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Gecko-Inspired DARPA Technology Helps Humans Scale Walls

June 6, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

Spider-Man goes green, and we don’t mean environmentally friendly. How a DARPA project involving gecko-inspired paddles could help humans scale walls.

Teams to Vie for $2 Million Prize in DARPA’s Cyber Grand Challenge

June 3, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

In the two-year Cyber Grand Challenge, 35 teams will vie for a $2 million grand prize and the honor of trying to devise a fully automated system to defend against cyber attacks.

Army Researchers Plotting Upgrades to 3-D Mapping Technology

May 29, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

U.S. Army researchers improved on the service’s 3-D terrain mapping system by reducing the system’s weight by 250 pounds and making the BuckEye operational from drones. Now they are developing a capability allowing the system to collect data from higher altitudes, covering a larger swath of land and considerably improving the technology’s efficacy, Michael A. Harper, director of the Warfighter Support Directorate at the U.S. Army Geospatial Center, says.

The High Resolution 3-D Terrain Data system is a multipurpose platform supporting requirements for collection of unclassified geospatial data for terrain mapping. BuckEye operates on manned and unmanned aircraft and consists of a 60-megapixel color camera working in conjunction with the Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) system to provide the high-resolution data.

“We spent some research and development dollars on trying to reduce the size and weight … Traditionally, it’s 350 pounds, but we significantly reduced it to a 100-pound payload to go into an unmanned aerial system,” Harper says, adding that troops operate two BuckEye unmanned aerial systems now in Afghanistan.

Army engineers too are working with industry to improve the capability tenfold. Currently, the BuckEye system scans and collects data from about 100 square kilometers per four-hour mission. “With BuckEye 2, which is what we refer to the prototype as, we’ll collect about 1,000 square kilometers in that same time period. By increasing the power of the laser, you can fly from a higher altitude, and when you go to a higher altitude, it improves your swath of the ground,” says Harper, who declined to name the company collaborating with Army researchers until the prototype and testing are complete sometime this fall.

Senate Defense Bill Calls for Better Incentives For Cyber Warriors

May 28, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

Cyber warfare garnered attention and funding earmarks in the Senate Armed Services Committee’s version of the fiscal 2015 Defense Department spending bill as lawmakers want to see federal civilian jobs pay more competitive salaries to keep up with the industry work force.

Resiliency and Recovery Offset Cybersecurity Detection Limits

May 27, 2014
By Beverly Mowery Cooper

Not only is the cost of cyber intrusion severe, the likelihood of it occurring is assured. Cybersecurity defenses must be flexible, innovative and persistent to address an ever-changing threat.

DARPA Unveils Hack-Proof Drone, Bomb Bot

May 23, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has unveiled a drone and a mini bomb-detecting bot that operate on secure software that officials say make them hack-proof.

NATO Testing Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Capabilities

May 16, 2014
By George I. Seffers

Representatives from the U.S. Army and Air Force, along with 17 NATO nations and three partner nations, will participate in a joint reconnaissance trial in Norway this month to test and evaluate intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance concepts and technologies.

Scientists' Experiment Regrows Muscle in Wounded Legs

May 16, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

Scientists from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine might have discovered a way to get bodies to regrow muscle following traumatic injuries.

Navy Scientists Create Harder Ceramic for Armor Windows

May 15, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

Scientists with the U.S. Naval Research Lab are the first to succeed at creating a ceramic window for all types of military vehicles that is not only 50 percent harder than current materials, but lighter, more crack resistant and likely to be a cost-saving endeavor, researchers say.

The Drive Toward the JIE Has Multiple Fronts

May 14, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The battle toward a unified defense information architecture is being waged on several fronts as different organizations and disciplines strive to break down silos and give the Defense Department its Joint Information Environment. Leading defense communicators agree that the force cannot prevail in future operations without a single information environment, but they must ensure that it does not ignore the specific needs of some individual elements within the defense community.

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