• The Inferred Abundance of Interstellar Objects of Technological Origin

    Five years ago, astronomers noticed a large, strange-looking object streaking across space, tens of millions of miles from Earth. Its trajectory and speed indicated it originated from outside the solar system. Astronomers say there may be 4 quintillion alien spacecraft traveling in – and in and out of — our solar system. That’s 18 zeros, just so that you know.

  • A Drone Wing That Could Learn How to Sense Danger Faster

    The small domes that you press on your soda’s to-go cup lid may one day save a winged drone from a nosedive. Patterns of these invertible domes on a drone’s wings would give it a way to remember in microseconds what dangerous conditions feel like and react quickly.

  • Meeting Surging Demand for National Security Research

    Sandia National Laboratory is embarking on a major expansion of its network of academic partners to meet the surging demand for national security science and engineering. From 2015 to 2021, the Labs’ budget increased more than 50%, from $2.9 billion to $4.5 billion. Over the same period, the Labs increased its workforce by more than 25%, from 11,700 to 15,000. Still, the Lab says that it won’t meet its obligations just by hiring staff.

  • Purdue University Launches Institute for National Security

    Building on its years of growing engagement and collaboration with the defense, homeland security and intelligence communities, Purdue University is creating the Purdue Institute for National Security, a new interdisciplinary institute.

  • Artificial Intelligence and Extremism: The Threat of Language Models for Propaganda Purposes

    Recent large-scale projects in the field of Artificial Intelligence have dramatically improved the quality of language models, unfolding a wide range of practical applications. Language models are statistical models that calculate probability distributions over sequences of words. Language models can make many beneficial contributions, but they may also be misused by extremist actors for propaganda purposes.

  • Companies Weigh Fallout from U.S. Ban on Sending Chip Tech to China

    The new U.S. ban the transfer of advanced U.S. semiconductor technology to China affects not only U.S. firms that sell to China, but any company whose products contain American semiconductor technology. Semiconductor companies and other tech firms that count China among their largest single markets are facing potentially severe damage to their revenues.

  • Russia Working Hard to Acquire Sensitive Western Military Technology

    Russia has struggled for years, if not decades, to acquire sensitive Western technology and military hardware: everything from night-vision goggles for soldiers to powerful computer chips for advanced fighter jets. How successful the effort has been is an open question, but according to news reports and military analysts, sensitive Western technologies are widely employed in Russian weaponry and military equipment.

  • Battery Tech Breakthrough Paves Way for Mass Adoption of Affordable Electric Car

    If new car sales are going to shift to battery-powered electric vehicles (EVs), they’ll need to overcome two major drawbacks: they are too slow to recharge and too large to be efficient and affordable. Researchers develop new technique that charges EV battery in just ten minutes.

  • Why Not Use Space Mirrors for Reflecting Sunlight to Cool the Planet?

    Given the potential consequences of climate change and a danger of reaching irreversible “tipping points,” there is an argument to be made that all options should be carefully considered. Sending giant mirrors into space to reflect solar radiation away from the Earth is one such option. The problem is that the many such geoengineering approaches have been so taboo that there is not enough information from researchers to definitively decide what options are still viable.

  • Seismic Shifts Underway in Global Semiconductor Market as U.S. Accelerates Decoupling from China

    Historically, the U.S. had the lion’s share of the global semiconductor industry (37 percent in 1990), but its dominance has been eroded by North Asian markets over the past three decades. In August, the administration committed to bolstering the U.S. semiconductor manufacturing sector with $50 billion in funding under the CHIPS and Science Act, with the potential to create 40,000 new jobs.

  • Washington Raises Stakes in War on Chinese Technology

    The Biden administration is expanding its list of technology-focused sanctions on China, drawing parallels to U.S. controls targeting the Soviet Union during the Cold War – and the new U.S. sanctions are in some ways more restrictive than Cold-War era controls.

  • A Machine Learning-Based Solution May Help Firefighters Avoid Deadly Backdrafts

    A lack of oxygen can reduce even the most furious flame to smoldering ash. But when fresh air rushes in, say after a firefighter opens a window or door to a room, the blaze may be suddenly and violently resurrected. Researchers have devised a plan for informing firefighters of what dangers lie behind closed doors.

  • Method for Decoding Asteroid Interiors Could Help Aim Asteroid-Deflecting Missions

    Knowing how the density is distributed inside an asteroid could help scientists plan the most effective defense. For instance, if an asteroid were made of relatively light and uniform matter, a DART-like spacecraft could be aimed differently than if it were deflecting an asteroid with a denser, less balanced interior. Astronomers have found a way to determine an asteroid’s interior structure based on how its spin changes during a close encounter with Earth.

  • Killer Robots Will Be Nothing Like the Movies Show—Here's Where the Real Threats Lie

    Killer robots won’t be sentient humanoid robots with evil intent. This might make for a dramatic storyline and a box office success, but such technologies are many decades, if not centuries, away. Indeed, contrary to recent fears, robots may never be sentient. It’s much simpler technologies we should be worrying about. And these technologies are starting to turn up on the battlefield today in places like Ukraine and Nagorno-Karabakh.

  • Improving Recovery of Critical Systems after Cyberattacks

    Researchers aim to develop fast, accurate and efficient recovery mechanisms that, when coupled with the expeditious damage assessment techniques he has already developed, will offer an “integrated suite solution.” This will allow affected CI systems to continue running while providing as many critical functionalities as possible.