When you control a budget that exceeds a trillion dollars, you don’t have to wait until after Thanksgiving to start writing your holiday present wish list. The Department of Defense (DoD) has just released an early version of its small business programs for 2012, with every branch clamoring for futuristic technology that ranges from transforming robots to nanotech medicine to sensors that can figure out political beliefs through language analysis.
It’s midnight. You’re a cop patrolling the wrong side of town when you spot a mugging. The assailant is about 40 feet away, out of range of your stun gun. You shout, but he darts down an alley. It’s a dead end. The crook picks up a bottle, hurls it at your head, and makes a break for the street. You draw your gun.
Radar is great for tracking objects in the wide-open sky or even at sea, but when you try to take it to street level you run into some obstacles -- literally. Radar requires a good line of sight, and obstructions like buildings or terrain features can render radar useless.
Futuristic airborne energy weapons have officially arrived, so mark your calendars. The U.S. Missile Defense Agency said that its airborne laser weapon successfully shot down a ballistic missile during a test late last night, according to Reuters.
Thanks to improved body armor, more US troops survive encounters with the enemy than ever before. Unfortunately, the flip side of that equation means more soldiers return home with horrific injuries that would have killed them in older wars. The military has placed a lot of emphasis on developing limb replacements, but a new funding push by the Department of Defense (DoD) focuses on the emerging field of face transplants.
Three times a year, the Department of Defense (DoD) solicits help from the small business community to transform their high-tech research projects into actual, usable products. While the businesses use this opportunity to fight for some of that sweet, sweet government pork, for us, it's a chance to get a look at the next generation of advanced military gear. With the new solicitations out today, we're counting down the most intriguing projects that the DoD wants to get out of the lab and onto the battlefield.
What’s better than packaging an incapacitating, “less-lethal” electric shock device in a shotgun shell so it can be fired from a conventional firearm? If you answered a bigger, longer-range electric shock device that can be fired from a 40-millimeter grenade launcher, then you and the Pentagon share similar sensibilities.
Got a great idea for an antibody biosensor but unsure what to do with it? Darpa wants you. The Department of Defense's future-tech wing is seeking proposals for its newly inaugurated Antibody Technology Program, the latest bid for technologies that can pinpoint specific biological agents ranging from bioterror threats to swine flu.