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Military

X-47B makes historic first carrier landing

The X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator put another page in the history books on Wednesday with its first unmanned arrested-wire carrier landing. The drone flew 35 minutes from Patuxent River Naval Air Station to the carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) off the coast of Virginia, where is landed at about 145 knots (167 mph, 268 km/h) with an arresting wire catching its tail hook and bringing it to a stop in 350 ft (107 m).Read More

DARPA developing digital airstrikes

The popular image of modern warfare is the digital battlefield where cyber soldiers have Terminator-like video displays and can call in an airstrike with the shine of a laser beam. While information technologies are revolutionizing the military, when it comes to calling in Close Air Support (CAS), it’s still World War One – where a misread or misheard grid reference can end up with soldiers being hit by their own artillery. DARPA’s Persistent Close Air Support (PCAS) program hopes to improve this.Read More

Rac-Em-Bac puts a bullet in your bow

Many archers in adventure stories and comic books use arrows with unusual heads. These include the standard explosive and grappling hook arrows, and the not-so-standard boxing glove arrow, Greek fire arrow, handcuffs arrow, and the ever popular atomic warhead arrow. While real archers generally have to make do with target and field heads, Louisiana-based archery company Rac-Em-Bac is now providing some spirited alternates.Read More

British Army takes remote-control of Terrier, the digging-est dog of war

The British Army has taken ownership of its first Terrier combat engineer vehicle, which maker BAE Systems claims is the most advanced of its type. The armored vehicle has been described as a Swiss Army Knife for the battlefield, capable of clearing routes or creating cover. Perhaps most significantly, the Terrier is drive-by-wire, and can be controlled remotely with a device very much like a console game pad. Read More

DARPA's Unattended Ground Sensor uses smartphone techology

While the needs of the modern digital warrior are growing rapidly, military sensors take three to eight years to develop while private industry can produce similar technology in only one or two years. In the hope of speeding things up, DARPA’s Adaptable Sensor System (ADAPT) program is looking to smartphone industry technologies and practices.Read More

US Army's new portable charger brings power to soldiers in the field

Portable electronic devices have revolutionized warfare, but they've also burdened the soldiers with an increasing number of batteries that adds significantly to their load. To help lighten the load, the US Army Research, Development and Engineering Command's communications-electronics center (CERDEC) has developed a military-grade Universal Battery Charger (UBC) to help soldiers in the field keep their electronics powered up.Read More

Inteliscope turns your iPhone into a tactical gun sight

You might think strapping your smartphone to a firearm is the last thing you'd want to do with it, but what if it could provide helpful information while hunting or during target practice? That's just what inventor Jason Giddings and his new company, Inteliscope, LLC, decided to do when they combined guns with smart devices to launch the Inteliscope Tactical Rifle Adapter. Along with an iOS app, the adapter allows gun owners to mount their iPhone or iPod Touch to a firearm and use it as a sight with a heads-up display that shows real-time data on their surroundings.Read More

DARPA's Warrior Web augments carrying capacity and endurance

Unless you've been there yourself, it's hard to imagine being a soldier in the field, trekking through rugged terrain while carrying gear weighing 100 lbs (45.35 kg) and beyond. There has a been a lot of research into exoskeletons over the years to alleviate these heavy loads, but strapping a person into a robotic outfit just isn't practical in a combat zone yet. Instead, DARPA's Warrior Web program aims to build a lightweight suit that improves a soldier's endurance and overall effectiveness, while preventing injuries. Read More

Video: High energy laser takes out rocket from 1.5 km

Lockheed Martin has released a video of ADAM, its high energy laser (HEL) system, taking out a rocket from a range of 1.5 km (0.9 miles). Slowed down, the 300-fps video clearly shows the laser beam striking and tracking a point towards the front of the rocket, before destroying it mid-flight. Read More

Smartphone system determines source of gunfire

If you were out on the street and suddenly heard sniper fire, you would no doubt react by ducking for cover. The problem is, it’s not always obvious which direction the sound is coming from – crouching behind a certain object might shield you from the bullets, but it also might display you nicely in the shooter’s crosshairs. That’s why a team of computer engineers from Nashville’s Vanderbilt University have developed a smartphone-based system, that determines the location at which the gunshots originated. Read More

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