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Weapon Wednesday – Navy Unmanned Mine Hunter

Knifefish can autonomously hunt and identify buried and unburied seamines
Knifefish can autonomously hunt and identify buried and unburied seamines (Credit: General Dynamics)

Underwater mine-hunting is one job you don’t mind a robot taking away from you, which is why General Dynamics Mission Systems in developing the Knifefish robotic mine-hunter. The unmanned undersea vehicle (UUV) recently completed evaluation tests with the US Navy in a dummy minefield off the coast of Boston, Massachusetts, demonstrating its ability to detect and classify mines submerged at various depths. read more

Weapon Wednesday – Navy Rail Gun

The US Navy is testing an electromagnetic gun that can fire projectiles at six times the speed of sound.

Described as ‘Star Wars technology’ by researchers, these powerful missiles don’t rely on chemical propellants and are fuelled by electricity alone.

Strong magnetic fields are created by electricity on the ship and a ‘pulse power system’ to sent propellants flying at 4,500mph.

The technology has previously been shown to penetrate concrete at 100 miles away.

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The US Navy is testing an electromagnetic gun that can fire projectiles at six times the speed of sound 
The US Navy are testing an electromagnetic gun that can fire ammo at 4,500 mph

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Podcast – Is Trump Capitulating on Muslims – College Students Need Therapy Dogs – Navy Drone SDI Program

Is this episode I discuss the Trumpster’s backing from off his tough stance on banning all Muslims from entry in our country. A Trump spokesperson insists he has not backed off his tough stance but that his written-in-stone policy that supporters signed on to is now a mere suggestion.

In segment two I discuss the apparent need of therapy dogs for today’s coddled college students. They are evidently so stressed out by the specter of final exams that they require therapy dogs to be brought in to console them.

In segment three, I reveal the U.S. Navy’s new Drone SDI Program (my name – not theirs). These are drones which are set at the bottom of any ocean and which may stay hidden there for years and then remotely called into action when needed. So Cool! read more

Navy’s New Rail Gun

from RT News:

Prototypes of the US Navy’s much vaunted electromagnetic railguns were unveiled this week. The new technology, capable of firing projectiles at up to 5,600 miles per hour, is set to revolutionize naval warfare.

The Navy demonstrated two working railgun prototypes aboard the USS Millinocket in San Diego, developed by the Office of Naval Research. The high-tech weapons function by using an electrical pulse which creates an electromagnetic force to propel a projectile

In addition to supplementing or replacing traditional artillery aboard Navy vessels, railguns also offer a large price advantage over conventional missiles. Railgun projectiles are believed to cost about $25,000 per unit – 100 times less than traditional missiles, according to Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder, Chief of Naval Research. read more

Americas Next Great Fuel Source

The United States Navy, the world’s largest single user of marine fuels, burns around 40 million barrels of oil a year. It is busy trying to find a replacement for the dirty, planet killing substance and has pledged to cut 50% of its conventional oil use a year by 2020.

Maybe they should install windmills on every ship, or replace the aircraft carriers flight decks with solar panels.

While both of my suggestions hold merit, the Department of the Navy is instead experimenting with algae oil as a way to wean itself from petroleum.

Drilling for our own oil is evidently out of the question.

It seems our military has not only become a great social experiment but has also become the next laboratory for the green movement.

Industry reports claim that unlike early biofuels, which made transport fuel from food crops, the new “second generation” process uses only plant (crop) waste and does not displace foods which could be fed to people. Nevertheless, immense amounts of feedstock (nutrients) would be needed to produce the algae oil to power the world’s ships.

Maersk, the worlds largest shipping line, estimates it would take the crop waste (feedstock) of an area half the size of Denmark to completely power its ships.

Math time: Half of Denmark is roughly the size of Massachusetts (the whole state), about 16,600 square miles. There are 460 acres in a square mile. That’s 7,636,000 acres for one shipping company. What a deal. The entire proposed ANWR oil drilling site was 1,500,000 acres (3260 sq miles).

Unfortunately crop waste or “residue” is not just waste. It is already being utilized as livestock feed & fertilizer. Thus the name, “feedstock”. So, instead of diverting a primary food source like corn, we deplete a secondary source. Either way, the cost of food goes up. Hooray for more starving people!

Speaking of cost, in October 2010, the US Navy purchased 20 thousand gallons of algae biofuel for a single Naval ship trial.

Jackalyne Pfannenstiel, assistant secretary of the Navy for energy, speaking at the Point Loma Naval Base pier proclaimed, “ This event marks a major milestone in our progress toward a great green fleet”.

How much did they pay for this major milestone, you might ask? Only $424 a gallon. Crack the Champagne!

The cost has apparently come down though. Couldn’t be due to the Navy, the U.S. Energy and Agriculture departments investing $170 million each to fund biofuel development.

By the way, that 20,000 gallons of green crude was supplied by Solazyme, a San Francisco-based biofuel company.

And, just a rumination. San Francisco is in who’s congressional district? Oh, that’s right, Nancy Pelosi. Sheer coincidence. I’m such a cynic.

So, I guess mankind has developed yet another “viable”, cost efficient alternative to the dreaded hydrocarbon.

What’s next, The Matrix?