Equipped with a huge helmet and a handy wrist-attached device, future fighter pilots will have maps, surround sound, radar and infrared vision all at their fingertips — even when they’re outside the cockpit. Raytheon’s new Aviation Warrior system, unveiled at the Farnborough Air Show in the UK, gives an airman or woman all the information a pilot might need, all in a wearable system.
The Air Force’s X-37B--its secret robotic space plane that’s been orbiting the Earth on a mission shrouded in mystery for more than a year--landed safely in the wee hours Saturday morning at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Orbital Test Vehicle 2 (OTV-2) is the second X-37B test vehicle to successfully complete an orbital mission and autonomously return to Earth, following sister spacecraft OTV-1’s 225-day mission in 2010.
A perforated plastic sheet carried into space in a microsatellite could serve as a cheap alternative space telescope, according to researchers at the U.S. Air Force Academy. The devices would sift photons like spaceborne cheesecloths.
First commercial pilots started getting iPads, and now military pilots want in — the U.S. Air Mobility Command is planning to buy up to 18,000 iPad 2 tablets “or equal devices,” replacing heavy flight bags that pilots use to stow their charts and other flight materials. The devices will apparently be used on the C-5 Galaxy and C-17 Globemaster. The Air Force Special Ops Command is also planning to buy 2,861 iPad 2s for its crews.
By Andrew Rosenblum
Posted 08.04.2011 at 5:30 pm 0 Comments
During his final spring semester in college, while his classmates fought senioritis, biomedical-engineering major Craig Walters helped the Air Force study for the first time whether non-invasive brain stimulation might prolong vigilance in air-traffic controllers and drone operators. Walters, now 23, interviewed subjects, observed blood flow using an ultrasound machine called a transcranial Doppler, and maintained a helmet full of electrodes and sensors.
Sometime between 8:00 p.m. and midnight EST tonight--weather permitting, of course--the U.S. Air Force plans to do something it rarely, if ever, does: launch a reconnaissance satellite that’s cheaper and less sophisticated than the one it launched previously.
Predators of the threatened Mojave ground squirrel include badgers, coyotes, snakes, falcons, hawks, and U.S. military aerial strikes. That's because the squirrel makes its home in a section of California's Mojave Desert also used by the Air Force as a practice area. But the military has to make sure not to accidentally bomb the squirrels, them being threatened and all, and expends a lot of time and money trying to find them so as to avoid that.
A software company CEO who is trying to train drones to think like pilots promises he is not producing a cadre of mutinous rebel aircraft. He just wants to prevent collisions between drones and human-powered airplanes.
By D.M. Levine
Posted 03.07.2011 at 1:56 pm 0 Comments
On February 10, 2009, a U.S. and a Russian satellite collided 500 miles above Siberia, adding at least 2,000 chunks to the roughly 100 million pieces of debris currently orbiting Earth. These scraps of satellites, abandoned rocket parts, jettisoned fuel and flecks of paint travel between 7,000 and 18,000 miles an hour, colliding with increasing frequency, which could lead to a feedback loop known as the Kessler syndrome.
Three months after its first mission ended, the military is launching another X-37B space plane on Friday, in a second classified mission for the X-37B program. If the weather holds up, the second X-37B orbiter will launch Friday afternoon on an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral, according to launch manager United Launch Alliance.
Using a small tank of water in a Colorado laboratory, Air Force researchers have captured 99 percent of the energy of a model ocean wave, proving it’s possible to use aeronautical principles to harness the power of the oceans.
The researchers used a cycloidal turbine, a lift-based energy converter, to grab the energy of a simulated deep-ocean wave. It can change direction almost instantly, and its structure is similar to that of a Voith Schneider propeller, which is used to power tugboats.
The holidays may be driving video game console sales, but apparently so is the military. The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has strung together 1,760 PlayStation 3 gaming systems to create what it’s calling the fastest interactive computer system in the entire DoD, capable of executing 500 trillion floating point operations per second.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.