Author Topic: Recent Warfare Technologies  (Read 256219 times)

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dinicthus

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Re: Recent warfare Technologies
« Reply #50 on: May 01, 2011, 17:24:38 »

I can sort of visualize a series of lenses spaced around a helmet feeding into a set of goggles which is the display (the real heavy lifting is the stuff between the lenses and the display). It will be interesting to see how this works out.

How about a monobloc polycarbonate piece that is a prism, sort of like tank prisms for outward view that just starts with the part you look into right above your eyebrows, and gets its view from behind you?

So, when you look far up, instead of seeing the inside of the bottom of the front of your helmet, you would see the view from behind as bounced through the folded path of the block of polycarbonate, possibly with reflective surfaces included as necessary.

I know, it would add weight to the helmet, about the last place you want more weight, but it is simple, robust, and doesn't need million dollar technologies to implement. In fact, the polycarbonate could be part of the protection afforded by the helmet, though, obviously, it doesn't have the same protection capability per pound as the stuff that helmets are made of now, but where the polycarbonate is, the kevlar could be thinner, at least, unless that is too detrimental to over helmet integrity.

They use "folded path" monobloc clear plastic or glass lenses for digital camera smartphones already, it isn't some revolutionary technology.

The view would be just like a rearview mirror, so people would be used to it. No electronics to suddenly quit. Prescription could be ground into (or glued onto, or clipped onto) the rear or front surface of the block so looking up over your eyeglasses into your rearview wouldn't yield a blurry ambiguous mess.

What path the polycarbonate "light tunnel" would take from eye to rearview is not significant, except that the shorter the better.

In fact the PC block or blocks could go to the sides, or just poke out the sides of the helmet right near the front viewable portion. Yes, that might look like ears or horns, and would definitely be more vulnerable to damage than a system where the light path was under the kevlar outer shell and the view port and the part facing rear was actually on the rear of the helmet.

I guess the primary question would be "how bad do they need to see a rearview?", which would determine what sacrifices could be made to provide it.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Recent warfare Technologies
« Reply #51 on: May 21, 2011, 10:05:00 »
Rapidly deployable shelters, bunkers, bastions and walls can be possible with this:

http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/05/concrete-canvas.html

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Concrete Canvas was covered back in 2005 in Wired.

BBC News - Concrete Canvas allows aid teams to construct solid structures in emergency zones quickly and easily. It is a fabric shelter that, when sprayed with water, turns to concrete within 24 hours.

* It is available in 5, 8 and 13 millimeter thicknesses.

* It is ceramic and will not burn

* Once hydrated it remains workable for 2 hours and hardens to 80% strength in 24 hours. Accelerated or retarded formulations can be produced as specified.

* It uses 95% less material than conventional concrete

* It can be used for fast shelters, roofing, retaining walls, basement lining, weed inhibition, flood defense, water tanks and many other applications

The Concrete canvas website
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Recent warfare Technologies
« Reply #52 on: June 10, 2011, 13:12:38 »
Stronger, cheaper materials for all kinds of purposes:

http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/06/flash-bainite-is-strongest-most-ductile.html

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Flash Bainite is the Strongest, Most Ductile, Lean Alloyed, Readily Weldable, Least Expensive Ultra Strength METAL known to man
 
ShareFlash Bainite is the Strongest, Most Ductile, Lean Alloyed, Readily Weldable, Least Expensive Ultra Strength METAL known to man. A50 tensile ranges from 1100 to 2080MPa (160-302ksi) with 8 to 9% elongation. Total elongation up to 10-11% is not uncommon. Flash 4130 at 1900MPa and 9% elongation exceeds titanium-6Al-4V's strength to weight ratio making it pound per pound stronger at only 56% the volume. Flash4130 is just 10% the cost of Ti-64.

"Off the shelf" plate and tubing can be made into Flash Bainite. Triple the strength of Chrome Moly, Flash 4130 is pound for pound 2X stronger than the best aluminums. If you are "lightweighting" structure with aluminum, Flash Bainite will do a better job at less weight and lower cost.

Ohio State University engineers verified the claims of increase the strength of steel by seven percent and can make cars and other products 30% lighter while keeping the same strength. For armor it can provide the equal of the best protection with a 20% weight reduction.

* 20,000 ton per year capacity by July, 2011
* 40-48 inch prototype sheets (3/16 and 1/4 inch thickness) available since Q1 2011
* starting with defense market and then expanding
* Environmentally friendly, this process consumes only a Kwatt of energy per Kg of steel processed. Water is used instead of polluting oils or molten salt.

The most obvious use of Bainitic High Strength Steel (BHSS) is in sheet form in the transportation industry. The increased ductility of a bainitic microstructure will allow stamping of part configurations never possible with existing martensitic Advanced High Strength Steels (AHSS). A significant number of complex stamped components will soon be manufactured in much thinner gages of steel due to the excellent formability of BHSS. Imagine an automobile whose stiffness has been increased yet weighs hundreds of pounds less.

Another area of increased use will be in the field of civil engineering. Steel building components can be manufactured to rely on much higher tensile strengths than previously thought possible. Wall studs, bar stock, angle iron, and I-beams are just some of the shapes that can be converted to bainite using this process. Significantly lighter roof trusses could be completely constructed from thinner gauge bainitic members that rely on greater tensile strengths. Tensioning components such as wire and re-bar may positively impact the bridge and highway building industries. Just imagine how much less steel could be used in a suspension bridge if architects could rely on much higher tensile strength cables.

Other areas as diverse as household appliances to stronger armor plating to space craft will be able to take advantage of Bainitic High Strength Steel.

Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Recent warfare Technologies
« Reply #53 on: June 10, 2011, 13:16:06 »
OK, the Bikini is cute, but now expand the thought to fully customized uniforms, boots and load carriage systems designed to fit you:

http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/06/3d-printed-bikini-is-first-ready-to.html

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3D Printed Bikini is the first ready to wear 3D printed clothing and fitted exactly using body scanning
 
ShareThe N12 bikini is the world's first ready-to-wear, completely 3D-printed article of clothing. All of the pieces, closures included, are made directly by 3D printing and snap together without any sewing. N12 represents the beginning of what is possible for the near future.

The same process can be used to make shirts, dresses and suits that are custom fitted using body scanning. It is 0.7 millimeters (1/36th of a inch) thick
nylon.

N12 is named for the material it's made out of: Nylon 12. This solid nylon is created by the SLS 3D printing process. Shapeways calls this material "white, strong, and flexible", because its strength allows it to bend without breaking when printed very thin. With a minimum wall thickness of 0.7 mm (1/36th of an inch), it is possible to make working springs and almost thread-like connections. For a bikini, the nylon is beautifully functional because it is waterproof and remarkably comfortable when wet.

Shapeways describes the CAD process and customizing the fit exactly

The N12 was designed using Rhino 3D CAD software and specially written algorithmic script to create the structure of the 3D printed fabric. The algorithm uses a complex 'circle packing' equation on an arbitrarily doubly curved surface (the bikini). The size of the circles responds to curvature and edge conditions of the form, creating smooth edges and a responsive pattern.

The patterning starts with a curved surface, some geometry to indicate edges and value ranges for the circles sizes and tolerance parameters. The pattern begins placing circles at a point near the edge. Each subsequent circle tries to stay as near to the nearest edge geometry at possible. The circle’s size is determined using this nearness and the local curvature of the surface. Curvier areas get small circles and flatter areas larger, both to help with accurately approximating the surface and to ensure flexibility where it is needed and efficiency of pattern where it is not.

Every time a bend or elbow is encountered in the surface edge, a small gap will be left in the pattern. Gaps will also occur near the middle distances between edges where the placement of the next circle is less certain. After the first level of pattern has been created, these open areas are infilled with smaller circles to ensure complete coverage, and to create a more interesting aesthetic pattern.

One of the goals of the circle patterning system is to be able to adapt it to any surface, at any size. This means that future articles of clothing can be produced using the same algorithm, this could be taken a step further into absolute customization by using a body scan to make a bespoke article of clothing, 3D printed to exactly fit that person only.

Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Recent warfare Technologies
« Reply #54 on: June 13, 2011, 16:42:00 »
Getting up walls without ropes and ladders: Spiderman come to life:

http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/06/darpa-z-man-program-to-enbale-wall.html

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DARPA Z-man program to enable wall climbing soldiers
 
DARPA Z-man program will develop biologically inspired climbing aids to enable soldiers to scale vertical walls constructed from typical building materials, without using ropes or ladders. Geckos, spiders and small animals are the inspiration behind these climbing aids.

Nanopatents and innovations - In 2010, DARPA demonstrated a fully loaded soldier (300 lb) wearing reattachable pads (magnets and microspines) scaling a series of 25-foot walls built from mission-relevant materials using Z-Man technology.

In 2011, DARPA began the transition of Z-Man prototype technologies (magnets and microspines) to the Armed Services.

Draper is a not-for-profit research and development laboratory focused on the design, development, and deployment of advanced technological solutions for our nation’s most challenging and important problems in security, space exploration, healthcare, and energy. They have a staff of about 1400 and have been developing the Z-man project.

Draper technology digest 2010 (page 95) - Development and Demonstration of ZMAN Microspine and Magnetic Climbing Hardware

The microspines and magnetic switching concepts that enable strong reversible adhesion using van der Waals forces or by hooking into surface asperities. The materials and concepts were scaled up into a novel climbing aid optimized for efficient human climbing without the need for ropes or ladders. The demonstration proved the technical feasibility of an unloaded soldier to climb vertical walls of multiple surfaces constructed of typical building materials. This has never been done before and significantly outperformed the current state-of-the-art.

I made a prediction in 2006 - Gecko mimicing wallcrawling suits for military and enthusiasts 2008-2012

2010 achievements were-
- Demonstrated a fully loaded soldier (300 lb) wearing reattachable pads (magnets and microspines) scaling a series of 25-foot walls built from mission-relevant materials using Z-MAN technology.
- Demonstrated an unloaded soldier (150 lb) using reattachable pads (gecko nanoadhesives) to scale a series of 25-foot walls built from mission-relevant materials.
- 2011 transition the nanoadhesives, magnetics and microspines prototypes to the services.

Seems to fulfill the Gecko mimicing wallcrawling suits for military by 2010-2011.
See how far it gets to enthusiasts in by Dec 2012.

Daniel Harjes developed an innovative approach to use magnetic switching with negligible external energy, and in May, 2010 the team successfully demonstrated the integrated technologies and impressed DARPA, which led to the Phase III contract.

DARPA's 2012 plans are to integrate nanoparticle enabled space propulsion technology and Z-MAN adhesion technologies for operationally relevant space applications such as orbital debris cleanup, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR). [pages 11 and 12 out of 40 pages of DARPA budget.]

Title: Reconfigurable Structures
Description: In the Reconfigurable Structures thrust, new combinations of advanced materials, devices, and structural architectures are being developed to allow military platforms to move, morph, or change shape for optimal adaptation to changing mission requirements and unpredictable environments. This includes the demonstration of new materials and devices that will enable the military to function more effectively in the urban theater of operations. For example, a key focus is to formulate a more principled, scientific basis for robotic ground mobility and manipulation, and to develop and demonstrate from that basis innovative robot design tools, fabrication methods, and control methodologies.

FY 2010 Accomplishments: ($7 million)
- Performed laboratory testing of engineered soft material robot operations and optimized design.
- Performed laboratory demonstrations of robot function.
- Developed engineering model for soft robots, and designed prototype robots for selected applications.
- Demonstrated a fully loaded soldier (300 lb) wearing reattachable pads (magnets and microspines) scaling a series of 25-foot walls built from mission-relevant materials using Z-MAN technology.
- Demonstrated an unloaded soldier (150 lb) using reattachable pads (gecko nanoadhesives) to scale a series of 25-foot walls built from mission-relevant materials.

FY 2011 Plans: ($20 million)
- Perform laboratory demonstration of prototype soft material robots and refine designs.
- Perform simulated field testing of prototype robots.
- Finalize robot designs for field use.
- Demonstrate a fully loaded soldier (300 lb) using reattachable pads (gecko nanoadhesives) to scale a series of 25-foot walls built from mission-relevant materials.
- Transition Z-MAN prototype technologies (magnets and microspines) to the Services.
- Demonstrate components of new design tools for accelerating high quality design of robots by non-experts.
- Demonstrate proof of concept prototypes of new fabrication methods for producing robots at low cost.
- Demonstrate components of new control algorithms able to improve the mobility and manipulation performance of robots.
- Demonstrate in simulation proof of concept robots with higher mobility and manipulation performance than currently available.
- Demonstrate proof of concept components for increasing robot mobility and manipulation performance.

FY 2012 Plans: ($21 million)
- Perform field testing of prototype robots for transition to end user.
- Refine final robot designs based on field test results.
- Identify potential end users and transition to end users.
- Integrate and demonstrate components of new design tools for accelerating high quality design of robots by non-experts.
- Brass board new fabrication methods for producing robots at low cost.
- Demonstrate new control algorithms able to significantly improve mobility performance.
- Demonstrate new control algorithms able to significantly improve manipulation performance.
- Demonstrate of proof of concept robot prototypes with higher mobility.
- Integrate and demonstrate proof of concept robot prototypes with higher manipulation performance.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Recent warfare Technologies
« Reply #55 on: July 10, 2011, 21:22:05 »
Drawing ambient energy for small sensors and other devices will have interesting applications in urban ops and low intensity conflict scenarios. High intensity conflict will probably involve the deliberate destruction of the electrical grid and most of the emitters mentioned here, which limits this technology:

http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/07/ambient-electromagnetic-energy.html

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Ambient Electromagnetic Energy Harnessed for Small Electronic Devices

Georgia Tech - Researchers have discovered a way to capture and harness energy transmitted by such sources as radio and television transmitters, cell phone networks and satellite communications systems. By scavenging this ambient energy from the air around us, the technique could provide a new way to power networks of wireless sensors, microprocessors and communications chips.


"There is a large amount of electromagnetic energy all around us, but nobody has been able to tap into it," said Manos Tentzeris, a professor in the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering who is leading the research. "We are using an ultra-wideband antenna that lets us exploit a variety of signals in different frequency ranges, giving us greatly increased power-gathering capability."

Tentzeris and his team are using inkjet printers to combine sensors, antennas and energy-scavenging capabilities on paper or flexible polymers. The resulting self-powered wireless sensors could be used for chemical, biological, heat and stress sensing for defense and industry; radio-frequency identification (RFID) tagging for manufacturing and shipping, and monitoring tasks in many fields including communications and power usage.

A presentation on this energy-scavenging technology was scheduled for delivery July 6 at the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Symposium in Spokane, Wash. The discovery is based on research supported by multiple sponsors, including the National Science Foundation, the Federal Highway Administration and Japan's New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).

Communications devices transmit energy in many different frequency ranges, or bands. The team's scavenging devices can capture this energy, convert it from AC to DC, and then store it in capacitors and batteries. The scavenging technology can take advantage presently of frequencies from FM radio to radar, a range spanning 100 megahertz (MHz) to 15 gigahertz (GHz) or higher.

Scavenging experiments utilizing TV bands have already yielded power amounting to hundreds of microwatts, and multi-band systems are expected to generate one milliwatt or more. That amount of power is enough to operate many small electronic devices, including a variety of sensors and microprocessors.

And by combining energy-scavenging technology with super-capacitors and cycled operation, the Georgia Tech team expects to power devices requiring above 50 milliwatts. In this approach, energy builds up in a battery-like super-capacitor and is utilized when the required power level is reached.

The researchers have already successfully operated a temperature sensor using electromagnetic energy captured from a television station that was half a kilometer distant. They are preparing another demonstration in which a microprocessor-based microcontroller would be activated simply by holding it in the air.

Exploiting a range of electromagnetic bands increases the dependability of energy-scavenging devices, explained Tentzeris, who is also a faculty researcher in the Georgia Electronic Design Center (GEDC) at Georgia Tech. If one frequency range fades temporarily due to usage variations, the system can still exploit other frequencies.

The scavenging device could be used by itself or in tandem with other generating technologies. For example, scavenged energy could assist a solar element to charge a battery during the day. At night, when solar cells don't provide power, scavenged energy would continue to increase the battery charge or would prevent discharging.

Utilizing ambient electromagnetic energy could also provide a form of system backup. If a battery or a solar-collector/battery package failed completely, scavenged energy could allow the system to transmit a wireless distress signal while also potentially maintaining critical functionalities.

The researchers are utilizing inkjet technology to print these energy-scavenging devices on paper or flexible paper-like polymers -- a technique they already using to produce sensors and antennas. The result would be paper-based wireless sensors that are self-powered, low-cost and able to function independently almost anywhere.

To print electrical components and circuits, the Georgia Tech researchers use a standard-materials inkjet printer. However, they add what Tentzeris calls "a unique in-house recipe" containing silver nanoparticles and/or other nanoparticles in an emulsion. This approach enables the team to print not only RF components and circuits, but also novel sensing devices based on such nanomaterials as carbon nanotubes.

"We can now print circuits that are capable of functioning at up to 15 GHz -- 60 GHz if we print on a polymer," Vyas said. "So we have seen a frequency operation improvement of two orders of magnitude."

The researchers believe that self-powered, wireless paper-based sensors will soon be widely available at very low cost. The resulting proliferation of autonomous, inexpensive sensors could be used for applications that include:

• Airport security: Airports have both multiple security concerns and vast amounts of available ambient energy from radar and communications sources. These dual factors make them a natural environment for large numbers of wireless sensors capable of detecting potential threats such as explosives or smuggled nuclear material.

• Energy savings: Self-powered wireless sensing devices placed throughout a home could provide continuous monitoring of temperature and humidity conditions, leading to highly significant savings on heating and air-conditioning costs. And unlike many of today’s sensing devices, environmentally friendly paper-based sensors would degrade quickly in landfills.

• Structural integrity: Paper or polymer-based sensors could be placed throughout various types of structures to monitor stress. Self-powered sensors on buildings, bridges or aircraft could quietly watch for problems, perhaps for many years, and then transmit a signal when they detected an unusual condition.

• Food and perishable-material storage and quality monitoring: Inexpensive sensors on foods could scan for chemicals that indicate spoilage and send out an early warning if they encountered problems.

• Wearable bio-monitoring devices: This emerging wireless technology could become widely used for autonomous observation of patient medical issues.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Antoine

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Re: Recent warfare Technologies
« Reply #56 on: July 23, 2011, 22:10:00 »
The following is a bit of a specialized paper, but for chemist in the CF, you might find it interesting.

PM me if you don't have access to the article but you would like to read it.

Review
Destruction and Detection of Chemical Warfare Agents, Chem. Rev., Article ASAP, (Web): June 13, 2011

pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/cr100193y
The Future Is Coming Sooner Then You Think - 2007 U.S. Congress study by the Joint Economic Committee
The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom - Isaac Asimov
We risk continuing to fight a 21st-century conflict with 20th-century rules - John Reid, British secretary of state for defence
Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Recent warfare Technologies
« Reply #57 on: July 31, 2011, 00:41:03 »
British engineers "print" an airplane. This is interesting for small/medium UAV's today, but engineers ar Airbus hope to use this sort of technology to build full sized aircraft parts and eventually airplanes. Imagine being able to "print" heavy transports and equipment when you need to do a surge...

http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2011-07/uk-engineers-print-and-fly-worlds-first-working-3-d-printed-aircraft

Quote
UK Engineers Print and Fly the World's First Working 3-D Printed Aircraft
By Clay Dillow Posted 07.28.2011 at 12:44 pm 17 Comments

SULSA University of Southampton

Engineers at the University of Southampton in the UK have designed, printed, and sent skyward the world’s first aircraft manufactured almost entirely via 3-D printing technology. The UAV--dubbed SULSA (Southampton University Laser Sintered Aircraft)--is powered by an electric motor that is pretty much the only part of the aircraft not created via additive manufacturing methods.

It’s no slouch of a UAV either. SULSA boasts a 6.5-foot wingspan, a top speed of about 100 miles per hour, and is nearly silent while cruising. Created on an EOS EOSINT P730 nylon laser sintering machine, its wings, hatches, control surfaces--basically everything that makes up its structure and aerodynamic controls--was custom printed to snap together. It requires no fasteners and no tools to assemble.

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Technology, Clay Dillow, 3-D printing, aviation, rapid prototyping, uavs, unmanned aerial vehicles

This, of course, is the dream of aircraft makers big and small. Building something as large as a Boeing 787 for instance requires a lot of machining, a lot of custom tooling, and above all a lot of waste. Additive manufacturing (that’s a fancy way of saying 3-D printing) builds components layer by layer, allowing designers to create parts with virtually no waste. It also lets them tweak designs on the fly and go from CAD drawing to prototype extremely quickly (which is why it’s also referred to as “rapid prototyping”).

Moreover, it allows aircraft engineers tap design tricks that are known to be more efficient and effective but are also expensive and wasteful to create in practice--like the elliptical wings on SULSA. So perhaps it’s no surprise that elsewhere in the UK a team of Airbus engineers is working on printing an entire aircraft wing--that is, a real jetliner aircraft wing, the kind that would carry people--with the ultimate goal of printing out most of the important components of an entire passenger aircraft.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Recent warfare Technologies
« Reply #58 on: August 01, 2011, 00:30:39 »
A very strange and out of the box way to generate electrical energy. This currently has a very low energy conversion efficiency, but note that it is still twice that of Lithium Ion batteries (the current gold standard), which would solve some pretty pressing logistical and weight issues for us:

http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/07/more-efficient-sun-free-photovoltaics.html

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More Efficient Sun-free photovoltaics

Using new nanofabrication techniques, MIT researchers made these samples of tungsten with billions of regularly spaced, uniform nanoscale holes on their surfaces. In their TVP system, this type of photonic crystal serves as a thermal emitter, absorbing heat and then—because of its surface structure—radiating to the PV diode only those wavelengths that the diode can convert into electricity. The inset shows a digital photo of the full 1 cm-diameter sample, illuminated by white light. The color suggests the diffraction of white light into green as a result of the surface pattern.

A new photovoltaic energy-conversion system developed at MIT can be powered solely by heat, generating electricity with no sunlight at all. While the principle involved is not new, a novel way of engineering the surface of a material to convert heat into precisely tuned wavelengths of light — selected to match the wavelengths that photovoltaic cells can best convert to electricity — makes the new system much more efficient than previous versions.

    They used a slab of tungsten, engineering billions of tiny pits on its surface. When the slab heats up, it generates bright light with an altered emission spectrum because each pit acts as a resonator, capable of giving off radiation at only certain wavelengths.

In this novel MIT design, input heat from an energy source raises the temperature of the tungsten photonic crystal, which transmits radiative heat at selected wavelengths to the PV diode. A second photonic crystal—mounted on the face of the PV diode—lets through heat at wave- lengths that the diode can convert into electricity and reflects the rest back to the tungsten photonic crystal, where it is reabsorbed and reemitted. Electricity from the PV diode passes to an electronic circuit that adjusts its voltage to match the external device being powered.

Prototypes of their micro-TPV power generator are "pretty exciting," says Celanovic. The devices achieve a fuel-to-electricity conversion efficiency of about 3%—a ratio that may not sound impressive, but at that efficiency their energy output is three times greater than that of a lithium ion battery of the same size and weight. The TPV power generator can thus run three times longer without recharging, and then recharging is instantaneous: just snap in a new cartridge of butane. With further work on packaging and system design, Celanovic is confident that they can triple their current energy density. "At that point, our TPV generator could power your smart phone for a whole week without being recharged," he says.

This diagram demonstrates how manipulating the nanostructure of the tungsten photonic crystal can affect the spectrum of the light it emits. (Emittance is an indicator of radiation efficiency.) In this example, the three colored spectra come from heated tungsten samples that contain nanoscale holes of differing diameters, depths, and spacing. Those differing geometries dramatically change the dominant wavelengths in the emitted light. The spectrum drawn in black is from a sample of tungsten with a smooth surface

    The key to this fine-tuned light emission, described in the journal Physical Review A, lies in a material with billions of nanoscale pits etched on its surface. When the material absorbs heat — whether from the sun, a hydrocarbon fuel, a decaying radioisotope or any other source — the pitted surface radiates energy primarily at these carefully chosen wavelengths.

    Based on that technology, MIT researchers have made a button-sized power generator fueled by butane that can run three times longer than a lithium-ion battery of the same weight; the device can then be recharged instantly, just by snapping in a tiny cartridge of fresh fuel. Another device, powered by a radioisotope that steadily produces heat from radioactive decay, could generate electricity for 30 years without refueling or servicing — an ideal source of electricity for spacecraft headed on long missions away from the sun.

    Half a century ago, researchers developed thermophotovoltaics (TPV), which couple a PV cell with any source of heat: A burning hydrocarbon, for example, heats up a material called the thermal emitter, which radiates heat and light onto the PV diode, generating electricity. The thermal emitter's radiation includes far more infrared wavelengths than occur in the solar spectrum, and "low band-gap" PV materials invented less than a decade ago can absorb more of that infrared radiation than standard silicon PVs can. But much of the heat is still wasted, so efficiencies remain relatively low.

    The solution, Celanovic says, is to design a thermal emitter that radiates only the wavelengths that the PV diode can absorb and convert into electricity, while suppressing other wavelengths. "But how do we find a material that has this magical property of emitting only at the wavelengths that we want?" asks Marin Soljačić, professor of physics and ISN researcher. The answer: Make a photonic crystal by taking a sample of material and create some nanoscale features on its surface — say, a regularly repeating pattern of holes or ridges — so light propagates through the sample in a dramatically different way.

    "By choosing how we design the nanostructure, we can create materials that have novel optical properties," Soljačić says. "This gives us the ability to control and manipulate the behavior of light."
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Recent warfare Technologies
« Reply #59 on: August 23, 2011, 17:52:26 »
A rather amazing development. Who says we can't have connectivity?

http://www.fastcompany.com/1774515/lifenet-a-simple-communications-system-that-works-when-cell-phones-internet-are-down

Quote
A Wireless Communications System That Works When Cell Phones, Internet Are Down
BY Ariel SchwartzThu Aug 18, 2011
LifeNet lets computers and phones talk to each other without an Internet connection, which could come in handy after disasters that knock out communication networks.

One of the first things to disappear in the wake of a major disaster is reliable communication. Without access to cell phone service or the Internet, it's difficult for first responders--or anyone who wants to help out--to speak with each other. And while satellite phones work in these situations, they're too expensive for many first responder organizations to purchase en masse. Now researchers from Georgia Tech College of Computing claim to have developed a cheap, easy solution: LifeNet, a piece of software that allows people to communicate after disasters, even if landlines, cell phone networks, and the Internet are all down.

"It's just a piece of code that you can have on your laptop or phone. Once you have the software, the computers can communicate with each other, and you don't need infrastructure," says Santosh Vempala, the Georgia Tech computer science professor in charge of the project.

Any device that has LifeNet installed acts as both a host and router for the network--meaning the software can route data both to and from any other LifeNet-enabled device. You can read more technical details here.

A group of people using the software can all communicate with each other (texting is the easiest way), but if even one person on the network has access to the Internet, everyone else can access it, too--though the connection probably wouldnt be strong enough to do any powerful surfing, like stream video. And if one user has a satellite phone, the whole network can use its services.

There's just one catch: Users have to be within range of each other. Outdoors, this could mean up to a kilometer. Indoors, users may have to be as close as a few hundred yards. But as Vempala notes, "you could have a line of people on this network that are spaced 100 yards apart, and the line could go as long as you want."

Hrushikesh Mehendale, one of Vempala's former graduate students, plans to bring LifeNet to market. The software will be free, he says, but users will have to pay for specific applications (i.e text messaging). Still, the cost will be cheap compared to satellite phones, which cost up to $600 a pop and charge 50 cents per text.

Vempala and Mehendale have already tested LifeNet with the FAA, which found that it was able to run all of its operations on top of the network. The researchers also recently partnered with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in India, which will help deploy the service in communications-poor areas that have been hit hard by recent cyclones.

And the software isn't just useful in disaster situations. It could also be used in any region that lacks a reliable communications infrastructure. "The next thing is to get real users. We plan to find critical scenarios where we identify real need," says Mehendale.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Recent warfare Technologies
« Reply #60 on: September 07, 2011, 11:09:13 »
Moving electrical energy around is difficult, and while this article is predicted on the use of such materials in long distance transmission, having high efficiency wiring for vehicles makes such things as electric drive or electrical weaponry more feasible. A bonus is superconductors have no electrical field, so the power wiring harness is "quiet" and won't interfere with on board electronics or comms equipment:

http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/09/innovative-superconductor-fibers-carry.html

Quote
Innovative Superconductor Fibers Carry 40 Times More than Copper
 
Researchers at Tel Aviv University have found a way to make an old idea new with the next generation of superconductors.

    Dr. Boaz Almog and Mishael Azoulay working in the group of Prof. Guy Deutscher at TAU's Raymond and Beverly Sackler School of Physics and Astronomy have developed superconducting wires using fibers made of single crystals of sapphire to be used in high powered cables. Factoring in temperature requirements, each tiny wire can carry approximately 40 times more electricity than a copper wire of the same size. They have the potential to revolutionize energy transfer, says Dr. Almog.

The properties of copper wires are listed here

High temperature superconducting wire usually carries 4-10 times the power of copper SuperPower state-of-the-art second-generation high temperature superconductor (2G HTS) wire can carry up to one hundred times as much current as conventional copper wire.

Beating the heat

One of the things that make our copper wires inefficient is overheating, Dr. Almog explains. Due to electrical resistance found in the metal, some of the energy that flows through the cables is cast off and wasted, causing the wires to heat up. But with superconductors, there is no resistance. A self-contained cooling system, which requires a constant flow of liquid nitrogen, keeps the wire in its superconducting state. Readily available, non-toxic, and inexpensive — a gallon of the substance costs less than a gallon of milk — liquid nitrogen provides the perfect coolant.

Even with the benefit of liquid nitrogen, researchers were still hard pressed to find a material that would make the ideal superconductor. Superconductors coated on crystal wafers are effective but too brittle, says Dr. Almog, and although superconductors on metallic tapes had some success, the product is too expensive to manufacture in mass quantities.

To create their superconductors, the researchers turned to sapphire fibers, developed by Dr. Amit Goyal at the Oakridge National Lab in Tennessee and lent to the TAU team. Coated with a ceramic mixture using a special technique, these single-crystal fibers, slightly thicker than a human hair, have made innovative superconductors.

Going macro

Dr. Almog is currently working to produce better superconductors that could transport even larger amounts of electric current.

One area where such superconductors could lend a hand is in collecting renewable energy sources. "Sources such as wind turbines or solar panels are usually located in remote places such as deserts or offshore lines, and you need an efficient way to deliver the current," explains Dr. Almog. These superconductors can traverse the long distances without losing any of the energy to heat due to electrical resistance.

Superconducting cables could also be an efficient way to bring large amounts of power to big cities "If you want to supply current for a section of a city like New York, you will need electric cables with a total cross-section of more than one meter by one meter. Superconductors have larger current capacities using a fraction of the space," says Dr. Almog. Different parts of a city could be cross-wired, he adds, so that in the event of a blackout, power can be easily rerouted.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Recent warfare Technologies
« Reply #61 on: September 16, 2011, 21:26:51 »
Rapidly building shelters for bases, refugee camps and so on is always a logistical nightmare. This technology can bring the costs down dramatically (and imagine replacing ancient buildings on base for a small fraction of the current cost of replacing old structures):

http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2011/1k-house-prototype-0915.html

Quote
A true bargain house
First prototype built from MIT’s effort to construct houses for $1,000 each.

Photo: Ying chee Chui
September 15, 2011

Home prices in many of the world’s most famous cities run to well over $1,000 per square foot. By contrast, MIT architects have produced a decidedly more affordable alternative: the first prototype from the Institute’s “1K House” project, an effort to see if low-cost homes for the poor can be constructed for $1,000, total.

The prototype, called Pinwheel House, was designed by Ying chee Chui MArch ’11, a graduate of MIT’s Department of Architecture, and has been constructed in Mianyang, in Sichuan Province, China.

“It’s part of the responsibility of an architect, to create these spaces for people to live,” Chui says. “It’s from the heart.”

Chui first designed Pinwheel House in 2009 as part of the design studio — essentially a class — that launched the 1K House effort. The project is particularly focused on affordable housing for areas hit by natural disasters, such as the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan. This prototype turned out to be more costly, at $5,925, but is still very inexpensive in relative terms.

The idea to attempt building $1,000 homes was first conceived by Tony Ciochetti, the Thomas G. Eastman Chair at MIT’s Center for Real Estate, and inspired by One Laptop Per Child, the foundation headed by MIT professor Nicholas Negroponte that brings low-cost computers to children.

“There is a huge proportion of the world’s population that has pressing housing needs,” says Ciochetti, who first got the idea for the initiative after seeing a family of four emerge from a tiny mud hut while he was traveling through rural India. Like One Laptop Per Child’s aim of developing $100 computers, Ciochetti adds, the idea of the $1,000 house is intended as a challenge to designers: “Can you build affordable, sustainable shelter for such a large population?”

Pinwheel and courtyard

Chui’s house is one of 13 plans that emerged from the first 1K House design studio, in 2009. It features hollow brick walls with steel bars for reinforcement, wooden box beams, and is intended to withstand a magnitude 8.0 earthquake.

The Pinwheel House prototype was more expensive to build partly because it is larger than Chui’s original design — about 800 square feet, rather than 500 square feet. The smaller version of the house could be built for about $4,000, says Chui, now an architectural practitioner in New York City. That figure could be still lower if a large number of the homes were built at once, she adds.

In any case, the central design concept of Pinwheel House is the same: It has a modular layout, with rectangular room units surrounding a central courtyard space. “The module can be duplicated and rotated, and then it becomes a house,” Chui says. “The construction is easy enough, because if you know how to build a single module, you can build the whole house.”

Yung Ho Chang, a professor of architectural design at MIT who helped oversee the 2009 1K House design studio, thinks the prototype has fulfilled the promise of Chui’s design. “The house Chee built has good ventilation and good light,” Chang says.

Chang, for his part, is originally from China, and runs an independent practice there, Atelier FCJZ. He was attracted to the 1K House project, in part, by the shortage of good housing in some parts of his native country.

“After the earthquake, this project came as a natural thing to do,” Chang says. “It’s not just about how cheap the house is, but if it’s decent. When you look at living conditions in parts of China, India and Africa, they don’t meet the basic standards of what we think of as real housing.”

From $1K to $10K?

The 1K House project has proven successful enough, and attracted enough attention, that Chang is overseeing a related MIT design studio this fall, along with a number of outside collaborators. This one aims to create a series of home designs, intended for Japan, which would cost $10,000 to build. Participants in the studio include architects and designers from Tokyo University, the Japanese architecture firm Tsushima Design Studio, Atelier FCJZ, the Japanese retailer Muji, and Vanke, a real estate development firm in China.

“The idea of the 1K house is very much about how could we, as architects in research institutions like MIT, work on world poverty,” Chang says. “This semester, the mission is more about how design could reach a bigger percentage of the population, in the middle class.”

The new design studio also aims to create homes that could be built inexpensively following natural disasters, such as the earthquake and tsunami that struck northern Japan in March. Rebuilding in such situations, Chang says, often entails three stages of construction: the creation of temporary shelters, then stronger temporary homes sturdy enough for winter weather, and then permanent replacements for damaged or destroyed buildings.

During that process, Chang says, “there are a lot of resources wasted, including energy.” Alternately, he suggests, inexpensive and simple houses built from an existing template could let countries rebuild more quickly with practical, permanent structures.

The use of inexpensive housing for rebuilding is, in part, why architects in Japan are now engaging with the project. The initiative “is an important step in the realization of rapid/permanent community building,” says Andrew Wit, an architect with Tsushima Design Studio, responding to questions by email. After disasters, he adds, “the government very quickly builds shelters to house all of those affected by the events, but these cheap housing types have very short lifespans and are also made at very low quality standards … But the [MIT house project] asks if it is possible to utilize new technologies and processes for the quick creation of housing equal to or higher then the typical quality standards which are currently seen in Japan.”

Plenty of hurdles remain before any home can be manufactured for $1,000 or less. “If it were easy, somebody would have done it,” Ciochetti says.

But ultimately, Chang hopes, convening further studios in the vein of the 1K House project will allow more designs to move from the drawing board and onto solid ground. “The inexpensive laptop got to be more than an idea, it became available for children,” Chang says. “I hope one day we’ll be in the same position.”
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Recent warfare Technologies
« Reply #62 on: September 24, 2011, 00:18:22 »
A survey of current laser weapon technology. The magic 100kW mark has been reached, so lasers can emit enough energy to be tactically useful vs targets like incoming rockets, UAVs, small boats etc. The next challenge is to reduce the volume of the laser, power system and optical train to fit in smaller tactical vehicles:

http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/military/research/8-laser-weapon-systems-to-zap-planes-boats-and-people?click=pp#fbIndex1
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline FlyingDutchman

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Re: Recent warfare Technologies
« Reply #63 on: September 28, 2011, 22:29:21 »
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/18/bullet-proof-skin-spider-silk_n_930389.html

Bullet proof skin anyone?

Quote
Imagine having a gun fired at you, the bullet whizzing toward you at a super-fast speed. But instead of the bullet piercing your skin and traveling deep inside your body, what if it instead repelled off your skin?

What sounds like a scenario straight out of a superhero movie or a sci-fi novel could eventually become reality. Scientists have created a skin made with goat's milk packed with spider-silk proteins, according to news reports. Their hope is that they can eventually replace the keratin in human skin --which makes it tough -- with the spider-silk proteins.

To make the bullet-proof material, Dutch scientists first engineered goats to produce milk that contains proteins from extra-strong spider silk. Then, using the milk from the goats, they spun a bullet-proof material; a layer of real human skin is then grown around that skin, a process that takes five weeks, the Daily Mail reported.

"Science-fiction? Maybe, but we can get a feeling of what this transhumanistic idea would be like by letting a bulletproof matrix of spidersilk merge with an in vitro human skin," researcher Jalila Essaidi told the Daily Mail.

Does it work? Well, the skin is only able to stop bullets fired at reduced speeds, TechNewsDaily reported. It was not able to stop a bullet from a .22 caliber rifle shot at a normal speed, which is the required standard for today's bulletproof vests.

The skin is currently on display at the National Natural History Museum Naturalis in Leiden, Netherlands, until Jan. 8, 2012, TechNewsDaily reported.

More research must be done before this bullet-proof "super skin" can actually be possible to engineer into humans.
Edit: forgot quote tags
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Recent warfare Technologies
« Reply #64 on: September 29, 2011, 19:30:09 »
High tech capacitors have been touted as replacement energy sources for electric and electronic equipment; more progress here:

http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/09/first-energy-storage-membrane.html

Quote
First Energy-Storage Membrane
 
A team from the National University of Singapore’s Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Initiative (NUSNNI), led by principle investigator Dr Xie Xian Ning, has developed the world’s first energy-storage membrane.

    The new membrane promises greater cost-effectiveness in delivering energy, but also an environmentally-friendly solution. The researchers used a polystyrene-based polymer to deposit the soft, foldable membrane that, when sandwiched between and charged by two metal plates, could store charge at 0.2 farads per square centimeter. This is well above the typical upper limit of 1 microfarad per square centimetre for a standard capacitor.

    The cost involved in energy storage is also drastically reduced. With existing technologies based on liquid electrolytes, it costs about US$7 to store each farad. With the advanced energy storage membrane, the cost to store each farad falls to an impressive US$0.62. This translates to an energy cost of 10-20 watt-hour per US dollar for the membrane, as compared to just 2.5 watt-hour per US dollar for lithium ion batteries.

energy storage membrane

Polymer Physics - Supercapacitive energy storage based on ion-conducting channels in hydrophilized organic network

    Conventional electrode materials for supercapacitors are based on nanoscaled structures with large surface areas or porosities. This work presents a new electrode material, the so-called hydrophilized polymer network. The network has two unique features: 1) it allows for high capacitance (up to 400 F/g) energy storage in a simple film configuration without the need of high-surface-area nanostructures; 2) it is unstable in water, but becomes extremely stable in electrolyte with high ionic strength. The above features are related to the hydrophilizing groups in the network which not only generate hydrated ionic conduction channels, but also enable the cross-linking of the network in electrolyte. Because of its practical advantages such as easy preparation and intrinsic stability in electrolyte, the hydrophilized network may provide a new route to high-performance supercapacitive energy storage. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part B: Polym Phys 49: 1234–1240, 2011


    The performance of the membrane surpasses those of rechargeable batteries, such as lithium ion and lead-acid batteries, and supercapacitors.

    Potential applications: From hybrid vehicles to solar panels and wind turbines

    The membrane could be used in hybrid vehicles for instant power storage and delivery, thus improving energy efficiency and reducing carbon emission. Potentially, hybrid cars with the membrane technology could be powered by the energy stored in the membranes in conjunction with the energy provided by fuel combustion, increasing the lifespan of car batteries and cutting down on waste.

    The membrane could also be integrated into solar panels and wind turbines to store and manage the electricity generated. Energy provided through these sources is prone to instability due to their dependence on natural factors. By augmenting these energy sources with the membrane, the issue of instability could potentially be negated, as surplus energy generated can be instantly stored in the membranes, and delivered for use at a stable rate at times when natural factors are insufficient, such as a lack of solar power during night-time.

    Next Step

    The research team has demonstrated the membrane’s superior performance in energy storage using prototype devices. The team is currently exploring opportunities to work with venture capitalists to commercialise the membrane. To date, several venture capitalists have expressed strong interest in the technology.

    “With the advent of our novel membrane, energy storage technology will be more accessible, affordable, and producible on a large scale. It is also environmentally-friendly and could change the current status of energy technology,” Dr Xie said.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Recent warfare Technologies
« Reply #65 on: September 30, 2011, 22:47:41 »
A new robot with expanded capabilities. This one can be used as a load carrier, or potentially a scout and weapons platform as well:

http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/09/bulldog-robot-video.html

Quote
AlphaDog Robot Video
 
The AlphaDog Proto is a lab prototype for the Legged Squad Support System, a robot being developed by Boston Dynamics with funding from DARPA and the US Marine Corps. When fully developed the system will carry 400 lbs of payload on 20-mile missions in rough terrain. The first version of the complete robot will be completed in 2012. This video shows early results from the control development process. In this video the robot is powered remotely. AlphaDog is designed to be over 10x quieter than BigDog.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=SSbZrQp-HOk
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline FlyingDutchman

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Re: Recent warfare Technologies
« Reply #66 on: October 06, 2011, 10:47:24 »
Reproduced under the Copyright Act

http://www.engadget.com/2011/10/06/k-max-robotic-chopper-delivers-airmans-salute-to-afghan-danger/

K-MAX unmanned chopper delivers Air Force salute to Afghan danger (video)

Quote
It's a year since Lockheed Martin won the contract to provide an unmanned cargo delivery system to the US military and now its first K-MAX helicopter is just about ready for duty. The 6,000-pound RC chopper is scheduled to journey to the manifold fronts of Afghanistan next month, where it'll get busy ferrying its own bodyweight in ammo and supplies to needy anthills up to 200km away. And, if things get too sticky for laptop flying, there's always room for a brave soul to jump in there and grab the controls. You'll find a fresh demo video after the break, plus we've also stuck in that fancy clip from last year to rotor your memory.

There are videos at the link.
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Recent warfare Technologies
« Reply #67 on: October 08, 2011, 09:10:36 »
More bandwidth! Small base stations that can fit into vehicles, UAV's and FOBs are going to be needed to support the amount of data *we* want to transmit and receive. Here is one way to do this:

http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/gadgets/news/the-cell-tower-thats-smaller-than-a-bread-basket

Quote
The Cell Tower That's Smaller Than a Bread Basket
Breakthrough innovator Tod Sizer's tiny cell antenna is a low-tech solution to the pressing problem of data overwhelming our existing cellular networks.
By Logan Ward

With predictions of a thirtyfold increase in mobile data demand by 2015, Tod Sizer, head of wireless research at Bell Labs, knew something had to give. "There's no way we can put up 30 times as many cell towers as there are today," he says. So he did what any high-tech engineer would do—he went to his wood shop. Sizer cut a 60-mm cube, attached an aluminum plate to represent an antenna and handed it to his team, telling them to rethink everything.

Their solution, the lightRadio cube, drastically shrinks the antenna and combines it with an amplifier to boost the signal. Digital-processing functions, which currently hunker in a building at a cell tower's base, will be consolidated in facilities up to 25 miles away. Sizer compares this Lego-block approach to multicore computer processors. "The future," he says, "is not about higher- and higher-power solutions. It's about lower-power solutions serving a smaller number of people with the same amount of data." According to the company, arrays of the cubes—affixed to skyscrapers, airport terminals, bus stops—can increase broadband capacity by 30 percent while cutting operation costs and energy consumption in half.

The lightRadio cube won't topple all towers—they'll still be needed along roadways and in rural areas—but it should greatly reduce their proliferation. It should also revolutionize cellphone service in the cities of resource-strapped developing countries.

Read more: The Cell Tower That's Smaller Than a Bread Basket - 2011 Breakthrough Award Winner - Popular Mechanics
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline FlyingDutchman

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Re: Recent warfare Technologies
« Reply #68 on: October 22, 2011, 21:29:55 »
Video in link

http://www.engadget.com/2011/10/22/mesa-robotics-mini-tank-is-perfectly-happy-on-point-video/

Quote
Robots
Mesa Robotics' mini-tank is perfectly happy on point

The Acer ground-bot from Mesa Robotics does way more than your average 4,500-pound semi-autonomous mule. In addition to carrying kit and providing that extra bit of ballistic steel-deflecting cover, it also scans for IEDs using ground-penetrating radar and then autonomously switches into "flail" mode when it finds one -- digging up and detonating that critter with barely a break in its 6MPH stride. Did we mention it also acts as a landing pad for small drones? No? That's because the video after the break says it all. Cue obligatory guitars, game controllers and armchair gung-ho.
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Offline GnyHwy

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Re: Recent warfare Technologies
« Reply #69 on: October 22, 2011, 21:48:14 »
More bandwidth! Small base stations that can fit into vehicles, UAV's and FOBs are going to be needed to support the amount of data *we* want to transmit and receive. Here is one way to do this:

http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/gadgets/news/the-cell-tower-thats-smaller-than-a-bread-basket

We can barely afford or manage the bandwidth we're using now.  Bandwidth will only get more expensive; hence why analog TV is dissapearing.  The supply vs demand will soon kick in; if it hasn't already.

The info will become more daunting.  The workable solution... bigger Ops staffs; which I understand as no one (except me) is in favour of.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Recent warfare Technologies
« Reply #70 on: October 23, 2011, 00:07:50 »
Unless all these ops people will be riding around in UAV's and manning sensor posts ( ;)), they are going to be the biggest consumers of bandwidth around.

There are several tricks pointed out in this thread that *could* help manage the bandwidth problem, and of course during war, everyone will grab and use whatever bandwidth is available.

The real killer app will be training people to act and respond without receiving orders and updates when their bandwidth has been taken or compromised. Isn't that what our Manouevre Warfare "Doctrine" was all about?  >:D
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Recent warfare Technologies
« Reply #71 on: October 25, 2011, 20:47:51 »
I was struck after reading this post about the difference between our messed up procurement system and the speed with which these guys are doing things. We need a satellite communication system for the high arctic for our CF-35's and anything else which moves up there; imagine how long it will take through conventional means.

I am pretty sure that Canadians can do it much quicker and cheaper than a government project; a barracks box sized space telescope called "MOST" was built and launched for under $10 million, and like many NASA spacecraft, operated for years beyond the expected operating life. Heck, I imagine that there is probably enough talent signed up on Army.ca to undertake a project of this type.

The real point here is that we may really have to look far outside the box for the next decade or so while the economic crisis unwinds (i.e. the Global Economy deleverages and the various credit bubbles around the planet defleate) to quickly and cheaply develop capabilities that we desire. In another thread, I noted that a modern AFV *could* probably be run by a small number of inexpensive tablet computers and a large number of "apps"; compared to the various "bespoke" black boxes that make up most AFV electronics. Other examples could probably be found...

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/10/welcome-to-copenhagen-suborbitals/

Quote
Welcome to Copenhagen Suborbitals
By Kristian von Bengtson   October 24, 2011  |  2:47 pm  |  Categories: Rocket Shop, Science Blogs

HEAT1X-Tycho BRahe launch 2011. Image: Bo Tornvig
Dear reader…

My name is Kristian von Bengtson, and I design and build spacecrafts.

I have so much to show you and share with you. A little over three years ago my life changed. Everything I have learned, taught myself, loved and wanted to do was suddenly merged together in a split second: building my own space rocket with the right partner and crew. The ultimate DIY project.

It was in May 2008 I founded Copenhagen Suborbitals together with my newfound friend Peter Madsen. I met Peter who, like me, was at a crossroads in life in terms of projects. He had just finished his last home-made submarine, and I was back from NASA doing work on space capsules. Within a few minutes we joined forces and inside Peter’s submarine, under water, we planned how to conquer the universe without a single dime in our pockets.


Without any chance of turning in a business plan, with a fraction of sense, to someone with money, we decided just to begin and to make this endeavor an open source and non-profit project. We wanted to leave it to people to decide if they wanted to donate some money.

Today three years later we are blessed with thousands of donors, many sponsoring companies, and about 30 fantastic and hard-working part-time specialists. In June 2011 we succeeded in launching our dummy manned space rocket into the air. It was hand-built at a price of approximately $100,000. It flew! Even though we encountered a trajectory anomaly, we were still able to communicate with the rocket. We were able to shut down the hybrid rocket engine, separate the spacecraft and deploy the parachutes. It was the success we so dearly wanted.

This is not a business, nor is it an attempt to race against being the first doing private space travel in Europe. It is truly a project pushing the limits of a small group of individuals.

Human space flight has always been “untouchable.” It has been for big companies or governments only to take on. But Copenhagen Suborbitals would like to show the world that it can be done by thinking unconventionally in all areas, not only in terms of research and development but also on the financial side. We want to find the old spirit of the pioneer and entrepreneur in ourselves and in the process hopefully inspire as many as possible.

We design and build everything from scratch using ordinary materials. We try to overcome the complex process of making a suborbital space rocket by letting the ordinary and plain be our guide, instead of letting the complex and extreme become our obstacles.

Today is yet a great day. I have been given the privilege to blog here on Wired.com about Copenhagen Suborbitals. I hope you will join me on this journey and never be afraid to send me feedback or even suggest how to solve our challenges. You will see it all. From thoughts and sketches to the actual production as it happens. Hopefully you will get to know how we are thinking and how we are working using classic trial and error processes.

Since you will be joining Copenhagen Suborbitals in the development process, you will see and hear things that might seem ridiculous. And sometimes it is. You might even be scared, frustrated and annoyed. Then please let me know! For now, take a look at www.copenhagensuborbitals.com.

Ten hours ago I arrived in New York City. Peter and I will be representing Copenhagen Suborbitals, which has been nominated for the World Technology Award 2011. Don’t know if we will beat the establishment, and I don’t really care. I am just happy to be back here where I used to live and study and am looking forward to talking to a lot of interesting folks.

And I am looking forward to meeting you again, very soon … right here on Wired.com.

Ad Astra,

Kristian von Bengtson
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Recent warfare Technologies
« Reply #72 on: October 29, 2011, 00:16:13 »
A Canadian company revives an old LTA idea:

http://gas2.org/2011/10/24/video-canadian-company-develops-solar-powered-planeblimp-cargo-hauler/

Quote
Video: Canadian Company Develops Solar Powered Plane/Blimp Cargo Hauler
OCTOBER 24, 2011 BY CHRISTOPHER DEMORRO 14 COMMENTS

Green energy presents so many amazing opportunities and advantages over our current energy infrastructure…like the ability to go places where there isn’t any infrastructure. A Canadian company has developed a lightweight plane/blimp that can haul up to 1,000 kg of goods and is powered solely by the sun.

Flying Close To The Sun
The company, called Solar Ship, has developed a lightweight plane that can take off and land in the space of a football field. Big deal, so what right? Totally impractical…oh, wait, it can carry over 1,000 kg/2,200 lbs of stuff a distant of about 1,000 kilometers/620 miles? Well now, that certainly is impressive, and opens up a whole word of possibilities.

Some ideas for ways to use the Solar Ship are as an emergency rescue video to remote parts of the world where disaster strikes. They could also be used to deliver resources to distant mining or hunting outposts…though I wonder what happens should you fly under a big, dark cloud…

Hauler For Humanity
The blimp-part of the plane holds a lot of helium…but not enough to lift the plane on its own. An electric motor, powered by a battery that is charged by solar panels on the blimp’s back, allow the Solar Ship to take off and land in less than 100 yards, and it can be filled with enough helium to allow it to carry over a ton of supplies. Compared to other electric aircraft, which can only transport a few passengers short distances, the Solar Ships seem to have a practical purpose.

So far the smallest version of the Solar Ship, called the Caracal, has been built and can lift over a ton of materials. The designers envision it as useful in situations like those that followed the Haiti earthquake. With the main airstrip ruined, it took 8 days for supplies to be flown in. But the little Solar Ship can land just about anywhere, and while it can’t ferry much compared to a jumbo jet, a little bit can go a long way right after a disaster, and bigger versions are planned that could lift as much as 30 tons of material.

While the first test is already under its belt, more tests are required before production can take place, with runs planned for 2012 and 2013. It will be interested to see how these Solar Ships shape up.
Source: Wired UK | Solar Ships

Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs. You can read about his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout or follow his non-nonsensical ramblings on Twitter @harshcougar
Source: Gas 2.0 (http://s.tt/13Bc9)

A company called Aireon came up with something like this in the late 1960's/early 1970's (assisted lift, but without the solar part). If this can be made to work, this could be an interesting utility/logistics vehicle, or basis for a UAV platform.

(edit to add)

For military purposes, a solar powered airship would be rather limited, but the point of assisted lift (the helium negates most of the weight of the vehicle) is to allow a much smaller engine to be used. A small four cylinder diesel engine from a Volkswagon Golf would probably provide more than enough power for these airships (and bigger engines or turbocharged versions can provide the motivation for larger versions). A cargo carrier that can move a metric ton of supplies and is not tied to the road network, but only needs the fuel to power a small car engine will have some pretty impressive effecs for the logistics chain.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2011, 11:55:56 by Thucydides »
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Recent warfare Technologies
« Reply #73 on: November 02, 2011, 18:04:26 »
Could have used something like this during the G-20 summit. Black Block movment people, Caledonia and OWS are other prime examples where monitoring or phone shut downs would help law enforcement a great deal:

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/10/datong-surveillance/

Quote
UK Cops Using Fake Mobile Phone Tower to Intercept Calls, Shut Off Phones
By Kim Zetter   October 31, 2011  |  6:53 pm  |  Categories: Surveillance

Britain’s largest police force has been using covert surveillance technology that can masquerade as a mobile phone network to intercept communications and unique IDs from phones or even transmit a signal to shut off phones remotely, according to the Guardian.

The system, made by Datong in the United Kingdom, was purchased by the London Metropolitan police, which paid $230,000 to Datong for “ICT hardware” in 2008 and 2009.

The portable device, which is the size of a suitcase, pretends to be a legitimate cell phone tower that emits a signal to dupe thousands of mobile phones in a targeted area. Authorities can then intercept SMS messages, phone calls and phone data, such as unique IMSI and IMEI identity codes that allow authorities to track phone users’ movements in real-time, without having to request location data from a mobile phone carrier.

In the case of intercepted communications, it is not clear whether the network works as a blackhole where intercepted messages go to die, or whether it works as a proper man-in-the-middle attack, by which the fake tower forwards the data to a real tower to provide uninterrupted service for the user.

In addition to intercepting calls and messages, the system can be used to effectively cut off phone communication, such as in a war zone where phones might be used as a trigger for an explosive device, or for crowd control during demonstrations and riots where participants use phones to organize.


The Met police would not provide details to the Guardian about where or when its technology had been used.

According to the company’s web site, Datong “develops intelligence solutions for international military, law enforcement and intelligence agencies for use in all operating environments,” and sells its products in the U.S. as well.

Between 2004 and 2009, Datong won over $1.6 million in contracts with the U.S. Secret Service, Special Operations Command, the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and other agencies. In February 2010, the company won a $1.2 million contract to supply tracking and location technology to the U.S. defense industry. It also sells technology to regimes in the Middle East.

A spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service verified to CNET that the agency has done business with Datong, but would not say what sort of technology it bought from the company.

The FBI is known to use a similar technology called Triggerfish, which also pretends to be a legitimate cell tower base station to trick mobile phones into connecting to it. The Triggerfish system, however, collects only location and other identifying information, and does not intercept phone calls, text messages, and other data.

Last year at the DefCon hacker conference in Las Vegas, security researcher Chris Paget demonstrated a low-cost, home-brewed device that mimics the IMSI catchers that U.S. law enforcement agencies use.

The device spoofs a legitimate GSM tower and emits a signal that’s stronger than legitimate towers in the area to entice cell phones to route their outbound calls through the spoofed tower, allowing an attacker to intercept and record calls before they’re routed on their proper way through voice-over-IP.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

jollyjacktar

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Re: Recent warfare Technologies
« Reply #74 on: November 02, 2011, 19:36:14 »
Nice.  But I'd wager something of that sort is already in town and working....