The very notion of quantum computing is a bit mind numbing, and the technology is so nascent that researchers aren’t even really sure of the best way to go about constructing a quantum computer. Nonetheless, D-Wave Systems Inc. has just sold one of its eponymous D-Wave One quantum computing systems to none other than Lockheed Martin, along with a multi-year contract to keep the thing working.
It was a day that started like any other: dark, rainy, and silent, except for the hum of my motors. I sat in my shadowy Robotown office, nursing some cheap electricity from the wall. It had been a slow month. A slow year. That was when the DameBot wheeled into my office. She was dressed in red metallic paint that fit her like a coat of paint, because it was, and her elegant treaded tires went all the way to the floor. You could tell she was used to getting what she wanted by the confident, single-speed way she made her way towards the corner of my office where I was plugged in, recharging with that sweet, intoxicating electricity habit I couldn't seem to kick. "Private EyeBot, huh?" the DameBot bleeped and blooped. "I need you to follow someone without being seen--that is, if you can put down the plug." "I need the plug, sister," I said, "and for what you've got in mind, there's no one better. Plug or no plug."
The Obama administration may have axed NASA's ambitious manned moon exploration plans for even an even more ambitious deep space exploration agenda, but for those developing the technologies that will one day take us to deep space the moon is just too ripe a testing ground to ignore. Lockheed Martin is pitching NASA what's being called an L2-Farside Mission that would launch a manned Orion spacecraft into a stationary halo orbit on the other side of the moon.
A sniper crouches near an open window and zooms in on his target, who sits a half-mile away. He peers through a scope and holds his breath, preparing to squeeze the trigger. But it’s windy outside, and he can't afford a miss. What to do?
After 13 miners were trapped in a coal mine in Sago, West Virginia, four years ago, rescuers didn’t know where to look for survivors -- they could have been anywhere between 11,000 and 13,000 feet from the entrance. Radio waves can’t penetrate very far through rock, so there was no way to communicate with the miners.
A new system developed by Lockheed Martin aims to change that, by using magnetic waves to carry voice and text messages.
In this modern economy, apparently nothing is sacred -- not even the space shuttle is spared the indignity of training its younger replacement. During what is planned to be the last shuttle flight ever, astronauts onboard space shuttle Endeavour next February will test a new docking system designed for the Orion spacecraft. The system provides real-time 3-D images to the crew and is more streamlined and more accurate than the shuttle's docking sensors.
Having had limited success catching America's enemies by "smoking them out of their holes," Lockheed Martin and the DoD are turning to an airborne sensor-based platform to map the subterranean world and identify possible threats hiding there. As part of DARPA's Gravity Anomaly for Tunnel Exposure (GATE) program, Lockheed will develop a system that identifies underground targets by analyzing gravity signatures for the sign of man-made tunnels, bunkers, or caches.
A satellite that will help scientists understand the solar system's largest planet is being outfitted with some special interplanetary armor.
The Juno spacecraft will study Jupiter's powerful radiation belt, but it has to be built to survive that radiation. Engineers recently added a special shield around the spacecraft's electronics, turning it into a Jovian armored tank, says its principal investigator, Scott Bolton, based at Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio.
True to its aeronautic roots, NASA is evaluating a new generation of supersonic airplane designs to see whether they can reduce sonic-boom levels.
Boeing and Lockheed Martin have submitted futuristic concepts that look similar to the Concorde, but aim to muffle the annoying and potentially damaging sonic boom problem.
As any soldier will tell you, consistent and realistic drill forms the foundation of any successful military action. But whereas an infantryman can hone his aim at a firing range, America's Internet warriors don't have a similar venue for developing their skills at cyberwar. But DARPA hopes a $51 million network simulation, complete with computer programs that behave like human targets and adversaries, will provide the perfect arena for developing the next generation of cyberwar weapons and tactics.