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Military

ONR's augmented reality glasses turns golf course into a virtual battlefield

The smallest distraction can break a golfer's concentration and ruin their shot, so how would they react to tanks and explosions? If they were at the 18 hole course at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, last week, probably not at all. That's because the fairways and greens were only turned into a battlefield complete with tanks, mortar fire, and smoke thanks to the Office of Naval Research's (ONR) Augmented Immersive Team Trainer (AITT), which made the firefight visible only to participants wearing special glasses.Read More

Sandia shoots (dud) nuke out of a cannon

Earlier this year Sandia National Laboratories fired a nuclear warhead out of a cannon in New Mexico. The reason you didn't hear an earth-shattering kaboom is because it was an inactive weapon that was fired into a tank of water as part of a federal program to improve the longevity and effectiveness of the US nuclear stockpile.Read More

BAE Systems combines night vision goggles with thermal targeting

In military parlance, the job of a soldier is to find, fix, and finish the enemy. However, this is a bit difficult when the soldier has to fumble with different scopes while keeping eyes on the target. To simplify things, BAE Systems is developing a combination night vision and thermal imaging system that not only allows soldiers to rapidly acquire and engage targets in all weather and lighting, but also to remotely aim their weapons without looking through the sights.Read More

DARPA tests its self-steering bullets against moving targets

DARPA has conducted a new test of its self-steering bullets, with both experienced and novice shooters successfully hitting moving targets. The testing proves the effectiveness of the projectile, which was developed under the Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance (EXACTO) program, but the agency is still playing its cards close to its chest when it comes to how the technology actually works.Read More

BAE System's CV90 armor vehicle uses F1 racing suspension technology

If Formula1 racers are thoroughbreds that need to pampered and cosseted, then armored combat vehicles are warhorses that need to stand up to the worst of the worst. That makes it a surprise when BAE Systems announces that it's taken an active damping suspension designed for F1 cars and adapted it for Sweden's Combat Vehicle 90 (CV90). Billed as a world's first for a tracked vehicle, the upgrade is claimed to improve battlefield speed and handling. Read More

X-47B completes first ever unmanned refueling exercise

The US Navy's X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration (UCAS-D) aircraft has gone out on a high note (and added yet another acronym to the military lexicon) by conducting the first ever Autonomous Aerial Refueling (AAR) exercise. The autonomous aircraft rendezvoused with an Omega K-707 tanker plane off the coast of Maryland and Virginia, successfully taking on 4,000 lb (1,814 kg) of jet fuel as it completed the project's final test objective. Read More

DARPA wants to make software obsolescence obsolete

One unfortunate fact of modern life is that functional new software becomes non-functional old software with depressing regularity. For most people, this means predictable episodes of frustration, but for the US military, it's a more serious problem. DARPA's new Building Resource Adaptive Software Systems (BRASS) project aims to take a major shot at avoiding this obsolescence by developing software systems that can still operate properly a hundred years from now.Read More

World's first military blast test dummy to join the US Army

For something commonly called a "dummy," the mannequins used in crash tests are surprisingly sophisticated and so specialized that they're not much use out of automotive safety labs. When the US Army went looking for a dummy of its own, it had to go back to square one by awarding a contract to California-based Diversified Technical Systems (DTS) to help develop the first instrumented dummy designed for military vehicle blast testing.Read More

DARPA strengthens lines of communication with digital close air support system test

Since the First World War, airplanes have acted as Close Air Support (CAS) for infantry, though it's been a rocky marriage marked by poor communications and difficult teamwork. DARPA's Persistent Close Air Support (PCAS) project aims to improve coordination between air and ground forces by means of a digital system that works up to seven times faster than regular paper maps and voice radio instructions, and with greater accuracy. Read More

Anglo-French project aims at using robots to fight underwater mines

If you hunt unexploded sea mines for a living, then you might not mind losing your job to a robot. That seems to be the reasoning of the British and French governments, as they embark on a joint venture to develop a prototype autonomous system for detecting and neutralizing sea mines and UnderWater Improvised Explosive Devices (UWIED).Read More

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