Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

ONR

ONR successfully disables a small target vessel using a solid-state, high-energy laser (US...

Solid-state laser weapons are a step closer to operational capability with the U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR) reporting that it has successfully disabled a small target boat during testing off the Californian coast. Stemming from the Defense Department's Joint High Power Solid State Laser (JHPSSL) program, the Northrop Grumman developed Maritime Laser Demonstrator (MLD) was installed on the deck of the Navy's test ship the USS Paul Foster for the demonstration, making it the first time such a system has been integrated with a ship's radar and navigation system and the first time a high-energy laser has been fired at sea from a moving platform.  Read More

Chemical-sensing electrodes printed directly on the inside elastic waistband of underwear....

As the technology to support wearable electronics advances, researchers are investigating new ways of making our clothing more "intelligent" – from smart shirts for theater ushers to the development of clothing that can respond to the wearer’s emotive state. So would it surprise you to learn that your humble underpants could one day save your life? A new study has shown that printed sensors on the elastic band of your underpants could monitor biomarkers in your sweat and tears, make autonomous diagnoses and even administer life-saving drugs.  Read More

In testing, the Ascender proved it can hold a target load capacity up to 600 pounds at a 6...

With its ability to handle any rope thrown at it with ease, the Powered Rope Ascender would’ve been the perfect device for those torturous rope climbing activities in gym class. Although they’ve been around since 2004, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) threw down the gauntlet to Boston-based Atlas Devices to create an Ascender for naval use that is lighter, smaller, more functional, and includes a removable, rechargeable battery. The device the company came up with is currently on display at Fleet Week New York.  Read More

Bart Chadwick checks the condition in laboratory microbial fuel cells that may revolutioni...

It is estimated there are approximately five nonillion (that’s 5x10 to the power of 30) bacteria on Earth, and although they generally get a bad rap, there are actually many beneficial bacteria that are vital to life on our planet. As we’ve seen previously, scientists are now looking to harness bacteria to produce electricity through microbial fuel cells. These microbial fuel cells (MFCs) convert chemical energy to electrical energy to offer a clean, efficient and reliable alternative to batteries and other environmentally harmful fuels. Recognizing their potential the Office of Naval Research (ONR) has developed an MFC that could revolutionize naval energy use by converting decomposed marine organisms into electricity.  Read More

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