The Navy's death ray weapon keeps burning through laser records, on its way to the ultimate goal of searing through 2,000 feet of steel per second.
The Free Electron Laser's latest milestone involved running its electron injection system for eight hours at 500 kilovolts. That will help the laser become more powerful and more deadly, as Wired's Danger Room reports.
What do you call an armor-penetrating munition? MAHEM. A smokescreen that instantly closes around a tank? DRAPES. A robot that scavenges and feeds itself? EATR, of course.
At the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the military's mad-science research wing, program managers must do the seemingly impossible. Not just slow down the speed of light and make fake blood. They also have to describe these pie-in-the-sky ideas to journalists, the public and Congress.
That's how you get some of the most amusing acronyms ever.
A new technique uses electromagnetic pulses to detonate improvised explosive devices from afar, potentially thwarting the roadside bombs that have been the scourge of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And, lest anyone forget, the ongoing guerrilla conflicts in places like Colombia.
The trend toward commercialized space is reaching into military communications and even a human expedition to Mars. Advocates say such public-private partnerships could bring down mission costs and speed up the process.
The future of carrier-based warfare quietly took to the skies over the weekend as the U.S. Navy successfully conducted the first-ever flight of its vaunted X-47B unmanned aircraft at Edwards AFB. The tailless, fighter-sized drone aircraft, designed by Northrop Grumman for carrier-based takeoffs and landings, spent half an hour in the air late Friday executing basic navigation maneuvers and otherwise proving that its design is airworthy and ready for further development.
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.
In what some are calling a second iteration of the space race, it seems the Russians have found a "Sputnik moment" of their own. In the wake of the recent successful wrap-up of the X-37B's first orbital mission—a 220-day affair that reportedly saw the Air Force's mysterious unmanned space plane complete a range of on-orbit maneuvers and tests that the U.S.A.F.
Engineers are always looking for ways to pare down the size of technologies, and apparently that penchant for miniaturization extends to bomb-sniffing canines as well. Israeli researchers are trading in their dogs for mice trained in explosive detection, using teams of tiny rodents to keep dangerous materials out of airports.
After nearly a weeklong Internet blackout in Egypt amid anti-government protests, the Egyptian Web is back online this morning. Web monitoring firm Renesys reported via blog post that at about 11:29 a.m. Cairo time (4:29 a.m. EST) Egyptian ISPs returned to service, a report that has since been echoed by several othersources.
Though Homeland Security is scrapping its color coded terror alert system, researchers at Colorado State University are working to make green the color of anti-terror vigilance. Biologists there have developed plant proteins capable of screening the air for hints of dangerous substances, including those given off by nearby explosives.