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The Boeing SolarEagle will make its first demonstration flight in 2014 as part of DARPA's ...

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Vulture program, which aims to develop and demonstrate technology to enable a single high-altitude unmanned airplane (UAV) to operate continuously for a period of five years, has entered phase II. Under the terms of an US$89 million contract, Boeing will develop a full-scale demonstrator called the SolarEagle that will make its first demonstration flight in 2014. The aircraft will have highly efficient electric motors and propellers and a high-aspect-ratio, 400-foot wing for increased solar power and aerodynamic performance.  Read More

New laser technology could be used to protect military helicopters from heat-seeking missi...

Researchers at the University of Michigan are developing laser systems for protecting military helicopters from heat-seeking missiles. The lasers wouldn’t shoot down the missiles, but would instead jam their sensors, essentially blinding them. This isn’t the first time that laser systems have been used for this purpose, but the creators of this system claim that it is better suited to helicopters than anything that has come before.  Read More

The AVX TX fly-drive vehicle boasts VTOL capabilities

One of the first to respond to the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA's) call seeking designs for a tactical flying car under its Transformer (TX) program is the AVX Aircraft Company. Its AVX Aircraft can be manually driven on the ground like an SUV and also boasts Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) capabilities.  Read More

The GUSS autonomous vehicles developed by Virginia Tech are to make their debut at the 201...

Having placed third in the prestigious DARPA Urban Challenge in 2007, engineering students from Virginia Tech have returned to the forefront of autonomous vehicle development by designing and building four GUSS (Ground Unmanned Support Surrogate) vehicles. Able to carry 1800 lbs and designed to resupply and evacuate troops in the field as well as reduce the load carried by them, the vehicles are due to make their debut at the impending 2010 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC)war games in Hawaii.  Read More

 Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle (LEMV)

Not so long ago it seemed that the golden age of giant lumbering airships had gone down with the Hindenberg, consigned to less spectacular roles in research, advertising and as a great camera platform above sporting events... but they're making a comeback. Lighter-than-air aircraft are returning to passenger carrying roles in tourism and in recent years we've seen a new-generation of airships put forward as a cargo-lifting solution (DARPA's Walrus Project) and even as a corporate air yacht (Aeroscraft ML866). Now the U.S. Army is moving quickly to build a hybrid airship weapons system that will act as a long-duration UAV – a very big UAV. The Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle (LEMV) will be longer than a football field and stay aloft at altitudes of 20,000 feet for more than three weeks at a time providing an "unblinking eye" for surveillance and reconnaissance.  Read More

U.S. Air Force graphic of the record breaking	X-51A Waverider

Boeing's X-51 WaveRider has made aviation history by completing the longest ever supersonic combustion ramjet-powered flight. The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flew for almost three and a half minutes in the skies off the southern California coast on Wednesday, reaching an altitude of about 70,000 feet and hitting hypersonic (Mach 5) speeds.  Read More

Lockheed Martin to develop advanced rifle scope attachment

Lockheed Martin has won a $3.93 million contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop high-tech rifle-scope attachment. Designed to improve marksmanship over distances of between three and 600 meters, the Dynamic Image Gunsight Optic (DInGO) system combines a low power laser rangefinder, an embedded ballistics computer and onboard sensors that determine wind and other environmental effects.  Read More

Just how good will autonomous cars get? Watch this!!!

It's the kind of spectacular driving stunt we expect of James Bond or Frank Martin - slam the Aston Martin/Audi into reverse, plant the gas pedal, wait for momentum to pick up, then flick the wheel to perform a faultless 180 degree pirouette into an impossibly tight parking space. Only celluloid superheroes can drive like this and get it right every time ... oh, and autonomous vehicles. Faultless driving stunts are not normally associated with autonomous vehicles but check out this video because it'll help get everyone accustomed to the concept! Computers will eventually out-drive, out-think and out-perform humans on every level and this clip of autonomous supervehicle Stanley shows that computers out-driving us will be sooner rather than later.  Read More

A rendition of the Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 (HTV-2)

DARPA has launched an unmanned hypersonic gliding vehicle that can reach speeds up to Mach 20 (13,000mph). The Falcon program aims to develop and demonstrate hypersonic technologies for prompt use in global reach missions and the Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 (HTV-2) forms part of this quest to produce an unmanned, rocket-launched, maneuverable air vehicle that glides through the Earth’s atmosphere at incredibly fast speeds.  Read More

LS3 is conceived as an autonomous support pack-robot for ground troops (Image: Boston Dyna...

Walking quadrupeds are being cast to play a major role in the rapidly unfolding age of robotics. The platform promises versatility far beyond that of wheeled-vehicles and will undoubtedly find applications in a wide variety of fields. Not surprisingly, the development of quadrupeds is being driven by the military and DARPA has recently boosted its efforts by awarding Boston Dynamics $32 million for the prototype phase of its Legged Squad Support System (LS3) program.  Read More

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