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science and technology

Telemetry Revolution Advances

October 2008
By Maryann Lawlor

The U.S. Defense Department has developed a network architecture that will give its research test and evaluation community new radio spectrum-enhancing capabilities. Once fully operational, the Telemetry Network System will provide its installations’ computer networks with a wideband wireless capability that covers hundreds of square miles. As a result, flight test centers will be able to dynamically adjust the spectrum required for test vehicles. In addition, the technology will enable program managers and aircraft manufacturer personnel to monitor tests from off site.

Organizations Collaborate To Capture and Share Adversaries' Identity Traits

April 2008
By Rita Boland

According to the military and its partners, for the United States to succeed in the Global War on Terrorism, they must be able to share biometrics information across a network-centric environment. To that end, personnel at various agencies are developing new architectures and streamlining methods to identify terrorists based on their unique characteristics, and they are putting systems in place to efficiently share that information. The most useful pieces of a variety of stovepipe systems already in place are being combined to create a synchronized joint program.

Virtual Assistant Era Looms

June 2007
By Clarence A. Robinson, Jr.

Significant individual technology advances are being harnessed to facilitate effective cognitive computing systems. These information system technologies focus on a common application that radically improves the way computers support human beings. A cognitive system is emerging that can reason, learn from experience, be told what to do, explain its actions and respond robustly to surprise.

Soldiers Search Syntax

June 2007
By Clarence A. Robinson Jr.

Critical actionable military data obscured by foreign languages and often masked in large volumes of different types of media are both highly important and perishable. The global deployment of a dozen monitoring systems is enabling software applications to transcribe and translate both text and speech and distill large volumes of information in multiple languages, including Arabic and Chinese.

Advances Boost Tactical Nodes

June 2007
By Clarence A. Robinson Jr.

Technologies developed for the new Network Centric Radio System will provide reliable, mobile and secure backbone battlefield communications. Designed for use with a maneuver force, the system's ad hoc capability dynamically reconfigures itself to maintain network connectivity automatically. Vehicles in the network can communicate routinely whenever within range of each other without manual configuration.

High Hover Finds Hidden Hostiles

June 2007
By Clarence A. Robinson Jr.

Built for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions, the new A160 Hummingbird unmanned helicopter is designed to fly autonomously with a high-altitude endurance of 20 hours. This aerodynamically clean platform rivals fixed-wing aircraft performance to employ a suite of sensors, including foliage penetration radar that unmasks hidden troops and vehicles.

Radar Counters Camouflage

June 2007
By Clarence A. Robinson Jr.

An airborne sensor system that provides standoff and persistent wide-area surveillance of dismounted troops and vehicles moving through foliage holds the potential to change the scope of warfare. Mounting this sensor beneath an unmanned helicopter would enable identification of possible ambush sites. This small radar also denies concealment and sanctuary to enemy units hiding in wooded areas or moving in the open during darkness or adverse weather.

Molecular Devices Burgeon

June 2007
By Clarence A. Robinson Jr.

Promising advances in integrated circuit technologies such as nanowires, molecular electronics and fault tolerant architectures could help alleviate industry needs in designing and fabricating computer chips. New emerging technologies and approaches generally unknown to industry will be urgently required within six or seven years to help sustain continuing progress in dense integrated circuit production.

Novel Electronic Devices Emerge

June 2007
By Clarence A. Robinson Jr.

An engine of innovation, the Defense Research Projects Agency's Microsystems Technology Office relentlessly drives down the size, weight and power requirements of ever-higher-performance electronic components. Its development of semiconductor materials for innovative electronic devices places this organization on the cusp of major breakthroughs with next-generation communication, radar, electronic warfare, imaging and sensor systems.

Smart Fasteners Transform Assembly and Upkeep

March 2007
By Henry S. Kenyon

A new class of mechanical devices with embedded electronics will allow personnel to access maintenance panels and equipment in aircraft and other platforms rapidly and without the use of tools. The technology permits the remote closing, locking and unlocking of fasteners via wireless handheld devices. The fasteners also are equipped with sensors to report their status and that of the structures immediately surrounding them, offering the potential for smart logistics and vehicle diagnostic systems.

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