• Detecting rusted metal encased in concrete structures

    Many of the problems of aging infrastructure owe to rusting metal; trouble is, much of that metal is encased in concrete — in bridges, tunnels, dams, roads; new technology uses electromagnetic fields to measure corrosion through non-ferrous material

  • Israel uses new ISR systems, ordnance

    Advocates of air power were humbled in the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war, but they hope to be vindicated in the Israel-Hamas conflict; Israel uses new ISR systems which shrink the sensor-to-shooter loop, and new bunker-busting ordnance

  • NIST's electromagnetic Phantom standardizes metal detector tests

    An electromagnetic phantom — a carbon and polymer mixture that simulates the human body — is being readied by NIST as a standardized performance test for walk-through metal detectors such as those used at airports

  • "Small is beautiful" comes to the nuclear power industry

    The main problem facing nuclear power is not the fear of accidents or terrorism, or anxiety about nuclear waste disposal; it is cost (it takes about $4,000/kilowatt to build a nuclear power station); there is a growing interest in small, tub-size nuclear power units

  • SwissCopter in $15 million Middle East deal

    Swiss developer of manned and unmanned systems for surveillance and search-and-rescue — and the innovative software these systems use — receives an order from an “unnamed Middle Eastern government”

  • Scientists seek ways to ward off killer asteroids

    The U.S. Congress has tasked a blue-ribbon panel of scientists with two missions: Find better ways to detect and deflect asteroids that might hit Earth; more than 5,000 near Earth objects, including 789 potentially hazardous objects, have been identified so far

  • Government examines, then dismisses, threat of gravitational waves

    A U.S. company solicited funds from the Defense Intelligence Agency to examine the threat to the United States from gravitational waves; the agency concludes that notions that these waves might pose a security threat “belong to the realm of pseudo-science, not science” (physicists say you did not need a 40-page report to reach this conclusion)

  • Blood-detecting clothing to help first responders, soldiers

    Wolverines researchers developed a yarn that can detect blood; clothing made from the yarn would be useful in high-risk professions, as unconscious firefighters, ambushed soldiers, or police officers in an accident may not be able to send a distress signal to a central command post

  • New surveillance system identifies suspicious, lost people

    New surveillance software will attempt to recognize whether a person on the street is acting suspiciously or appears to be lost; intelligent video cameras will be connected to large video screens and geo-referencing software to help law enforcement and security agencies

  • National nuclear lab helps develop more soothing hand lotion

    Hand- and face lotions are typically uncomfortably chilly when coming fresh from the jar; Sandia National Lab, using microencapsulation technology used in nuclear weapons, helps a New Mexico cosmetics entrepreneur develop a hand cream which warms itself up as it is gently rubbed on

  • DARPA seeks damage tolerant technology for killer robots

    The U.S. military — and other militaries — are interested in robots that can autonomously operate weapon systems and make decisions about when to fire; such systems, however, are as vulnerable as human beings to enemy fire; “damage tolerant technology” will make them less vulnerable

  • New system locates origin of incoming fire

    A Massachusetts company develops a system which helps soldiers pinpoint the location of sniper fire; system has been successfully used in Iraq and Afghanistan

  • No end in sight for Moore's Law

    Moore’s Law lives! Worries that reduction in transistor size to below ~20 nm would create heating and quantum effects so severe that such transistors will not be of practical use (read: an end to Moore’s Law) are misplaced; researchers show the Moore’s Law will obtain for a while yet

  • Day of smart grid nears

    Major blackouts may be a thing of the past: the world’s first high-voltage Li-ion system can connect to the grid, without a transformer, and immediately turn on if there is a disruption in power

  • High-powered laser for refueling aircraft

    Moving military units from theater to theater is a challenge for the military’s lift capabilities; an integral part of such capabilities is the ability to refuel aircraft in mid-flight, which is dangerous; researchers offer a way to use laser to recharge the plane’s batteries; for now the system is limited to surveillance UAVs, but the developers envision it being used for larger planes