New DARPA RFP Calls for All-In-One HUD that Sees Through Smoke, In The Dark and In Broad Daylight
DARPA wants a multi-band head-up display, which could be mounted to a helmet or a weapon scope, that combines several wavelengths of light into one image.
Sunny? No problem—the camera can see in visible light. Smoke bomb blocking your view? No sweat; the camera can see thermal infrared signatures. The system would also have near-infrared capability to help users see through darkness.
A new DARPA project called the Pixel Network for Dynamic Visualization (PIXNET) seeks proposals for new sensors that can do all of this in one package. A successful proposal would be small, lightweight, low-power and low-cost, said Nibir Dhar, DARPA program manager for PIXNET.
The system would communicate wirelessly with Android-based smart phones to fuse the images together, like you can see in the inset above. The warfighter would see a scene with visible imagery, thermal sensitivity and near-IR capability all in one.
Existing sensors are a good starting point, but they’re not advanced enough to combine multiple functions the way DARPA wants. Combining reflective and thermal bands will be a challenge, not to mention making it ultra-portable. “What we really need are breakthroughs in aperture design, focal plane arrays, electronics, packaging and materials science,” Dhar said.
(via DARPA Wants Cheap Head-Up Displays That Work In Any Kind Of Light | Popular Science)

New DARPA RFP Calls for All-In-One HUD that Sees Through Smoke, In The Dark and In Broad Daylight

DARPA wants a multi-band head-up display, which could be mounted to a helmet or a weapon scope, that combines several wavelengths of light into one image.

Sunny? No problem—the camera can see in visible light. Smoke bomb blocking your view? No sweat; the camera can see thermal infrared signatures. The system would also have near-infrared capability to help users see through darkness.

A new DARPA project called the Pixel Network for Dynamic Visualization (PIXNET) seeks proposals for new sensors that can do all of this in one package. A successful proposal would be small, lightweight, low-power and low-cost, said Nibir Dhar, DARPA program manager for PIXNET.

The system would communicate wirelessly with Android-based smart phones to fuse the images together, like you can see in the inset above. The warfighter would see a scene with visible imagery, thermal sensitivity and near-IR capability all in one.

Existing sensors are a good starting point, but they’re not advanced enough to combine multiple functions the way DARPA wants. Combining reflective and thermal bands will be a challenge, not to mention making it ultra-portable. “What we really need are breakthroughs in aperture design, focal plane arrays, electronics, packaging and materials science,” Dhar said.

(via DARPA Wants Cheap Head-Up Displays That Work In Any Kind Of Light | Popular Science)

(via joshbyard)

Augmented reality growing popular with U.S. military - QR Code Press
The practical applications of augmented reality are gaining more attention, however, especially amongst military and security organizations. A new report from Mind Commerce, a research organization, shows that augmented reality is, indeed, becoming a popular topic within the U.S. military. 

Augmented reality growing popular with U.S. military - QR Code Press

The practical applications of augmented reality are gaining more attention, however, especially amongst military and security organizations. A new report from Mind Commerce, a research organization, shows that augmented reality is, indeed, becoming a popular topic within the U.S. military. 

Navy’s new ‘UFO’ completes first phase of testing.The X-47B unmanned fighter jet caused a stir as it was being transported to Maryland, with locals thinking they’d seen a UFO. In fact, the new jet is undergoing trials in an effort to become the first unmanned vehicle to complete a takeoff and landing from an aircraft carrier - all completely autonomously.
The first round of testing saw the jet climbing to 15,000 feet, before returning for multiple maneuvers including extending a tail hook on landing, which will be used to stop on the aircraft carrier. After a second phase of testing in Maryland, the Navy hopes to have it operating on an aircraft carrier in 2013. Because the takeoff and landings will all be completely controlled by the computers in the aircraft, the Navy will only have to focus on plotting out preprogrammed missions for the jet.
It’s also planned to begin testing of airbourne refuelling of the jet sometime in 2014.

Navy’s new ‘UFO’ completes first phase of testing.
The X-47B unmanned fighter jet caused a stir as it was being transported to Maryland, with locals thinking they’d seen a UFO. In fact, the new jet is undergoing trials in an effort to become the first unmanned vehicle to complete a takeoff and landing from an aircraft carrier - all completely autonomously.

The first round of testing saw the jet climbing to 15,000 feet, before returning for multiple maneuvers including extending a tail hook on landing, which will be used to stop on the aircraft carrier. After a second phase of testing in Maryland, the Navy hopes to have it operating on an aircraft carrier in 2013. Because the takeoff and landings will all be completely controlled by the computers in the aircraft, the Navy will only have to focus on plotting out preprogrammed missions for the jet.

It’s also planned to begin testing of airbourne refuelling of the jet sometime in 2014.

(via 8bitfuture)

Leathernext: Marines Want Better Networks, Sensors — And Terminator Vision | Danger Room | Wired.com
The Marines of the future are all about communication.
The Leathernecks want data networks that can keep them connected all the way from the decks of their ships to the beaches they storm. They want online search tools that rely on natural language instead of keywords (like the rest of us). And they want software that can sift through the oceans of data their wartime sensors and cameras collect — including tools that can scan through faces in a crowd, like the Terminator, and alert Marines to danger.
That’s according to the Corps’ blueprint for its science and technology needs over the next 20 years. Communications are a big, gaping hole for the Marines of the present, and the Marines want to hand their successors more seamless, networked ways of talking. That’s on top of other wish-list material, like advanced sensors that can sniff drugs and homemade bombs — oh, and laser-stopping goggles.
The blueprint (.pdf), first published by Inside Defense, doesn’t come out and criticize the Corps’ current suite of communications tools and sensors. But there’s a yawning technological chasm in-between the present-day Marines and where the Leathernecks want to be in 2025.
From “flagpole to fighting hole,” the blueprint writes, Marines need to be in constant communication: “The objective is to provide a holistic, end-to-end, turnkey [command-and-control] capability to execute commander’s intent, facilitate implicit communications, visualize battlespace reality, promote initiative, enable centralized command and decentralized control, and ultimately accomplish the mission.”

Leathernext: Marines Want Better Networks, Sensors — And Terminator Vision | Danger Room | Wired.com

The Marines of the future are all about communication.

The Leathernecks want data networks that can keep them connected all the way from the decks of their ships to the beaches they storm. They want online search tools that rely on natural language instead of keywords (like the rest of us). And they want software that can sift through the oceans of data their wartime sensors and cameras collect — including tools that can scan through faces in a crowd, like the Terminator, and alert Marines to danger.

That’s according to the Corps’ blueprint for its science and technology needs over the next 20 years. Communications are a big, gaping hole for the Marines of the present, and the Marines want to hand their successors more seamless, networked ways of talking. That’s on top of other wish-list material, like advanced sensors that can sniff drugs and homemade bombs — oh, and laser-stopping goggles.

The blueprint (.pdf), first published by Inside Defense, doesn’t come out and criticize the Corps’ current suite of communications tools and sensors. But there’s a yawning technological chasm in-between the present-day Marines and where the Leathernecks want to be in 2025.

From “flagpole to fighting hole,” the blueprint writes, Marines need to be in constant communication: “The objective is to provide a holistic, end-to-end, turnkey [command-and-control] capability to execute commander’s intent, facilitate implicit communications, visualize battlespace reality, promote initiative, enable centralized command and decentralized control, and ultimately accomplish the mission.”

This is a military perspective on adaptation and sustainability. Fantastic, fast-paced talk.

Naval Captain Wayne Porter and Col. Mark Mykleby of the Marines, military strategists working at the highest level of government, present highlights from their paper, “A National Strategic Narrative.” Their ideas—less military force, more social capital and more sustainable practices in energy and agriculture—have caused a recent stir in policy communities.

Shameless plug - Mark Mykleby spoke at our GreenGov conference last week, which we ran with the White House. We invited him to speak on the Communicating Climate and Risk panel with friends and colleagues of mine from BNA and USC. Mark is a great speaker and can fired up any room. If you have a chance after the video, read A National Strategic Narrative.

via climateadaptation:

When considering the consequences of peak oil, no everyday experiences and only few historical parallels are at hand. It is therefore difficult to imagine how significant the effects of being gradually deprived of one of our civilization’s most important energy sources will be. Psychological barriers cause indisputable facts to be blanked out and lead to almost instinctively refusing to look into this difficult subject in detail. Peak oil, however, is unavoidable.

~ A quote from the recently translated Peak Oil analysis written by the German Military (via ASPO)

(Image credit: Johns Hopkins Public Health)

Data is among the most potent weapons of the 21st century. Unprecedented amounts of raw information help the military determine what targets to hit and what to avoid. And drone-based sensors have given rise to a new class of wired warriors who must filter the information sea. But sometimes they are drowning. Research shows that the kind of intense multitasking required in such situations can make it hard to tell good information from bad. The military faces a balancing act: how to help soldiers exploit masses of data without succumbing to overload.

This winter, the Air Force is set to deploy to Afghanistan what it says is a revolutionary airborne surveillance system called Gorgon Stare, which will be able to transmit live video images of physical movement across an entire town.

A soldier aims an XM25 weapon system at Aberdeen Test Center, Maryland. The Pentagon has rolled out prototypes of its first-ever programmable “smart” grenade launcher, a shoulder-fired weapon that uses microchipped ammunition to target and kill the enemy, even when the enemy is hidden behind walls or other cover. (via US deploys ‘game-changer’ weapon to Afghanistan)

A soldier aims an XM25 weapon system at Aberdeen Test Center, Maryland. The Pentagon has rolled out prototypes of its first-ever programmable “smart” grenade launcher, a shoulder-fired weapon that uses microchipped ammunition to target and kill the enemy, even when the enemy is hidden behind walls or other cover. (via US deploys ‘game-changer’ weapon to Afghanistan)

noosphere:

Micro Listening Device Identifies Any Sound In Battle - PSFK

A Dutch firm, Microflown Technologies, has created a micro device which listens for various sounds emanating from a battle field, such as gunshots, mortars, screams and warplanes. The Acoustic Vector Sensor is smaller than a match head and consists of two platinum strips.
Popsci reports more on the working of this device:

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.

noosphere:

Micro Listening Device Identifies Any Sound In Battle - PSFK

A Dutch firm, Microflown Technologies, has created a micro device which listens for various sounds emanating from a battle field, such as gunshots, mortars, screams and warplanes. The Acoustic Vector Sensor is smaller than a match head and consists of two platinum strips.

Popsci reports more on the working of this device:

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.

emergentfutures:

New Computer Simulator Helps Design Military Strategies Based On Ants’ Movements
A researcher at the University of Granada has designed a new system for the mobility of military troops within a battlefield based on the mechanisms used by ant colonies to move using a commercial video game.

emergentfutures:

New Computer Simulator Helps Design Military Strategies Based On Ants’ Movements

A researcher at the University of Granada has designed a new system for the mobility of military troops within a battlefield based on the mechanisms used by ant colonies to move using a commercial video game.