DARPA envisions a future in which U.S. Special Forces or spooks have to assault underground bases. And the Pentagon agency wants to give those warriors an underground navigation system that works on lightning bolts, The Register reports.
Never content to let a paradigm remain a paradigm, DARPA has issued a broad agency announcement seeking the development of super-low-power, non-volatile logic integrated circuits that retain their computational states as well as their data even after their power supplies have been removed. Focusing on magnetic-moment-based approaches, the agency wants a new breed of portable electronics, sensors and UAVs that can compute even when the lights go out.
China's new moon rocket design is in the class of the old Saturn V that once launched U.S. Apollo astronauts to the moon. The China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology says that the proposed rocket would have a thrust of 3,000 metric tons, just shy of the 3,470 metric tons of thrust generated by the Saturn V's first stage, Aviation Week reports.
Between the yelling of sergeants, the rumble of jet engines, and the deafening pop of gunfire, a soldier's sense of hearing rapidly deteriorates in the heat of battle. Luckily, the Dutch company Microflown has designed a special microphone that can do a soldier's listening for him. By measuring the mechanical movement of individual air particles, as opposed to sound waves as a whole, the device can not only pinpoint the origin of sniper fire or approaching aircraft, but detail their make and model, as well.
No longer simply content to rule the world of computers, the Google juggernaut has teamed up with Dish Network to bring its targeted ads and search power to the world of television. The project, currently in the testing phase at some very lucky Google employees' houses, brings customized TV schedules, advertising packages, and web video via YouTube out of the computer and into the living room via an Android-powered set-top box.
Fluid buildup or bleeding in the heads of preemies can damage the developing brain or even prove fatal, but draining the cerebrospinal fluids through needles has not noticeably improved the health of such babies. Now a clinical study offers hope through a new technique that "washes" the baby brain with fresh fluid.
Future biofuels from space could be go for launch, if a space station experiment shows that microgravity can favorably affect the growth of Jatropha curcas plant cells. Jatropha can produce high-quality oil that represents one of the more promising possibilities for a source of alternative energy.
Artificial limbs have advanced quite a bit since the days of the pirate peg leg, but not nearly enough for DARPA. The Pentagon agency has kicked off a new phase of its "Revolutionizing Prosthetics" program that sets the hefty goal of creating a fully-functional human limb directly controlled by the brain within five years, according to Wired's Danger Room.
Johnny Cash can't have known about carbon nanotubes when he sang about that burning ring of fire, but MIT scientists have shown how the tiny tubes can channel a ring of heat that creates electrical current -- about 100 times as much energy per unit of weight when compared with a lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery.
An explosion aboard Flight 253 on Christmas Day would not have crippled the Boeing 747, according to a recent test that simulated the success of would-be bomber Umar Abdulmutallab. Only the bomber and passenger next to him would have died, the BBC reports.