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Radar

An illustration depicting the amount of debris currently orbiting the earth (Image: NASA)

In response to the rapidly increasing danger from space debris, a new system called the "Space Fence" has been under development. It would replace the 50-year-old Air Force Space Surveillance System (AFSSS) with a system of highly-sensitive phased array S-band tracking radars. Prototype "Space Fence" systems able to detect and track objects ten times smaller than those that can be detected by the AFSSS have been demonstrated by Raytheon and by Lockheed Martin. The USAF will now choose between construction and installation proposals submitted from both companies for building the new US$3.3 billion (est.) Space Fence, to be operational by 2017.  Read More

A high-resolution Doppler radar can detect individual raindrops over 0.5 mm in diameter (P...

A high-resolution Doppler radar has the ability to detect individual hydrometeors, such as atmospheric raindrops, over 0.5 mm in diameter research led by the Naval Research Laboratory has revealed. The discovery should further understanding of the structure and behavior of clouds, and could lead to more accurate forecasting of severe weather.  Read More

The Northrop Grumman RQ-8A Fire Scout UAV helicopter is the test platform for the MMSS (Im...

Piracy on the high seas of the 21st century requires 21st century solutions. As part of the on-going effort to curb attacks on shipping, the United States Navy will use a UAV helicopter to test a new sensor system in the waters off California during the summer of 2012. This new 3D sensor package in combination with new computer algorithms will allow the Navy to more accurately identify pirate vessels hiding among innocent shipping on the sea lanes with much greater speed and much less manpower.  Read More

A new radar system could be used to detect and identify objects that fall onto train track...

Although you may never have seen it happen yourself, it isn’t all that uncommon for large objects – including people – to fall onto the tracks at subway or railway platforms. While security personnel viewing CCTV feeds will catch some of these accidents, the cameras’ shots are sometimes obscured by people, poor lighting, or even the trains themselves. The results can range from lengthy delays in rail service, to fatalities. Now, however, researchers working on a project for the Université Lille Nord de France have developed a system that uses radar to automatically detect and identify objects that fall onto the tracks. When installed at a platform, the system could then shut off power to the tracks, and notify oncoming trains.  Read More

The MIT radar, seen here from the back, can see through concrete walls up to eight inches ...

A group of MIT researchers has developed a radar that provides a video of what is happening behind a concrete wall. Just like any other radar, the device emits radio waves that bounce off objects and analyzes the return signal. Dr. Gregory Charvat and his colleagues from MIT's Lincoln Laboratory estimate that penetrating an 8-inch thick concrete wall is possible from a maximum distance of approximately 60 feet (18,3 m). The 99.9975 percent of the signal that returns to the radar after bouncing off the wall is disregarded. The remaining part that made it through the wall and back is amplified and used to generate a real-time, 10.8 frames per second visualization of the targets on the other side.  Read More

First flight for MP-RTIP equipped Global Hawk (Photo: Northrop Grumman)

Northrop Grumman's Block 40 Global Hawk has new eyes. The unmanned aircraft completed its first full system flight carrying the production version of the next-gen Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP) sensor at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on July 21.  Read More

Researchers from North Carolina State University and Carnegie Mellon University have combi...

Nancy Sinatra once mused that her boots were made for walking. In these days of global positioning, going walkabout is not as random an event as it might once have been, but there are still occasions when the all-seeing GPS device can't pick up a satellite. In such cases, having a back-up could mean the difference between getting out of the deep, dark underground cave in one piece or being lost in its tunnels forever. Researchers from North Carolina State University and Carnegie Mellon University have combined technology that is used to measure speed and distance with portable radar equipment to help keep track of a user's location.  Read More

The new Space Fence will detect space debris that could threaten the ISS and commercial an...

There are tens of thousands of pieces of space debris currently orbiting the Earth which pose a potential hazard to satellites, the International Space Station and other space hardware. Since the early 1960s, the existing Air Force Space Surveillance System, also known as the VHF or Space Fence, has been used to track orbital objects passing over America. Proposals are now being taken for the next phase of a new Space Fence that will better detect, report and track orbiting space junk as well as commercial and military satellites.  Read More

The Russian T-50 PAK-FA fighter jet prototype taking its maiden flight

Russia has reportedly successfully test-flown its first fifth generation fighter jet prototype. Formally known as the Prospective Aircraft Complex of Frontline Aviation (PAK-FA), the craft made its 47 minute maiden voyage on 29th January. Manufactured by the Russian state owned Sukhoi Aircraft Corporation, the development of this tactical frontline stealth fighter jet is being seen as a significant milestone in the efforts of the country to modernize its post Soviet–era military technology.  Read More

PocketRadar's mini speed radar.

Speed radar technology has become pretty much ubiquitous for traffic law enforcement around the world, but there are times when you and I would quite like to know how fast something is travelling too. PocketRadar is a hand-held personal speed measurement device about the size of a mobile phone that can get you a speed reading on a car half a mile away (or a baseball 120 feet away) in less than a second from being fully shut down. It's initially targeted at sports fans and athletes, but the company has flagged the possibility of a law enforcement version as well.  Read More

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