Tag Archives: Military

Boeing’s laser hunts for drones

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Boeing's compact laser weapons system disables a moving, untethered unmanned aerial vehicle in a test on August 3, 2015. Credit: Boeing

Boeing’s portable drone-destroying laser system is one step closer to the battlefield after a recent test.

Earlier this month in California, Boeing’s second-generation, compact-laser weapons system disabled a moving, untethered drone. That’s important because enemies can easily acquire commercially available drones — also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) — and use them to deliver explosives or perform reconnaissance. 

Using a laser of up to two kilowatts, the weapons system can focus on a target located at a tactical distance up to many hundreds of meters away, according to a Boeing video of the technology. 

It took only a few seconds for the drone to ignite and crash. The laser is typically aimed at the tail of the drone because, once that section of the drone is disabled, it becomes impossible to control the drone, according to Dave DeYoung, director of laser and electro-optical systems at Boeing.

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Boeing's two-kilowatt compact laser weapons system is fired at a target in a lab causing it to almost instantly ignite in a test on August 26, 2015.

Sometimes it doesn’t make sense to fire a missile, which may range in cost from $30,000 to $3 million, at a drone that may cost a few thousand dollars, he said in an interview.

It costs “a couple of dollars” for each firing of the new laser weapons system, he said. 

“It’s not an either-or situation,” he said. “There will be instances when missiles make sense.”

One of the drawbacks of using lasers, DeYoung said, is that light, unlike a missile, keeps going. The Boeing weapon uses a safeguard to make sure there is a clear line of sight both to and beyond the target. 

For more information and the original story plus more images and a video follow this link to Computerworld.

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DARPA has created a self-guided bullet

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An depiction of the EXACTO .50 caliber bullet (Source: DARPA)

The U.S. government says it has developed the first ever self-guided bullets that can lock onto a target more than a mile away and maneuver midflight in order to hit its mark.

The .50 caliber target tracking bullets, dubbed Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance (EXACTO), are designed for military snipers, who must deal with changes in wind, light and ambient heat as they fire on a target.

The EXACTO technology is being developed by Teledyne Scientific and Imaging with funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which researches new military technologies and is known as a key developer of the Internet.

The EXACTO round and optical sighting technology is expected to greatly extend day and nighttime range over current state-of-the-art sniper systems, DARPA said in a statement on its website. The system combines the maneuverable bullet with a real-time laser-guidance system to track and deliver the projectile to the target.

The EXACTO rounds, which are accurate up to 1.2 miles, are guided to laser-marked targets and should help snipers work farther away from intended marks, and therefore avoid detection after firing, DARPA stated.

While DARPA claims EXACTO is the first self-guided bullet, Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) announced in 2012 that it had successfully fired a prototype self-guided bullet.

SNL’s dart-like, self-guided bullet is four inches long and also uses an optical sensor in its nose to detect a laser guidance system that must remain on target for the bullet to track.

For more information and a video demonstration follow the source link below.

Source: Computerworld

US Air Force Selects Samsung Series 7 Slate to be Used at USAF Bases Worldwide

Samsung Electronics America, Inc., and Intelligent Decisions, Inc. (ID), a recognized leader in federal IT solutions, announced that the Samsung Series 7 Slate has been awarded the network slate tablet category contract under the U.S. Air Force Client Computing and Servers blanket purchase agreement (BPA).  ID and Samsung are partnering to deliver the Samsung Series 7 Slate, which is the first device selected under the new network tablet category, available for deployment at USAF bases worldwide. The USAF has added the Samsung Series 7 Slate to the BPA effective immediately.

The Samsung Series 7 Slate provides the standard desktop configuration implementation of Windows 7 Professional and supports all the same programs as a full-size PC, in a slim and light weight tablet form-factor. It is a half-inch thick and features a responsive 11.6-inch touch screen, the Series 7 Slate allows for convenient use on the move but can also be docked or connected to an optional Bluetooth keyboard so no PC functionality is sacrificed.

“The Samsung Series 7 Slate combines high-end design and graphics with the strength and capabilities of a full-size PC,” said ID President and CEO Harry Martin. “Productivity will never be easier for all levels of U.S. Air Force employees who want the convenience of a tablet without having to compromise when it comes to programs, power and capabilities.”

“Highly mobile government agencies such as the U.S. Air Force are increasingly looking for mobile PC alternatives that can meet their stringent purchasing requirements and give their personnel the computing power they need for maximum productivity anywhere they go,” said Todd Bouman, vice president of marketing at Samsung’s Enterprise Business Division.  “Samsung engineered the Series 7 Slate with the needs of government in mind, from meeting strict security and network compatibility requirements to durability, quality and TAA-compliance.” 

The Series 7 Slate meets the Air Force’s Gold Master standards for computing performance. The Samsung Series 7 Slate is fully compliant with the Trade Agreements Act (TAA), a requirement for government agencies and educational institutions purchasing products with government funds. The basic input/output system (BIOS) of the Series 7 Slate is NIST SP800-147-compliant and fully supports secure BIOS integrity measurement mechanisms.

US Army Looks at 4G Communication System to Better Help Wounded Soldiers

In war medics tend to be thrown into situations where wounded soldiers require urgent and immediate attention where a trained surgeon would be most helpful, and said surgeon would be able to better do his job once he has gotten the background information on the injury and the subsequent medical details in order to dispense with the proper care.

With that said the US Army wants to develop a system which is capable of managing patient data from injury site to recovery, where it will include delivering live audio/video communication for medics in the field. This will help the medics in the field also determine who needs to ride the medevac first depending on the wounded soldiers condition and need for medical attention.

This is where the Army says the system will definitely need to fall back on a range of devices as well as 4G cellular networking in order to send vitals to communicate with the doctor, with everything being said recorded for further review. There are no further details on the 4G communication system the Army will be using.