News

Smart-Mortar Could Help Soldiers Hit Targets

The Army hopes its new 120mm Guided Enhanced Fragmentation Mortar (GEFM) will improve soldiers' ability to put artillery on target. The GEFM is a high- accuracy, GPS-guided mortar concept currently under development.

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Compact UV Lasers Could Spot Dangerous Substances from a Distance

For soldiers in the field, the ability to identify an object or substance based on how it responds to light could mean the difference between life and death. They could, for example, determine from a safe distance if an approaching person or vehicle is carrying an explosive device or dangerous biological agent.

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Army Equips Vehicles With Electronic Stability Control

Soldiers laud the ballistic protection Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles that protect them against underbody threats, but now a brand-new MRAP feature, the first of its kind for the Army, will help maximize warfighter safety and survivability.

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Sandia Labs Uses Davis Gun to Test B61-12 Bomb

Three years of design, planning, and preparation came down to a split second, a loud boom and an enormous splash in a successful impact test of hardware in the nose assembly of an unarmed, mock B61-12 nuclear bomb. The Sandia National Laboratories test also captured data that will allow analysts to validate computer models of the bomb, part of Sandia’s decade-long effort in the B61-12 Life Extension Program (LEP). An LEP is a way to extend the life of an aging weapon without adding new military capability. The B61-12 LEP is an $8.1 billion National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) program coordinated across the nation’s nuclear security enterprise.

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Compact UV Lasers Could ID Substances from a Distance

For soldiers in the field, the ability to identify an object or substance based on how it responds to light could mean the difference between life and death. They could, for example, determine from a safe distance if an approaching person or vehicle is carrying an explosive device or dangerous biological agent.

Posted in: News, Defense, Lasers & Laser Systems
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Researcher Develops Autonomous UAV Refueling System

A University of Sydney researcher has designed and successfully tested a method for autonomously docking drones for refueling or recharging, in mid- air. Daniel Wilson, whose PhD research addressed the limited endurance levels of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) says, "At the moment, a UAV's range and endurance is constrained by the amount of fuel that can be stored on board. As you add more fuel, the weight of the aircraft increases, which means more fuel must be consumed to stay aloft."

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Army Looks Toward Fully Autonomous Tactical Vehicle

The U.S. Army is working toward developing a fully autonomous tactical vehicle, a robotics expert said. "When you start looking at the mid-term, five to 10 years, we start talking about tapping into external systems," said Mark Mazzara, robotics interoperability lead for the Army's Program Executive Office - Combat Support and Combat Service Support at Detroit Arsenal, Michigan.

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Laser-Based Aircraft Countermeasures Protect Against MANPADS

The Army expects to reach a Milestone B decision with its laser-based common infrared countermeasures, or CIRCM, defense system program later this year. The CIRCM system, under development now by both BAE and Northrup Grumman, provides a lightweight, laser-based countermeasure against man-portable air defense systems, which are missile-launched from the ground at their targets, including Army and Navy aircraft.

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Rocket Science May Improve Kidney Dialysis

Researchers in the United Kingdom have found a way to redesign an artificial connection between an artery and vein, known as an Arterio-Venous Fistulae (AVF), that surgeons form in the arms of people with end-stage renal disease so the patients can receive routine dialysis. The new design may decrease the likelihood of blockages in AVF, which is a major complication of dialysis.

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Are Airships the Future of Aviation?

Researchers from the University of Lincoln, UK, have completed a three-year study of stratospheric passenger airships designed to provide a future sustainable air transport network. The Multibody Advanced Airship for Transport (MAAT) project aims to position airships as the solution for future air transportation that is safe, efficient, cheap, and environmentally friendly.

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