By Andrew RosenblumPosted 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. LevinePosted 03.07.2011 at 12:56 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.
All good top secret robotic space plane test missions must come to an end, and so it goes for the Air Force’s X-37B, otherwise known as the Orbital Test Vehicle 1 (OTV-1). After seven months of thrilling amateur satellite watchers with its shifting orbital flight patterns and making China nervous, the X-37B could be back on the ground at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California as soon as this Friday.