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Military

Airborne Laser completes activation tests

Boeing and the US Missile Defense Agency have completed the first laser activation testing for the Airborne Laser missile defense program. The tests involved circulating water through the laser to verify its integrity, before circulating chemicals through the laser to confirm sequencing and control. Read More

US Navy launches its first Littoral Combat Ship

A speedy trimaran with helicopter decks, a stealthy radar profile and a healthy array of arms, the US Navy's newest Littoral Combat Ship is configurable to suit a wide array of combat missions including mine-sweeping, anti-submarine and surface combat support - and it wouldn't look the least bit out of place soaring over the credits of a Star Wars movie.Read More

Demron lightweight, lead-free radiation-proof suit

May 9, 2008 Radiation Shield Technologies has been granted a new patent for Demron, the protective garment that shields users from alpha and beta radiation, gamma rays, x-rays, and other nuclear emissions. The flexible, cool, and lightweight suit provides all the protection of a lead apron with a new level of comfort, and without any dermal or inhalation risks. Read More

Thales UK's optronic mast: the sonar invisible periscope alternative

Thales UK's optronic mast is a non-hull breaching substitute for a periscope, which rapidly captures a 360 degree scan and sends the image to the console screens in a sub’s operation center. The electro-optics system provides improved surface visibility, while allowing the ship to remain hidden from sonar detection. Read More

The MineWolf - the machine with superhero aspirations

The MineWolf can best be described as a superhero – a machine which uses its unique and extraordinary strength to benefit humanity. The nearest machine we can think of is the tmsuk’s 3.5 metre tall Enryu robot which rushes into burning buildings and rescues people. The most effective demining machine, it can reclaim 30,000 square metres of land, and can run over 10 kg anti-tank mines without flinching. Like Enryu, it even has remote-control capability for really dangerous tasks, but sadly, it’s losing the war. There are 110 million landmines buried and active on Mother Earth. Another 215 million are stockpiled and ten million are produced annually. If we stop laying mines NOW and continue clearing at current rates, the world will be free of mines in the year 3100. It’s a prime example of what can happen when people use technology the wrong way.Read More

How to make a dumb bomb smarter

Boeing has begun delivering the first Laser Joint Direct Attack Munition (LJDAM) kits to the U.S. Air Force. The Precision Laser Guidance Set (PLGS) kits have been created inside just 11 months to satisfy the Air Force and Navy's urgent need for weapons capable of engaging fast-moving land targets. The US$47,000 PLGS gives a JDAM with a 500 pound warhead the ability to hit a target travelling at up to 70 mph. It’s quite an amazing piece of engineering because the PLGS kit goes in the nose, and the US$22,000 JDAM kit fits to the tail of what was once a very dumb bomb. The JDAM kit offers both GPS and inertial navigation, and the PLGS adds laser, meaning it only takes US$67,000 to make a dumb bomb much smarter.Read More

RemoteReality 360 degree periscope camera system

April 15, 2008 RemoteReality has designed a submarine periscope camera system that provides an instant, omni-directional view of surrounding waters. The system, which greatly outclasses the rotating periscope in terms of situational awareness and safety, will be trialled by the US Navy will on a Los Angeles class nuclear submarine later this year.Read More

Happy birthday to DARPA

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) will be celebrating its 50th anniversary at a conference in Washington today where it will reflect on the accomplishments of the last 50 years and the challenges of the future. DARPA’s mission is to prevent technological surprise for the United States and to create technological surprise for adversaries. A brief recap of its achievements verifies a job well done – the technologies it has developed have changed the face of warfare, catalyzed the information revolution, and continue to have a massive influence on the evolution of technology in daily life. Happy birthday DARPA. Read More

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