DARPA, which DVICE readers will know from the agency's endearingly insane projects (see here, here and here), wants to send up a swarm of short-lived, rapidly produced satellites to allow for more extensive air surveillance alongside — or even in lieu of — manned recon aircraft and unmanned drones.
An unmanned drone using liquid hydrogen as its fuel has successfully completed the first of many tests needed before being cleared for flight. The aircraft, known as the Phantom Eye, undertook a medium-speed taxi along 4,000 feet of runway at Edwards Air Force base, reaching speeds of 34.5 mph.
The U.S. military has been working on several kinds of non-lethal crowd control over the years. There have been flash-bang grenades, noise and light arrays, and now the heat beam — or as the military likes to call it — the Active Denial System (ADS).
Not a lot is known about the U.S. Air Force's X-37B space plane. The military branch runs two of them, and one has been in orbit for a full year now, as of March 5. Is the spacecraft just checking the weather in orbit? Is it spying from space? Is it carrying anything in its cargo hold? Just how long will it be up there, anyway?
Vortex technology has been used in everything from rocket-powered fire extinguishers to Nerf guns, but neither of those things are capable of giving the beat-down to hapless protesters. By giving spinning vortices an electric charge, though, pepper spray can be sent over 150 feet at between 60 and 90 mph.
When we see pictures of soldiers headed off to the battlefield there is a level of protection we can see — helmets and bulletproof vests. Both are critical to protecting our troops from mortal head and chest wounds. The Army has been trialing a level we can't see, called protective undergarments (PUGs) and has recently made improvements in these "super shorts."
As if flying drones weren't already scary looking enough, now we have a new hovering eye in the sky with a name as imposing as its science-fictiony looks.
Every year since 1986 has just been another year wasted without a movie about fighter jets and the oversized pairs of aviator sunglasses that fly them. But the long national nightmare is over, as rumor has it that Tommy C. will be playing the role (the starring role) of an F-35 test pilot in the upcoming sequel to Top Gun, which is probably not called Top Gun 2: They Wouldn't Let Us Use F-22s.
It's easy to shut someone up with a gun. It's harder to do it reversibly. Japanese researchers have developed a non-lethal gun that uses lasers (lasers!), microphones, and a directional speaker system to fire your words right back at you, jamming your brain and keeping you from speaking coherently.
Energy efficiency might not always be the highest priority for the military, but after hearing about how the Army spends more on air conditioning in Iraq and Afghanistan than NASA's entire budget, we think they should give it a second look. And they are, with a new generation of gas-electric hybrid tanks.