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DARPA

Military

DARPA awards Ground X-Vehicle Technology contracts as it swaps agility for armor

The days of tanks as giant steel behemoths may be numbered with DARPA awarding eight development contracts for its Ground X-Vehicle Technology (GXV-T) program. The awards to Carnegie Mellon University, Honeywell International, Leido, Pratt & Miller, QinetiQ, Raytheon BBN, Southwest Research Institute and SRI International are aimed at creating a smarter, faster generation of armored vehicle that replaces steel with speed and agility.Read More

Aircraft

DARPA VTOL X-plane takes flight in miniature

It may look like a backwards airplane with a collection of fans for wings, but a miniature test version of DARPA's Vertical Take-off and Landing Experimental Plane (VTOL X-Plane) took to the skies recently. According to the builder, Aurora Flight Sciences, the subscale vehicle demonstrator (SVD) prototype of the LightningStrike successfully completed a series of takeoff, hover, and landing maneuvers at an undisclosed US military base.Read More

Space

DARPA announces Phase 2 of spaceplane project

DARPA has announced the second phase of its ambitious XS-1 program. The agency is seeking to make access to space more regular and affordable by employing an entirely re-usable high-speed, sub-orbital automated spaceplane as the first stage of its launch vehicle.Read More

Electronics

DARPA's latest grand challenge takes on the radio spectrum

One of the most hotly contested bits of real estate today is one you can't see. As we move into an increasingly wireless-connected world, staking out a piece of the crowded electromagnetic spectrum becomes more important. DARPA is hoping to help solve this issue with its latest Grand Challenge, which calls for the use of machine-learning technologies to enable devices to share bandwidth.Read More

Space

DARPA's satellite repair robot makes house calls

There are over 400 geosynchronous satellites orbiting 22,000 mi (36,000 km) above the Earth. They are a vital part of global communications and represent billions of dollars in investments, but once they break down or run out of fuel, they're so much tin foil. DARPA has released a video outlining the agency's vision of a mobile robotic servicing system designed to rendezvous with and repair ailing telecommunications satellites.Read More

Military

DARPA looks to head off threats from off-the-shelf tech

In a world where 3D-printed guns are a reality, security threats are no longer the reserve of a hostile nation's military. With advanced technologies increasingly accessible to groups and individuals, DARPA is initiating a program called "Improv" that's intended to identify and anticipate potential threats from commercially-available off-the-shelf technology.Read More

Electronics

Cool Runnings: Lockheed using microscopic drops of water to chill chips from the inside

Every year, electronic components shrink a bit more, allowing engineers to create more powerful and sophisticated chips. Unfortunately, these chips also generate a lot of heat, so novel cooling systems are needed to keep them running. As part of DARPA's ICECool-Applications research program, Lockheed Martin is developing a way of cooling high-powered microchips from the inside using microscopic drops of water.Read More

Aircraft

DARPA's unmanned X-Plane packs electric fans aplenty for vertical take-off and landing

If there was a competition for the oddest looking aircraft, then DARPA's VTOL Experimental Plane (VTOL X-Plane) would have to be in the running for the main prize. With a modularized, cellular wing design that looks like a flying set of cupboards, the unmanned aircraft is a hybrid of fixed-wing and rotary wing technologies designed to create a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft that boasts greater range and speed capabilities.Read More

Military

DARPA readies unmanned ACTUV sub hunter for sea trials

The day of the robot warship may be a lot closer than many people think with DARPA announcing that it will christen its Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) on April 9 at the Swan Island shipyard in Portland, Oregon. Also known as the Seahunter, the 139 ft (42 m) long vessel is designed to track potentially hostile submarines for months at a time without a crew.Read More

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