Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Military

First flight of the Northrop Grumman LEMV airship (Photo: Northrop Grumman)

When Northrop Grumman announced that it was building the Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle (LEMV), it looked as if the age of the great airships was returning. When the LEMV took to the air in its maiden flight, it seemed a certainty. Now, the US Army has announced that the US$517 million program has been cancelled.  Read More

Below appears part of an ARGUS-IS image of Quantico Marine Corps Base in Virginia, while a...

DARPA recently revealed information on its ARGUS-IS (Autonomous Real-Time Ground Ubiquitous Surveillance Imaging System), a surveillance camera that uses hundreds of smartphone image sensors to record a 1.8 gigapixel image. Designed for use in an unmanned drone (probably an MQ-1 Predator), from an altitude of 20,000 ft (6,100 m) ARGUS can keep a real-time video eye on an area 4.5 miles (7.2 km) across down to a resolution of about six inches (15 cm).  Read More

The purpose of the new jets is to increase the speed of the LCS while lowering running cos...

The U.S. Navy is fitting Rolls Royce water jets to its Littoral Combat Ships (LCS). The new water jets can pump out half a million gallons (1.9 million liters) of high-density seawater per minute, pushing the LCS at over 40 knots (46 mph, 74 km/h) while providing more power for less weight.  Read More

British soldiers in Afghanistan have been issued palm-sized Black Hornet Nano UAVs to scou...

Drones have become a valuable asset for any military force in recent years for both combat and surveillance. But while scanning a warzone from miles away is great from a tactical standpoint, unmanned aircraft can be just as useful in the hands of troops on the ground. That's why British soldiers in Afghanistan have been issued several Black Hornet Nanos, a palm-sized UAV that can scout around corners and obstacles for hidden dangers.  Read More

The Combat Survivor Evader Locator (CSEL)

Boeing has been awarded contracts worth US$13.6 million to upgrade the U.S. Air Force’s Combat Survivor Evader Locator (CSEL) radio and the CSEL ultrahigh frequency (UHF) base stations that support it. The purpose of the contract is to bring the personal survival radio and the CSEL network in line with the latest Information Assurance standards to protect them against jamming and other interference by hostile forces.  Read More

The DARPA project envisions deploying assets such as this earlier DARPA concept, the Corma...

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has seen the future of naval warfare and it’s falling upward. As part of an effort to reduce the logistics of sending equipment into trouble areas, the agency’s Upward Falling Payloads project is aimed at developing storage capsules capable of remaining on the deep seabed for years. These would contain non-lethal military assets that could be deployed on the spot years in advance and rise to the surface as needed.  Read More

Israeli military radar (Photo: Bukvoed via Wikimedia commons)

The military use of radar has always had a yin-yang dynamic – as new forms of radar are developed, so too are new ways to jam them. A team of physicists at the University of Rochester has discovered how to defeat the latest active radar jamming methods by taking advantage of the quantum properties of photons. While this new anti-jamming technology cannot remove the false information, it provides an immediate alert that false information is being received.  Read More

The ACTUV uses a very high-frequency sonar to take an acoustic image of its target, which ...

The murky details of DARPA's sub-hunting drone project are a bit clearer, thanks to a new concept video published by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). DARPA is spending US$58 million to have SAIC build the first Anti-Submarine Warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vehicle (ACTUV), which will detect and track a growing number of stealthy, inexpensive diesel-electric subs.  Read More

The Rheinmetall Laser

Practical high-energy laser weapons came a step closer to reality in November as Rheinmetall tested its new 50 kW high-energy weapon laser demonstrator. The series of exercises took place at the German-based group’s Ochsenboden Proving Ground in Switzerland. There the 50 kW laser weapon was tested against a series of targets to show the improvements over last year’s 10 kW version.  Read More

Rogue nuclear tests can be detected in GPS and radio telescope adjustment noise (Image: Sh...

Given that rogue nuclear tests are always conducted underground, the search for them has focused on efforts to refine the identification of characteristic seismic signatures. Now, researchers at Ohio State University (OSU) have discovered new detection methods in unlikely places – the rejected noise in GPS measurements and radio astronomy.  Read More

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