To squeeze laser into things like airplanes, we're going to have to make the weapons much smaller and more efficient than the boat-sized platforms we've got right now. DARPA is hard at work on a system called Excalibur that's small enough and powerful enough to make an aircraft like this a reality.
We are pretty far off from sending humans to a star other than our own; at least a couple of centuries, scientists think. But it's never too early to start planning.
Last week, DARPA carried out the second test of an unmanned hypersonic vehicle that can travel at Mach 20. The test ended when controllers prematurely lost contact with the vehicle, but data now shows that the vehicle flew stably for three minutes, and then made a controlled descent into the ocean. In other words, it worked. Mostly.
It seems inconceivable that an aircraft that can travel from New York to Los Angeles in 12 minutes — less time than it takes to wake up, whip together a proper breakfast and soak in the world news exists. But it does and DARPA's planning to test the unmanned Falcon HTV-2 aircraft today!
Back in May, we showed you the winner of DARPA's XC2V crowd-sourced military vehicle competition, which supposedly was going to get turned into a fully functional prototype by June. Well, it's June, and in a remarkably non-governmental display of punctuality, they've actually gone and built the thing.
Even through traumatic brain injury has the word "traumatic" in it, it's often the case that soldiers in combat are exposed to things blowing up that leave mild to moderate brain injuries that go undetected. DARPA's new field blast gauge is designed to help medics tell exactly how much blast exposure someone has, and whether they need treatment.
Apparently, a spooked caterpillar is one of the speediest creatures in nature. It'll simply roll up into a wheel and flick itself away. Interesting! And now a team from Tufts, with cash from DARPA, as made an unsettling robot that does the same thing.
DARPA's looking for a way to give soldiers on the ground more direct access to air support, and the solution that they've come up with involves a nifty-looking set of holographic sunglasses.
DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) is one of those super secret government agencies that dreams up wild new technology for the US military, so it's kind of a shock to discover that their latest project is a video game that anyone can download and play.
DARPA decided to take a stab at crowdsourcing a new concept vehicle on a common chassis designed for both combat reconnaissance and combat delivery & evacuation. They allowed the public to provide feedback and vote on different proposals, and here are the winners.