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DARPA’s new 1.8-gigapixel camera is a super high-resolution eye in the sky

“DARPA recently revealed information on its ARGUS-IS (Autonomous Real-Time Ground Ubiquitous Surveillance Imaging System), a surveillance camera that uses hundreds of smartphone image sensors to record a 1.8 gigapixel image. Designed for use in an unmanned drone (probably an MQ-1 Predator), from an altitude of 20,000 ft (6,100 m) ARGUS can keep a real-time video eye on an area 4.5 miles (7.2 km) across down to a resolution of about six inches (15 cm).”

Below appears part of an ARGUS-IS image of Quantico Naval Base in Virginia, while above appear two targeted areas that suggest the six inch resolution of the camera (Image: DARPA)

Graphic of ARGUS-IS watching ground activities (Image: DARPA)

http://www.gizmag.com/argus-is-darpa-gigapixel-camers/26078/

 

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Army tests vehicle-mounted laser against multiple targets

The Army used a vehicle-mounted high-energy laser for the first time to successfully engage more than 90 mortar rounds and several unmanned aerial vehicles in flight. 

This was the first full-up demonstration of the HEL MD in the configuration that included the laser and beam director mounted in the vehicle, according to officials of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command. They said a surrogate radar, the Enhanced Multi Mode Radar, supported the engagement by queuing the laser.

The demonstration and testing confirms the capability of a mobile solid-state laser weapon system to counter mortars, UAVs, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance sensors mounted on the UAVs, officials said.

The recent testing utilized a 10-kilowatt class laser.”

The HEL MD that took out mortars and UAVs in flight using its vehicle-mounted 10-kW laser (Photo: Boeing)

http://www.army.mil/article/116793/Army_tests_vehicle_mounted_laser_against_multiple_targets/

Mini helicopter drone for UK troops in Afghanistan

“The Norwegian-designed Black Hornet Nano features a tiny camera and relays video and still images to a handheld control terminal.

It measures about 10cm by 2.5cm (4in by 1in) and weighs 16g (0.6oz).

The MoD, which also operates more than 300 larger-sized unmanned air vehicles in Afghanistan, said the Black Hornet is carried easily on patrol and works in harsh environments and windy conditions.

They have been in use in Afghanistan since 2012, a spokeswoman confirmed.”

Army scientists explore wireless power transfer

“One exciting technology that opens up different concepts of powering the Soldier is the wireless transfer of power. The U.S. Army is allocating $5-$6M to advance these technologies.

Wireless power could eliminate the need for bulky cables, especially between the Soldier’s helmet and vest (where centralized power sources might reside).

The U.S. Army funds the Institute for Soldier Nanotechnology,or ISN, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, known as MIT, in Cambridge, Mass. One of the many discoveries at the ISN is the invention and development of strongly coupled magnetic resonators that can transfer electrical power over (relatively) large distances.”

http://www.army.mil/article/79454/Army_scientists_explore_wireless_power_transfer/

Almost 1 In 3 U.S. Warplanes Is a Robot

“And the current fleet of flying robots is just the start. The Navy’s developing a next-gen drone that can take off and land from an aircraft carrier. Future missions, the report finds, include “stand-off jamming” of enemy electronics; “psychological operations, such as dropping leaflets” over an adversary population; and even measuring the amount of radiation in the earth’s atmosphere. The military’s working on increasingly autonomous drones — including tiny, suicidal killers — and on increasing the number of drones a single ground station can operate.

The Air Force even holds out hope for a “super/hyper-sonic” drone by 2034. It’s a good time to be a flying robot.”

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/01/drone-report/

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