — offers a solution which creates detailed 3D maps of underground regions; the Pentagon has already contracted Geospatial to create 3D maps of the deep earth beneath their “critical facilities”

  • DARPA looking for military iPhone and Android apps

    Pentagon’s research arm is looking for apps to be written for the iPhone or for handsets running Google’s Android OS — “with potential relevance to the military specifically and the national security community more generally”

  • U.S. Army looking for robots to extract wounded soldiers from battlefield

    Rescuing wounded soldiers under fire is itself a major cause of military death and injury; the U.S. Army asks inventors to come with idea for a Robotic Combat Casualty Extraction device; the robot should not only be strong and dexterous, but should also be capable of planning an approach and escape route without prior knowledge of the local terrain and geography

  • Israel's latest UAV -- world's largest -- is no game changer

    On Sunday Israel has unveiled the Eitan, the world’s largest UAV (it has the wingspan of Boeing 737); it will undoubtedly allow the country to look deep inside Iran to provide detailed intelligence, but it is not likely to be a wonder weapon to knock out the Islamic Republic’s nuclear facilities

  • Israel unveils world's largest UAV

    The Eitan is 79 feet long, has a wingspan of 86 feet — about the size of a Boeing 737 airliner — and can stay aloft for 20 hours at high altitude; powered by a 1,200-horsepower turbojet engine, it has a maximum altitude of 40,000 feet and can carry hundreds of pounds of equipment, such as high-resolution cameras and electronic systems and presumably weapons; Israel says the UAV has the capability of reaching the Gulf

  • Northrop Grumman successfully demonstrates VADER dismount detection

    Northrop Grumman’s Vehicle and Dismount Exploitation Radar (VADER) capable of tracking vehicles and foot traffic over a wide area; it is used with medium altitude, long endurance UAVs and smaller manned aircraft; it should help U.S. and Coalition forces better detect militants as they try to plant IEDs

  • U.S. Navy SEALs receive new airlock mini-sub

    The U.S. Special Operations Command wants to replace the standard “wet” Swimmer Delivery Vehicles (SDVs) with a new and enlarged pocket submarine; a mini-sub with a proper pressure hull and an airlock would allow attacking frogmen to travel dry to their target

  • BAE Systems completes first flight test of persistent surveillance

    The ARGUS-IS offer a new real-time persistent surveillance capability for U.S. combat forces to detect, locate, track, and monitor events on battlefields and in urban areas — providing significantly greater video coverage over current airborne capabilities

  • U.S. losing ground in the global defense industry

    The U.S. global dominance of the defense industry is eroding; Russia and China encroach on formerly assured markets, while South Korea, Australia, Pakistan, and India will emerge as strong competitors in the industry

  • DARPA looking to edit soldiers’ DNA to boost performance

    DARPA has budgeted $7.5 million in hopes of “increas[ing] by several decades the speed with which we sequence, analyze and functionally edit cellular genomes”; the agency is also looking for a cybersecurity system which will not rely on technicians to patch security holes once they are found, but will instead have the instincts to go it alone

  • Afghan government bans explosive fertilizer

    Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai has banned ammonium nitrate fertilizers in Afghanistan in order to curtail the Taliban’s ability to produce explosive devices

  • Exoskeleton to be equipped with a 3-day fuel cell powerpack

    The Human Universal Load Carrier (HULC) powered suit runs on lithium-ion batteries at present; it allows a soldier to march easily with a load of 200 lb, but it normally runs flat after just a few hours — significantly less if any jogging or running is done; a new powerpack will correct that

  • Israeli ducted-fan sky-jeep in flight trials

    Fancraft technology is different from hovercraft technology, because hovercrafts cannot actually fly; fancraft technology involves the use of a basic idea: ducted fans, which are essentially enclosed helicopter rotor discs; until now, the technology faced two problems: small thrust discs mean very low efficiency, leading to aircraft with unacceptably poor fuel endurance and payload even in the context of helicopters; secondly, in the past, the ducted-fan machines were almost impossible to control; an Israeli company says it has solved at least the second problem