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Radar

Dolphins' ability to tell the difference between fish and bubbles has inspired the creatio...

Chances are, you know that dolphins use sonar to locate and stun prey underwater. You might also know that they create "bubble nets," in which they trap fish inside a ring of air bubbles that they blow while swimming in a circle. With all those distracting bubbles suspended in the water, though, their sonar needs to work in a special way in order to pick out the fish. Scientists have copied that sonar system, to create a type of radar that could differentiate between ordinary objects and things like explosive devices.  Read More

The FINDER system (lower right, in photo) being tested at the Fairfax County Fire Departme...

Sniffer dogs and fiber optic cameras may soon be getting some assistance, when it comes to locating people trapped beneath debris. The Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate has joined forces with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to create a microwave radar-based system known as Finding Individuals for Disaster and Emergency Response – or FINDER. The new technology is able to detect a human heartbeat buried up to 30 feet (9 meters) under assorted rubble.  Read More

ScanEagles can provide real time telemetry for prolonged periods (Image: Boeing)

Radio has come a long way since Marconi bashed a telegraph key and radar is a miracle compared to when it was just a squiggle on a cathode tube, but despite a century of advances, they’re still prone to the same problems as the first pioneers encountered. For five days in July, the Office of Naval Research’s (ONR) Research Vessel (R/V) Knorr made a survey in the waters off Virginia Beach, Virginia using ScanEagle UAVs to study the effect of oceanic and atmospheric changes on radar and radio waves with the aim of producing more secure military communications and improve the ability of radar to detect hostile craft.  Read More

The Multi-Angle Snowflake Camera, or MASC, is able to capture 3D photos of individual snow...

Falling snow can play havoc with radar systems, so the more that we know about the manner in which snow falls, the better that those systems can be equipped to compensate for it. That’s why for the past three years, researchers from the University of Utah have been developing a device known as the Multi-Angle Snowflake Camera – or MASC. Using three cameras and two motion sensors, it captures 3D photos of snowflakes in free-fall.  Read More

Fraunhofer's W-band radar is equipped with a three-channel antenna with dielectric lenses ...

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics (IAF) have developed a lightweight, compact radar that can “see” through non-transparent materials and whiteout snow conditions. The compact radar operates at frequencies of 75 to 110 GHz in the millimeter range W-band of the radio spectrum. Radars at this frequency can not only identify small objects up to three kilometers (1.8 miles) away, but they can also penetrate all manner of non-transparent, dielectric, and non-metallic materials, such as clothing, plastic surfaces, paper, wood, snow and fog.  Read More

The Lockheed Martin Miniature Hit-to-Kill interceptor roaring off the launcher (Photo: Loc...

The U.S. Army is funding Lockheed Martin to develop hardware and software for the Extended Area Protection and Survivability (EAPS) program. Under this program, Lockheed Martin has conducted the first guided test flight of the Miniature Hit-to-Kill (MHTK) interceptor rocket. The MHTK is designed to defeat incoming rocket, artillery, and mortar fire out to ranges of 3 - 4 km (1.9 - 2.5 miles).  Read More

Professor Kamal Sarabandi's technique could be used to provide extra security in a range o...

An electrical engineering professor at the University of Michigan believes that a type of radar, part developed by the Department of Defense, has the potential to be used as a means of detecting concealed weapons. Originally intended for military use, it is possible that the millimeter-wave radar system could be used to detect weapons across distances as large as a football field.  Read More

BAE Systems' Artisan 3D Medium Range Radar Type 997

If you've ever worried about the threat from supersonic tennis balls, then BAE Systems’ Artisan medium-range Type 997 3D surveillance radar should put you at ease – it can detect one traveling at Mach 3 (1,980 mph, 3,186 km/h) at a distance of 25 kilometers (15.5 mi). The new radar, developed for the Royal Navy’s Type 23 Duke-class frigates, is designed to simultaneously detect 900 targets smaller than a bird, against background noise equivalent to 10,000 mobile phone signals at ranges from 200 meters (656 ft) to 200 kilometers (124 mi).  Read More

Israeli military radar (Photo: Bukvoed via Wikimedia commons)

The military use of radar has always had a yin-yang dynamic – as new forms of radar are developed, so too are new ways to jam them. A team of physicists at the University of Rochester has discovered how to defeat the latest active radar jamming methods by taking advantage of the quantum properties of photons. While this new anti-jamming technology cannot remove the false information, it provides an immediate alert that false information is being received.  Read More

The Sutter's Mill bolide caught from near Reno, Nevada (Photo: Lisa Warren)

On April 22 this year, a daytime fireball was seen throughout the western United States, accompanied by a loud booming sound heard over much of California's Sierra Nevada mountains around Lake Tahoe. Scientists have now carried out a thorough analysis of the meteorite and found that it was the fastest meteor ever recorded at 28.6 km/s (64,000 mph).  Read More

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