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Weapon Wednesday – U.S. Military Project Blackjack

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DARPA
  • The Pentagon wants mesh networks of small satellites capable of replacing its larger, more expensive satellites.
  • Project Blackjack’s satellites would replace one satellite with many, making for a more resilient system in wartime.
  • The first test satellites will launch in 2021. read more

Weapon Wednesday: Military Mind-Controlled Weapons

USS Blue Ridge operations

U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 3RD CLASS KEVIN A. FLINN

The Department of Defense’s research and development wing, DARPA, is working on technology to read and write to the human brain. The focus isn’t on mind control but rather machine control, allowing the human brain to directly send instructions to machines. The goal of the process is to streamline thought control of machines to the point where humans could control them with a simple helmet or head-mounted device, making operating such systems easier. read more

Weapon Wednesday – DARPA All Terrain Vehicle

The GXV-T program aims to move away from heavy armored vehicles in a quest for battlefield...
The GXV-T program aims to move away from heavy armored vehicles in a quest for battlefield superiority, using some unique ideas(Credit: DARPA)

Back in 2014, DARPA announced the launch of its Ground X-Vehicle Technology (GXV-T) program, an initiative designed to break through a single paradigm that has been weighing the military down in ground combat. That paradigm is the ever-escalating vendetta between tanks and anti-tank guns. read more

Weapon Wednesday – Navy Gets DARPA Autonomous Sub Hunter

Following the successful completion of its Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) program, DARPA...
Following the successful completion of its Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) program, DARPA has officially transferred the technology demonstration vessel, christened Sea Hunter, to the Office of Naval Research (ONR)(Credit:DARPA)

Following a series of successful sea trials, DARPA has handed its experimental autonomous warship over to the US Navy. The Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) “Sea Hunter” technology demonstrator was formally transferred to the Office of Naval Research (ONR) for further development of what could potentially be the first of a new class of ocean-going ships called Medium Displacement Unmanned Surface Vehicles (MDUSVs). read more

Cardboard Delivery Drone

Once the goods have arrived, the drones biodegrade in a matter of days
Once the goods have arrived, the drones biodegrade in a matter of days

In developing regions where lack of road infrastructure is problematic for those in the business of moving goods, drones are already having an impact. But also problematic is the fact that the people sending drones off to do the courier work kinda need them back again. A new cardboard drone being funded by DARPA won’t concern itself with such limitations, with the ability to deliver vital goods and disappear soon after the job is done.
read more

Weapon Wednesday – Military’s Threat Detecting/Spy Plants

DARPA, the US military’s arm responsible for developing new military technologies, is developing genetically modified plants that can detect threats and spy discreetly

The program aims to engineer plants to detect certain chemicals, pathogens, radiation, and even electromagnetic and nuclear signals, and use existing hardware such as satellites to monitor these plants.

The smart plants could have applications outside of the military too –  for example to help communities identify undetonated landmines from previous conflicts and testing areas.

DARPA's new Advanced Plant Technologies (APT) program aims to engineer plants to detect certain chemicals, pathogens, radiation, and even electromagnetic and nuclear signals, and use existing hardware such as satellites to monitor these plants

DARPA’s Prototype X-Plane

An artist impression of the full-scale design
An artist impression of the full-scale design (Credit: DARPA)

After several years of development DARPA has successfully completed flight-testing of one of the most novel, and odd-looking, aircraft designs we’ve seen in some time – the sub-scale electric X-Plane.

After calling for an innovative new approach to an aircraft with vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) capabilities, DARPA awarded its Phase 2 contract to Aurora Flight Sciences in early 2016. Aurora’s design includes 24 electric ducted fans, 18 on the main wings and six on the smaller front canards. Both the main wings and the canards are designed to tilt upwards for vertical takeoff before rotating to the horizontal for regular flight. read more

Cardboard Single-Use Drone

Once the goods have arrived, the drones biodegrade in a matter of days
Once the goods have arrived, the drones biodegrade in a matter of days

In developing regions where lack of road infrastructure is problematic for those in the business of moving goods, drones are already having an impact. But also problematic is the fact that the people sending drones off to do the courier work kinda need them back again. A new cardboard drone being funded by DARPA won’t concern itself with such limitations, with the ability to deliver vital goods and disappear soon after the job is done. read more

One Shot, One Kill

DARPA Invests in One-Shot Rifle System Capable Under Varying Conditions for Snipers

from:  at The Blaze

DARPA Awards $6 Contract for Development of One Shot Rifle System for Snipers

(Image: Wikimedia)

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the military’s research arm, has awarded a San Diego company a multi-million dollar contract to develop a rifle-mounted system that would allow snipers to better hit targets in one shot, as this single shot could be the only one they get.

In its Advanced Sighting System Project, DARPA states that its goal is to “enable snipers to accurately hit targets with the first round, under crosswind conditions, day or night, at the maximum effective range of the weapon.”

DARPA Awards $6 Contract for Development of One Shot Rifle System for Snipers

(Image: DARPA)

For its next-generation, One Shot XG Phase, DARPA is looking for a “significantly smaller ‘field-ready system’ that can be ‘clipped-on’ directly to the weapon, eliminating the need for a spotter/observer in future sniper operations.”

To accomplish this, DARPA recently awarded Cubic Defense Applications a $6 million contract.

“If military snipers could neutralize enemy targets with a single round, they could potentially save many lives,” Steve Sampson, vice president of Advanced Programs for Cubic Defense Applications, said in the company’s statement. “One Shot XG seeks to allow our snipers to immediately obtain downrange crosswind, direction and range to target to provide ballistic corrections.

Using a crosswind measurement algorithm and electro-optic and laser designs, Cubic and its partners expect to take a different approach to this sniper program.

“Cubic has developed both systems and components, from fiber lasers and quantum well modulators to smart cards. One Shot XG will directly benefit from at least a decade of development geared towards state-of the art field-proven MILES combat training products,” Tony Maryfield, program manager and principal investigator for the One Shot XG product development at Cubic, said in a statement.

Attribution: Businessweek

Crank Up the Volume

Forget blasting out your favorite tunes, you could now use speakers to put out a fire. A new video from the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) shows how to extinguish burning fuel by trapping it in an acoustic field generated by surrounding speakers.

By using specific frequencies, a fire is killed in a two-pronged attack. First, sound increases the air speed, thinning the layer where combustion occurs and thus making it easier to disrupt the flame. But the acoustics also disturb the surface of the fuel which increases vaporization, widening the flame and cooling its overall temperature.

Whereas typical firefighting techniques disrupt chemical reactions involved in combustion, DARPA has been looking at approaches like this one that exploit physics. Previously, they’ve used an electric field to blow out a flame by creating an ionic wind. They hope to develop these alternatives to help put out fires in military environments, for example in confined spaces, like cockpits and ship holds.

Attribution: New Scientist