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Archive for the ‘military’ category

Nov 21, 2019

Nanotechnology Is Shaping the Hypersonics Race

Posted by in categories: military, nanotechnology

New materials to deflect massive amounts of surface heat don’t come from nature.

A protective coating of carbon nanotubes may help the Pentagon field warplanes and missiles that can survive the intense heat generated at five times the speed of sound.

Researchers from Florida State University’s High-Performance Materials Institute, with funding from the U.S. Air Force, discovered that soaking sheets of carbon nanotubes in phenol-based resin increases their ability to disperse heat by about one-sixth, allowing a thinner sheet to do the job.

Nov 20, 2019

Single $10bln Pentagon Contract Must Be Broken Up Between Multiple Recipients

Posted by in categories: computing, military

US Defence Secretary Mark Esper on Friday ruled out allegations of unfair competition in the awarding of a US$10-billion cloud computing contract to Microsoft.

“I am confident it was conducted freely and fairly, without any type of outside influence,” Esper told a news conference in Seoul, South Korea.

Formally called the Joint Enterprise Defence Infrastructure, or JEDI, the contract was awarded to Microsoft on 25 October, and the lucrative deal could span 10 years.

Nov 19, 2019

Shapeshifting wheel

Posted by in category: military

The military is developing a shapeshifting wheel that is capable of transforming in just 2 seconds.

Nov 18, 2019

U.S. Space Command eager to hand over space traffic duties to Commerce Department

Posted by in categories: military, satellites

WASHINGTON — Military space operators at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, are working with the Department of Commerce to help ease the transfer of space traffic management responsibilities, Maj. Gen. Stephen Whiting said Nov. 15.

“We’re eager for that to happen,” Whiting said at a Mitchell Institute event on Capitol Hill.

Whiting is the commander of the 14th Air Force and the Combined Force Space Component Command under U.S. Space Command. He oversees the two major organizations — the Combined Space Operations Center and the 18th Space Control Squadron — that help to maintain a catalog of space objects and notify satellite operators around the world when other satellites or debris threaten to collide with spacecraft.

Nov 15, 2019

Can AI Built to ‘Benefit Humanity’ Also Serve the Military?

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

There’s reason to think fruits of the collaboration may interest the military. The Pentagon’s cloud strategy lists four tenets for the JEDI contract, among them the improvement of its AI capabilities. This comes amidst its broader push to tap tech-industry AI development, seen as far ahead of the government’s.


Microsoft’s $10 billion Pentagon contract puts the independent artificial-intelligence lab OpenAI in an awkward position.

Nov 14, 2019

Watch Protestors Kill a Drone Using Hundreds of Laser Pointers

Posted by in categories: drones, military

The thing didn’t stand a chance.

Nov 14, 2019

Pentagon advisory board releases principles for ethical use of artificial intelligence in warfare

Posted by in categories: military, robotics/AI

The Defense Innovation Board released a lengthy report Wednesday detailing its principles for how the military should use artificial intelligence.

Nov 14, 2019

Rapidly compressing lead to planetary-core type pressures found to make it stronger than steel

Posted by in categories: materials, military

A combined team of researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the U.S. and Atomic Weapons Establishment in the U.K. has found that rapidly compressing lead to planetary-core type pressures makes it stronger than steel. In their paper published in the journal Physical Review Letters, the group describes how they managed to compress the metal so strongly without melting it.

Defining strength in a material is difficult. Strength can refer to a material’s ability withstand bending or breaking under certain conditions. Making things even more complicated is that the strength of any given material can change under varying conditions—such as when heat or compression are applied. In this new effort, the researchers showed just how difficult it can be to nail down how strong a material is—in this case, lead.

Lead is not very strong. Pressing a fingernail against a car’s battery terminal is enough to create indentations, for example. But the researchers with this new effort report that the metal can be strengthened considerably by exerting .

Nov 12, 2019

Who shrank the drug factory? Briefcase-sized labs could transform medicine

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, economics, military

Historically, the pharmaceutical industry has relied on economies of scale, mixing hundreds of litres of reagents in massive reaction chambers to make millions of doses of a single drug. Bio-MOD and related systems, however, cycle small amounts of chemicals through a series of thumb-sized chambers that can produce hundreds or thousands of doses of multiple drugs, all in less than 24 hours. Several teams have won support for this vision from the US military: the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has handed out more than US$15 million to support these do-it-yourself drug-makers.


Engineers are miniaturizing pharmaceutical production in the hope of making it portable and inexpensive.

Nov 12, 2019

Radioactive ‘Tomb’ in Pacific Filled With Nuclear Waste Is Starting to Crack

Posted by in categories: materials, military

In the Marshall Islands, locals have a nickname for the Runit Dome nuclear-waste site: They call it ‘The Tomb’.

The sealed pit contains more than 3.1 million cubic feet (87,800 cubic meters) of radioactive waste, which workers buried there as part of efforts to clean hazardous debris left behind after the US military detonated nuclear bombs on the land.

From 1977 to 1980, around 4,000 US servicemen were tasked with cleaning up the former nuclear testing site of Enewetak Atoll. They scooped up the contaminated soil, along with other radioactive waste materials such as military equipment, concrete, and scrap metal.

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