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Navy to launch unmanned aircraft from carrier

May 14, 2013 11:38 am | by BROCK VERGAKIS - Associated Press - Associated Press | News | Comments

The Navy will make its first attempt to launch an unmanned aircraft the size of a fighter jet from an aircraft carrier on Tuesday, marking a significant step toward the possibility of expanded drone use in future conflicts. The X-47B can reach an altitude of more than 40,000 feet, has a range of more than 2,100 nautical miles and can reach high subsonic speeds.

Navy unveils squadron of manned, unmanned craft

May 2, 2013 4:59 pm | by JULIE WATSON - Associated Press - Associated Press | News | Comments

The Navy on Thursday inaugurated its first squadron with both manned and unmanned aircraft. Military officials launched the effort by reactivating the Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 35, known as the "Magicians" or HSL-35, which served for 19 years before being deactivated in 1992.

Unmanned aircraft system proposal takes flight

April 26, 2013 8:59 am | News | Comments

A consortium of Washington-based organizations will soon submit the final section of a proposal to site an unmanned aircraft system research and testing facility in central Washington. If successful, the proposal to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will result in the FAA naming the Pacific Northwest Unmanned Aerial Systems Flight Center as one of six U.S. testing facilities later this year.

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Fertilizer that fizzles in a homemade bomb could save lives around the world

April 23, 2013 8:24 am | News | Comments

A Sandia engineer who trained U.S. soldiers to avoid improvised explosive devices (IEDs) has developed a fertilizer that helps plants grow but can’t detonate a bomb. It’s an alternative to ammonium nitrate, an agricultural staple that is also the raw ingredient in most of the IEDs in Afghanistan. Sandia has decided not to patent or license the formula, but to make it freely available in hopes of saving lives.

Israeli official says drones could replace planes

April 21, 2013 1:57 pm | by DANIEL ESTRIN - Associated Press - Associated Press | News | Comments

Israel's air force is on track to developing drones that within four to five decades would carry out nearly every battlefield operation executed today by piloted aircraft, a high-ranking Israeli officer told The Associated Press Sunday. The officer, who works in the field of unmanned aerial vehicle intelligence, said Israel is speeding up research and development of such unmanned technologies for air, ground, and naval forces.

Drone industry worries about privacy backlash

March 29, 2013 3:05 am | by JOAN LOWY - Associated Press - Associated Press | News | Comments

It's a good bet that in the not-so-distant future aerial drones will be part of Americans' everyday lives, performing countless useful functions. A far cry from the killing machines whose missiles incinerate terrorists, these generally small, unmanned aircraft will help farmers more precisely apply water and pesticides to crops, saving money and reducing environmental impacts. They'll help police departments find missing people, reconstruct traffic accidents and act as lookouts for SWAT teams.

Optimism in UN over 1st global arms trade treaty

March 27, 2013 9:25 pm | by EDITH M. LEDERER - Associated Press - Associated Press | News | Comments

The first global treaty on regulating the multimillion-dollar arms trade appeared to be nearing consensus, supporters said, though worries remained that Iran, India, or other countries would back off an agreement that requires approval from all 193 United Nations member states.

Researchers seek to reduce deafening jet engine noise

March 25, 2013 11:59 am | News | Comments

Have you ever had a fighter jet fly over your home and the noise of the aircraft booms loud enough to rattle the windows? Imagine working on an aircraft carrier or air base, up close to the engines as they take off or land. Several U.S.-based research teams, with the support of the Office of Naval Research, have been tasked with finding a way to reduce that deafening noise as part of a three-year project.

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Israel, U.S. successfully test anti-missile system

February 25, 2013 2:45 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Israel's Defense Ministry says a joint exercise with U.S. forces has successfully tested the Arrow anti-missile system for the first time. The system is meant to defend Israel from the threat of an Iranian strike. The ministry said Monday the test was "a major milestone in the development of the Arrow 3 Weapon System."

New waterjets could propel combat ship to greater speeds

February 6, 2013 8:19 am | News | Comments

The Navy’s fifth Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), Milwaukee, will be the first to benefit from new high-power density waterjets aimed at staving off rudder and propeller damage experienced on high-speed ships. Developed by Rolls-Royce Naval Marine in Walpole, Mass., the new Axial-Flow Waterjet Mk-1 can move nearly half a million gallons of seawater per minute, providing more thrust per unit than current commercial waterjets.

High-tech cargo airship being built in California

January 30, 2013 9:09 am | by Raquel Maria Dillon, Associated Press | News | Comments

A new massive blimp-like aircraft was recently hovering just a dozen feet off a military hangar floor during flight testing south of Los Angeles. The fact that the hulking Aeroscraft could fly for just a few minutes represents a step forward in aviation, according to the engineers who developed it. According to the Department of Defense and NASA, their prototype could one day carry more cargo than any other aircraft to disaster zones and forward military bases.

DARPA funds research for electronics that disappear

January 28, 2013 5:23 pm | News | Comments

Advanced electronics are indispensable in modern warfare, but locating and tracking them all on the field of battle is almost impossible. To prevent valuable and strategic technology from falling into enemy hands, DARPA has announced the Vanishing Programmable Resources program, which has the aim of improving “transient” electronics, or electronics capable of dissolving into the environment around them.        

PNNL awarded $2.8 million to keep troops cool

January 25, 2013 8:12 am | News | Comments

A new, energy-efficient air chilling system could keep troops on the front lines cool while using about half as much diesel as current systems. The system's decreased fuel consumption could also save lives by reducing attacks on American soldiers who deliver fuel to field operations.

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Pentagon researches new life for dead satellites

January 23, 2013 10:42 am | by Alicia Chang, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

When satellites retire, certain parts—such as antennas and solar panels—often still work. There's currently no routine effort to salvage and reuse satellite parts once they're launched into space.  The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is spending $180 million to test technologies that could scavenge defunct communication satellites for their valuable parts and recycle them to build brand new ones for cheap.

Top officials meet at ONR in response to Arctic changes

December 14, 2012 10:28 am | by David Smalley, Office of Naval Research | News | Comments

The rapid retreat of sea ice in the Arctic has attracted the attention of top naval officials who have recently held an Arctic Summit at the Office of Naval Research to discuss their reponse to what will likely be a increased volume of human activity in the region. Although the meeting did not discuss policy, it did highlight the many potential areas of impact, from oil drilling to tourism.

Air Force sends mystery mini-shuttle back to space

December 12, 2012 9:21 am | by Marcia Dunn, AP Aerospace Writer | News | Comments

The military's small, top-secret version of the space shuttle rocketed into orbit Tuesday for a repeat mystery mission, two years after making the first flight of its kind. The X-37B is about one-quarter the size of the original NASA space shuttle and can land automatically. The purpose of this mission remains a secret: Launch commentary ended 17 minutes into the flight.

The future looks bright: ONR, Marines eye solar energy

November 30, 2012 12:32 pm | News | Comments

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) is looking to the sun for energy in an effort to help Marines do away with diesel-guzzling generators now used in combat outposts, officials announced. The Renewable Sustainable Expeditionary Power (RSEP) program seeks to create a transportable renewable hybrid system that can provide Marines with electricity for a 15-day mission without relying on fuel resupply convoys that often become targets for adversaries.

Georgia Tech awarded $2.7 million from DARPA

November 30, 2012 7:25 am | News | Comments

A research team at the Georgia Institute of Technology has received a $2.7 million award from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop technology intended to help address the challenges of "big data"—data sets that are both massive and complex.

Games may help train analysts to overcome bias

November 13, 2012 10:52 am | News | Comments

Analytic exercises conducted by researchers at Raytheon that used scenario-based games showed that some of the participants displayed anchoring and confirmation biases as they tried to determine responsibility and motivations for insurgent attacks in the scenario. This game-playing approach may help intelligence analysts identify biases that can cloud decision-making and problem-solving during life or death situations.

New military apparel repels chemical, biological agents

October 17, 2012 8:17 am | News | Comments

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists and collaborators are developing a new military uniform material that repels chemical and biological agents using a novel carbon nanotube fabric. The material will be designed to undergo a rapid transition from a breathable state to a protective state.

Navy evaluating second electromagnetic railgun prototype

October 10, 2012 10:14 am | News | Comments

The Office of Naval Research's Electromagnetic (EM) Railgun program is evaluating the second of two industry railgun prototype launchers at a facility in Dahlgren, Va. The EM Railgun launcher is a long-range navel weapon that fires projectiles using electricity instead of traditional gun propellants such as explosive chemicals.

Raytheon wins $349 M Army contract

October 8, 2012 3:46 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Raytheon Co. said Monday that it has won a $349 million five-year contract to provide anti-tank missiles for the U.S. government. Under the contract, Raytheon will deliver 6,676 of the new wireless missiles for the U.S. Army. They receive commands from the gunner through a wirelessly, unlike earlier versions of the missile.

UK threatens to veto BAE-EADS merger

October 7, 2012 5:42 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The French and German governments must reduce their stakes in defense company EADS NV for the U.K. to allow a proposed merger with BAE Systems PLC to go ahead, Britain's defense secretary warned Sunday. Philip Hammond said Britain would veto the mega-merger of the aeronautics and defense...

Naval sensor and software suite hunts down hundreds of boats

July 11, 2012 4:23 am | News | Comments

A vessel hunting system called “Rough Rhino,” sponsored by the Office of Naval Research and deployed aboard U.S. aircraft, ships and partner nation ships operating in waters off the coast of Senegal and Cape Verde, has helped track more than 600 targets since it’s been in operation. The effort has culminated in 24 boardings.

GTRI helps transform a T-6 trainer into a light attack aircraft

June 15, 2012 4:05 am | News | Comments

Researchers from the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) are helping convert an aircraft used to train pilots into one with intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR) and light attack capabilities. The new aircraft would provide a less expensive alternative to legacy warbirds like the A-10 and F-16 and could be used by foreign military allies as well as U.S. homeland security agencies.

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