Military

US Air Force’s new initiative trains operators for space battles

US Air Force’s new initiative trains operators for space battles

U.S. Air Force Space Command has announced its new Space Mission Force initiative, a plan that will train satellite operators to respond to various threats and to control satellites in threatening environments. The Space Mission Force is more than a year into planning, and it comes from the Space Command’s head Gen. John Hyten. In the event space becomes a “contested environment,” this new USAF program will make sure a greater number of satellite operators are able to engage in so-called space battles.

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DARPA CHIPs program seeks miniature, modular ‘chiplets’

DARPA CHIPs program seeks miniature, modular ‘chiplets’

DARPA has a new program called CHIPS, which is short for Common Heterogenous Integration and Intellectual Property Reuse Strategies Program. A mouthful, right? CHIPS seeks innovation as complex as the name behind the acronym: the taking of modern printed circuit boards and doing away with them via the development of miniature, modular “chiplets.” Says DARPA, it wants “an entire PCB” to be condensed down into a single device that is about the size of one present-day chip.

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U.S. Navy funds bomb-sniffing bugs research

U.S. Navy funds bomb-sniffing bugs research

The human sense of smell isn't that great, and so humans have largely relegated the task of sniffing out items -- non-pungent drugs, hidden bombs, missing people -- to dogs. Dogs are great at what they do, but they pose some issues, as well. For one thing, training bomb-sniffing dogs is expensive. In addition, a dog can alert to something but it can't break down what it smells or give us any details. Bugs though? They may be the solution.

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US developing real-time camera-based behavior monitoring system

US developing real-time camera-based behavior monitoring system

In the not-so-distant-future, your every public action may be monitored by cameras that deliver video feeds to behavior tracking systems capable of analyzing your actions for suspicious elements in real-time. The system is called Deep Intermodal Video Analytics, DIVA for short, and it is currently a research project with the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency. As you may have guessed, it is being developed under the banner of fighting terrorism.

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Navy testing (for a secret project) may cause GPS outages out west

Navy testing (for a secret project) may cause GPS outages out west

The military is up to something and it may cause GPS disruptions in the American west, according to a notice from the Federal Aviation Administration. It's not clear what exactly is going on, but the FAA's advisory specifies the epicenter of the possible disruptions being China Lake, California, which is home to the U.S. Navy's Naval Air Weapons Station. The disruptions start today and will run throughout the remainder of the month.

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U.S. Navy equips diving helmet with Ironman-like HUD

U.S. Navy equips diving helmet with Ironman-like HUD

The U.S. Navy has taken the wraps off what it calls next-gen diving helmets equipped with a specially design head-up display. The embedded HUD is called Divers Augmented Vision Display (DAVD), and it is described as being a see-through high-res display giving divers real-time data on a bunch of things, including text messages from others, AR videos, and diagrams. The HUDs will complement pre-dive briefings, according to the Navy, to aid divers in performing various missions.

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DARPA-backed electric military stealth bikes can also run on jet fuel

DARPA-backed electric military stealth bikes can also run on jet fuel

Back in early 2014, DARPA issued grants for the development of stealthy military motorcycles, with the idea being that silent motorcycles will be an efficient and fast way to get soldiers across difficult or long stretches of ground. Now, more than two years later, the first two prototypes created for that project have been unveiled with dark dirt bike-like designs.

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DARPA awards contract for underwater positioning system

DARPA awards contract for underwater positioning system

The U.S. Navy has autonomous watercraft aspirations, and it needs a way for future unmanned (and manned) subs to navigate accurately. Here to help is DARPA, which has selected BAE Systems to create an underwater positioning system for deep ocean navigation (POSYDON). The program will produce a navigation system that eliminates the need to surface for updated GPS data.

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Superjet desert tests pave way for ultra-fast commercial flights

Superjet desert tests pave way for ultra-fast commercial flights

The future of long-distance travel is looking more exciting than ever -- forget Amtrak, we'll have a Hyperloop. And what about flights? Work has been underway to create a so-called 'superjet' able to travel at ridiculously fast speeds, and that technology was recently successfully tested in the Australian desert. The effort, a collaboration between U.S. and Australian military research teams, involves hypersonic technology able to take planes from Sydney to London in a mere two hours.

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U.S. military shows off giant ray gun for shooting down drones

U.S. military shows off giant ray gun for shooting down drones

The Dutch have anti-drone eagles, Tokyo police have drones with capture nets, the Marines have a laser on a Humvee and, now, the U.S. federal government has a gigantic anti-drone gun that shoots invisible waves of energy at uninvited drones. The DroneDefender ray-gun is made by Battelle, and it works by jamming the frequencies a drone uses, causing it to lose connection with its operator.

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Chicago museum will open 5,000sqft DARPA exhibit tomorrow

Chicago museum will open 5,000sqft DARPA exhibit tomorrow

Tomorrow, the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry will be opening up an “in-depth and interactive” exhibit focused on DARPA, the government’s military research agency. DAPRA has existed for decades and has made many of its projects publicly known, but that doesn’t mean information about the agency itself is easy to come by. The exhibit will change that, featuring 5,000 square feet of displays and activities.

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DARPA taps 8 organizations to develop futuristic armored cars

DARPA taps 8 organizations to develop futuristic armored cars

DARPA has announced that it awarded contracts to eight organizations under its Ground X-Vehicle Technology (GXV-T) program. The program seeks to produce ground-based armored vehicles that are able to withstand modern weapons but that reverse the trend of increased weight and other issues that affect mobility and speed. The contracts are going to Carnegie Mellon University, Southwest Research Institute, SRI International, and more.

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