Archive for the ‘surveillance’ category: Page 18

May 9, 2020

Space Force to get deeper insight into inner workings of SpaceX commercial launches

Posted by in categories: security, space, surveillance

WASHINGTON — SpaceX on May 6 was awarded an $8.9 million contract modification that gives the U.S. Space Force direct insight into the inner workings of the company’s commercial and civil space missions.

The contract for “non-National Security Space fleet surveillance” gives the Space Force access to SpaceX missions until November.

“This contract provides for non-NSS fleet surveillance efforts across the SpaceX family of launch vehicles for non-NSS missions,” said the contract announcement. The $8.9 million is an addition to an existing $297 million contract awarded to SpaceX in February 2019 for three national security launches.

May 4, 2020

Ban on gain-of-function studies ends

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, government, health, policy, surveillance

The debate is focused on a subset of gain-of-function studies that manipulate deadly viruses to increase their transmissibility or virulence. “This is what happens to viruses in the wild”, explains Carrie Wolinetz, head of the NIH Office of Science Policy. “Gain-of-function experiments allow us to understand how pandemic viruses evolve, so that we can make predictions, develop countermeasures, and do disease surveillance”. Although none of the widely publicised mishaps of 2014 involved such work, the NIH decided to suspend funding for gain-of-function studies involving influenza, MERS-CoV, and SARS-CoV.

The US moratorium on gain-of-function experiments has been rescinded, but scientists are split over the benefits—and risks—of such studies. Talha Burki reports.

On Dec 19, 2017, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced that they would resume funding gain-of-function experiments involving influenza, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus. A moratorium had been in place since October, 2014. At the time, the NIH had stated that the moratorium “will be effective until a robust and broad deliberative process is completed that results in the adoption of a new US Government gain-of-function research policy”. This process has now concluded. It was spearheaded by the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) and led to the development of a new framework for assessing funding decisions for research involving pathogens with enhanced pandemic potential. The release of the framework by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), of which NIH is part, signalled the end of the funding pause.

Continue reading “Ban on gain-of-function studies ends” »

May 3, 2020

That Unusually Large Ozone Hole Over The Arctic Has Closed Up Again

Posted by in categories: climatology, surveillance

Earlier this year, the layer of ozone over the Arctic thinned out enough to be considered a serious sized hole. It wasn’t exactly impressive compared with its southern cousin, but it was certainly a lot bigger than we’d ever seen it before.

Now, according to surveillance by the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS), we can breathe a sigh of relief. It’s healed up again.

That’s great news for ecosystems below, which rely on concentrations of ozone gas high up in the stratosphere to act as a planetary-scale sunscreen against damaging showers of UV radiation.

Apr 30, 2020

This drone is a generator and goes on surveillance missions

Posted by in categories: drones, robotics/AI, surveillance

This robot is a drone and a generator that can go on surveillance missions. Is there anything it can’t do?

Apr 29, 2020

Space Surveillance Telescope Sees First Light: through US & Australian

Posted by in categories: space, surveillance

In partnership with the Australian Ministry of Defense, the U.S. Space Force’s (USSF) Space and Missile Systems Center’s (SMC) Space Surveillance Telescope (SST) Program recently achieved “first light” on March 5, 2020, reaching a key milestone after it was moved from White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico to Harold E. Holt Naval Communications Station in Western Australia.

“This key Space Domain Awareness, or SDA, partnership builds on the long history of close defense space cooperation between the United States and Australia and has been a cornerstone of our continued alliance,” said Gordon Kordyak, SMC Special Programs Directorate Space Domain Awareness Division chief.

Moving the SST to Australia satisfied a critical objective to improve the broader USSF Space Surveillance Network’s ground-based electro-optical coverage of the geosynchronous space regime. First light is a significant milestone in meeting this objective. It means that course alignment of the telescope optics with the wide field of view camera has been completed to allow the first images of objects in orbit to be seen by the telescope.

Apr 25, 2020

The first modern pandemic

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, business, military, surveillance

During World War II, an amazing amount of innovation, including radar, reliable torpedoes, and code-breaking, helped end the war faster. This will be the same with the pandemic. I break the innovation into five categories: treatments, vaccines, testing, contact tracing, and policies for opening up. Without some advances in each of these areas, we cannot return to the business as usual or stop the virus. Below, I go through each area in some detail.

The scientific advances we need to stop COVID-19.

By Bill Gates

Apr 18, 2020

The Navy Will Put a Laser Gun on a Destroyer by 2021

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

Pew-pew-pew is coming soon-soon-soon.

The U.S. Navy plans to put a laser weapon on a warship by 2021. The High Energy Laser with Integrated Optical-dazzler and Surveillance (HELIOS) system, or HELIOS, is a defensive weapon system designed to burn boats and shoot down unmanned drones. The weapon will go to sea with a guided missile destroyer assigned to the Pacific Fleet in two years’ time, the Navy says.

Continue reading “The Navy Will Put a Laser Gun on a Destroyer by 2021” »

Apr 17, 2020

State of Surveillance: VICE on HBO Full Episode

Posted by in categories: mobile phones, surveillance

Edward Snowden shows you how to make your phone go black in this full episode of VICE on HBO.

Apr 17, 2020

Moscow’s Facial Recognition Tech Will Outlast the Coronavirus

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, robotics/AI, surveillance

👽 Facial recognition and Covid 19 in Moscow, Russia.

Fyodor R.

Continue reading “Moscow’s Facial Recognition Tech Will Outlast the Coronavirus” »

Apr 17, 2020

What do we know about COVID-19 and sewage?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health, surveillance

A version of this story was first published by COVID-19 Waterblog. Read the original.

There has been quite some talk about SARS-CoV-2 shedding in faeces and what that might mean for the water industry. Here, Susan Petterson provides a snapshot of the current data.

As I see it, there are two aspects to this conversation: the first is a concern that sewage may contain infectious SARS-CoV-2 viruses; and the second relates to the more theoretical potential of using SARS-CoV-2 RNA concentration in sewage as a public health surveillance tool.

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