Military

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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DARPA wants ‘shape-shifting’ vaccines that evolve with viruses

DARPA wants ‘shape-shifting’ vaccines that evolve with viruses

Vaccines are great, but they’re no match for most viruses in play at any given time. This is due largely in part to the ever-changing nature of viruses and the expense and difficulty in developing new vaccines to target them. DARPA wants that reality to change, citing the numerous concerning viruses, past and present, that affect humanity. Under the “INTERCEPT” program, DARPA seeks “shape-shifting” vaccines that adapt to kill off viruses as they evolve.

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US Navy’s autonomous warship will soon trawl the seas

US Navy’s autonomous warship will soon trawl the seas

The U.S. Navy has a 132ft unarmed “self-driving” warship, and it has named it Sea Hunter. Much like Google’s car, Sea Hunter is able to operate on its own, cruising the oceans in hunt of unwelcome submarines. Unlike manned warships, though, Sea Hunter won’t require any human operators on board, and as such will cost only a sliver of current manned ships. DARPA recently showed off the then-unnamed warship on video.

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U.S. Army wants soldiers to have pocket drones by 2018

U.S. Army wants soldiers to have pocket drones by 2018

The U.S. Army has been looking into technology referred to as “soldier-borne sensors” that are essentially miniature pocket-sized drones intended for individual soldiers to carry. Some allied troops have already been using such technologies, and now the U.S. Army is ready to get on board; it has set a goal for 2018, at which point it wants its own troops to be equipped with such tiny flying devices.

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DARPAs Gremlins are air-recoverable drones

DARPAs Gremlins are air-recoverable drones

Say the word Gremlins to any child of the '80s and we automatically assume you can't feed them after midnight. DARPA is working on a new program that it calls Gremlins, but rather than adorable little animals that turn murderous after late night snacks, the DARPA Gremlins are flying drone aircraft that are capable of being launched and recovered in the air. DARAP has awarded phase 1 contracts to four different companies to begin looking at ways to make the air-recoverable drone aircraft possible.

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DARPA’s TNT program aims to stimulate rapid learning

DARPA’s TNT program aims to stimulate rapid learning

DARPA has a new program that aims to speed up a person’s rate of learning via peripheral nerve stimulation. The agency cites interest in synaptic plasticity and cognitive skills training in particular, and seeks technology able to precisely activate peripheral nerves. The program, dubbed Targeted Neuroplasticity Training (TNT), would reduce the Department of Defense’s training costs and speed up how quickly agents can be equipped with necessary skills and knowledge.

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DARPA Improv project seeks to weaponize your appliances

DARPA Improv project seeks to weaponize your appliances

DARPA’s back with yet another project, and this one aims to turn everyday, benign appliances and other electronics into weapons and other “unanticipated security threats.” No, the agency isn’t hoping to equip soldiers with modified home appliances — rather, it wants the hive mind to come up with novel and unexplored methods for turning easily accessible devices into things that could threatened national security, helping to bolster preventative technologies.

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