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Archive for the ‘military’ category: Page 14

Jan 12, 2020

FCC Filing Confirms Final Contestant in DARPA’s $12 Million Satellite Launch Challenge

Posted by in categories: military, satellites, surveillance

In 2018, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced the multi-million-dollar DARPA Launch Challenge to promote rapid access to space within days rather than years. To earn prizes totaling more than US $12 million, rocket companies would have to launch unfamiliar satellites from two sites in quick succession.

“The launch environment of tomorrow will more closely resemble that of airline operations—with frequent launches from a myriad of locations worldwide,” said Todd Master, DARPA’s program manager for the competition at the time. The U.S. military relies on space-based systems for much of its navigation and surveillance needs, and wants a way to quickly replace damaged or destroyed satellites in the future. At the moment, it takes at least three years to build, test, and launch spacecraft.

To ensure that DARPA was incentivizing the flexible, responsive launch technologies the U.S. military needs, competitors would receive information about the site of their next launch fewer than 30 days prior to each flight, DARPA’s rules stated, and only learn their actual payloads two weeks out.

Continue reading “FCC Filing Confirms Final Contestant in DARPA’s $12 Million Satellite Launch Challenge” »

Jan 9, 2020

‘National pride is at stake.’ Russia, China, United States race to build hypersonic weapons

Posted by in categories: military, space travel

Now, DOD is leading a new charge, pouring more than $1 billion annually into hypersonic research. Competition from ambitious programs in China and Russia is a key motivator. Although hype and secrecy muddy the picture, all three nations appear to have made substantial progress in overcoming key obstacles, such as protecting hypersonic craft from savage frictional heating. Russia recently unveiled a weapon called the Kinzhal, said to reach Mach 10 under its own power, and another that is boosted by a rocket to an astonishing Mach 27. China showed off a rocket-boosted hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV) of its own, the Dongfeng-17, in a recent military parade. The United States, meanwhile, is testing several hypersonic weapons. “It’s a race to the Moon sort of thing,” says Iain Boyd, an aerospace engineer at the University of Colorado, Boulder. “National pride is at stake.”


Despite hype and technological hurdles, a hypersonic arms race is accelerating.

Continue reading “‘National pride is at stake.’ Russia, China, United States race to build hypersonic weapons” »

Jan 8, 2020

Domestically-developed kamikaze drones to join Turkish army’s inventory as of 2020

Posted by in categories: drones, engineering, military, robotics/AI

Coming soon to crowd suppression near you…


30 upgraded KARGU (Autonomous Tactical Multi-Rotor Attack UAV) kamikaze drones developed by Turkish defense contractor Defense Technologies Engineering and Trade Inc. (STM) will join the Turkish Armed Forces’ inventory as of 2020 to take part in critical operations in the country’s east and along the Syrian border.

The KARGU battle drone, which was developed by the STM to support the tactical and field needs of Turkish security forces, eliminates targets more efficiently with new features such as enhanced ammo capacity and improved accuracy. The 30 drones will also have the capacity to destroy an entire brigade and warship.

Continue reading “Domestically-developed kamikaze drones to join Turkish army’s inventory as of 2020” »

Jan 8, 2020

Kurds call on US to block Turkish military drones from Syrian air space

Posted by in categories: drones, military, robotics/AI, space

Many times now, I have pointed out that the use of Killer Robots should be a war crime. It might not be a theoretical occurrence anymore.

“Syrian Kurds are asking the Pentagon to block US-controlled air space over north-eastern Syria to Turkish armed drones which they claim are causing significant civilian casualties.”


Unmanned weapons ‘targeting anything they wish to’ as Kurds say Turks have killed 509 civilians and 412 troops.

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Jan 7, 2020

Vladimir Putin: Russia has edge in new weapons

Posted by in categories: government, military, space

“Now we have a situation that is unique in modern history when they are trying to catch up to us,” he said. “Not a single country has hypersonic weapons, let alone hypersonic weapons of intercontinental range.”

The Pentagon and the U.S. military services have been working on the development of hypersonic weapons in recent years, and Defense Secretary Mark Esper said in August that he believes “it’s probably a matter of a couple of years” before the U.S. has one. He has called it a priority as the military works to develop new long-range fire capabilities.

The U.S. also has repeatedly warned Congress about hypersonic missiles being developed by Russia and China that will be harder to track and defeat. U.S. officials have talked about putting a layer of sensors in space to more quickly detect enemy missiles, particularly the more advanced hypersonic threats. The administration also plans to study the idea of basing interceptors in space, so the U.S. can strike incoming enemy missiles during the first minutes of flight when the booster engines are still burning.

Jan 7, 2020

I spy, with my little satellite AI, something beginning with ‘North American image-analysis code embargo’

Posted by in categories: government, military, policy, robotics/AI

The US government has placed software designed to train neural networks to analyse satellite images under new export controls in a bid to prevent foreign adversaries using said code.

The decision, made by Uncle Sam’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), is effective today. Vendors shipping software subject to the controls – in that the applications help machine learning systems annotate satellite images in a particular way – will have to apply for a license to sell their products to customers outside of the US and Canada.

“Items warrant control for export because the items may provide a significant military or intelligence advantage to the United States or because foreign policy reasons justify control,” the BIS said.

Jan 5, 2020

The Other MEDUSA: A Microwave Sound Weapon

Posted by in categories: business, energy, military

MEDUSA appears to be a popular name for directed energy weapons. There’s the MEDUSA I wrote about yesterday, a high-energy beam weapon one company hopes could destroy tanks and planes. And then there’s another MEDUSA, a nonlethal microwave weapon that was briefly funded by the Navy that uses “silent audio” (the auditory effect from microwaves). In other words, it makes you hear things in your head:

Hyper_microwave_22_gr
The main goal of the Phase I project wad to design and build a breadboard prototype of a temporary personnel incapacitation system called MEDUSA (Mob Excess Deterrent Using Silent Audio). This non-lethal weapon is based on the well established microwave auditory effect (MAE). MAE results in a strong sound sensation in the human head when it is irradiated with specifically selected microwave pulses of low energy. Through the combination of pulse parameters and pulse power, it is possible to raise the auditory sensation to the “discomfort” level, deterring personnel from entering a protected perimeter or, if necessary, temporarily incapacitating particular individuals. *

The idea of the “Voice of God” weapon (a weapon that makes you hear voices in your head) has been around for a while, and this small business contract was but one one modest, and likely unrelated, offshoot of other microwave-auditory effect research. The company stated at the end of “phase one” of this research: “An operating frequency was chosen — Hardware requirements were established (commercial magnetron, high-voltage pulse former) — Hardware was designed and built — Power measurements were taken and the required pulse parameters confirmed — Experimental evidence of MAE was observed.”

Jan 5, 2020

Fighting Ebola and other Highly Hazardous Pathogens In A Hot Zone! — Colonel (ret) Dr. Mark Kortepeter, MD, MPH — ideaXme — Ira Pastor

Posted by in categories: aging, bioengineering, biological, biotech/medical, defense, genetics, health, life extension, military, posthumanism, science

Jan 3, 2020

Boeing’s Autonomous Fighter Jet Will Fly Over the Australian Outback

Posted by in categories: military, robotics/AI

If you drive along the main northern road through South Australia with a good set of binoculars, you may soon be able to catch a glimpse of a strange, windowless jet, one that is about to embark on its maiden flight. It’s a prototype of the next big thing in aerial combat: a self-piloted warplane designed to work together with human-piloted aircraft.

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and Boeing Australia are building this fighterlike plane for possible operational use in the mid-2020s. Trials are set to start this year, and although the RAAF won’t confirm the exact location, the quiet electromagnetic environment, size, and remoteness of the Woomera Prohibited Area make it a likely candidate. Named for ancient Aboriginal spear throwers, Woomera spans an area bigger than North Korea, making it the largest weapons-testing range on the planet.

The autonomous plane, formally called the Airpower Teaming System but often known as “Loyal Wingman,” is 11 meters (38 feet) long and clean cut, with sharp angles offset by soft curves. The look is quietly aggressive.

Jan 3, 2020

Iran’s ‘forceful revenge’ against the US is likely to include cyberwarfare, and experts warn that the attacks could be devastating

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, energy, finance, internet, military

Iran has proved capable of cyberattacks that could target internet infrastructure, online banks, or even the US power grid.

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