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If the music‘s anything to go by, pretty much everyone was on something in the ’60s — and that includes the engineers. BAE Systems has recently dug up some totally batshit-crazy ideas that were seriously being kicked around by its ‘crack’ team of engineers, and they’re both totally ridiculous and dangerously awesome.
The Iowa Army Ammunition Plant (IAAAP) in Middletown, Iowa, has an overabundance of two things: corn waste and excess energetics — leftover explosives, propellants, pyrotechnics and such. But using a new ethanol-based fuel cell developed by nanoMaterials Discovery Corp (nMDC) will transform these waste materials into clean, cheap, electricity. Two birds, one catalytic reaction.
It’s the realisation of every seven-year-old boy’s dream — a bulldozer on a tank chassis with a machine gun. Known as the Terrier, this ditch-digging combat engineer vehicle is as adaptable as its canine namesake.
By 1945, Allied forces were knocking on Japan’s front door. As the Empire’s military grew increasingly desperate, it began to focus on eliminating the Allies’ willingness to fight — by intentionally crashing manned aircraft in kamikaze attacks. And for pilots aboard one breed of these notorious flying coffin, the MXY-7 Navy Suicide Attacker Ohka, death wasn’t the last resort, it was the only one.
Of the 25,000 Explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) missions conducted by the US military in Iraq, only 30 have resulted in fatalities according to Army Col. K. Reinhard, commander of the joint EOD teams operating in the theatre. That’s still 30 too many. And that’s why DARPA’s developed the most advanced EOD surrogate ever, a veritable Jaeger of bomb disposal: the Bimanual Dexterous Robotic Platform (BDRP).
All but seven states in the US have proposed or adopted legislation relating to the domestic use of drones, or unmanned aerial systems, in domestic airspace, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Now, at the invitation of the Aerospace States Association, EFF has rung in with the three crucial elements that all drone legislation must contain to balance privacy rights with free-speech concerns.
News emerged this week that the U.S. Army, which has been collecting biometric data of locals in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, is going to start storing that data in the cloud. Put simply, biometrics is the collection of personal, physical data using devices like retina scanners, and no matter what way you spin the situation, it’s a potentially pretty creepy practice.
The Twitter feed for Islamic extremist group al-Shabaab lit up on May 27, publishing photos of aircraft wreckage and extolling the virtues of the group’s fighters, who, after several hours of shooting, brought down an unmanned drone near the town of Buulo Mareer. The Pentagon’s confirmation that it did lose the UAS, however, raises more questions than it answers. Why was the drone there in the first place?
You don’t joke about mining important maritime trade routes — Iran did and nearly started WWIII. And while America’s fleet of MH-53E Sea Dragons and Avenger-class mine countermeasures ships are still quite effective, they’re getting really, really old. Both platforms entered service in the mid-1980s and are quickly nearing their retirement dates. Here’s what the US Navy has in store for its future countermining operations.