Military

Army tests “hoverbike” successfully, Star Wars fans rejoice

Army tests “hoverbike” successfully, Star Wars fans rejoice

The USA Department of Defense has witnessed the first successful public test of the Army's latest in futuristic vehicles - the hoverbike. This device is officially known as the Joint Tactical Aerial Resupply Vehicle (JTARV), and can be seen tested without a pilot in a video shared by the United States Army Research Laboratory this week. The video shows a small-scale prototype test flight, and may move on to flights with pilots in the near future.

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BLAST military project can detect brain injury from explosions

BLAST military project can detect brain injury from explosions

The Office of Naval Research is funding a new project to develop BLAST, the Blast Load Assessment Sense and Test technology. This system, once created, will help identify potential traumatic brain injuries in soldiers and other military personnel who are within range of some kind of blast, potentially getting them necessary medical attention promptly. Such technology may help prevent serious brain injury resulting from multiple traumatic blast exposures.

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DARPA program seeks way to control drone ‘swarms’ from the ground

DARPA program seeks way to control drone ‘swarms’ from the ground

DARPA's latest program, the OFFensive Swarm-Enabled Tactics (OFFSET) effort, aims to find a solution for easily controlling large swarms of drones from the ground, with these 'swarms' being composed of at least 100 units. The defensive research agency envisions these swarms of drones — which could also feature ground robots when necessary — being used for all sorts of things: gathering intelligence, surveillance, offering protection, wielding firepower, and more. The Marine Corps and U.S. Army are the intended recipients of such technology.

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Canadian military investigates strange Arctic ‘pinging,’ only finds walruses

Canadian military investigates strange Arctic ‘pinging,’ only finds walruses

Locals have been reporting an unusual ‘pinging’ sound in the Arctic that reportedly scares animals and is strong enough to be heard through boat hulls. In light of these reports, Canada’s military has set out to investigate and, hopefully, find an explanation for the pings. According to military officials, aircraft-based searches were carried out over the region in which the noise has been reported, but thus far no sources have been identified.

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Torq EV buggy is designed specifically for ordnance disposal

Torq EV buggy is designed specifically for ordnance disposal

A company called Torq Defense Systems has unveiled a new electric all-terrain vehicle that is designed specifically for ordnance disposal personnel. The vehicle is called the EOD Light Tactical Electric Vehicle and can be used by both law enforcement and government agencies. The Torq LTEV is designed so that the driver can operate the vehicle while wearing a full ordinance disposal suit. The vehicle is designed to operate in high-density urban environments.

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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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