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Archive for the ‘military’ category

May 31, 2020

‘One-way’ electronic devices enter the mainstream

Posted by in categories: computing, internet, military, mobile phones, quantum physics, virtual reality

Waves, whether they are light waves, sound waves, or any other kind, travel in the same manner in forward and reverse directions—this is known as the principle of reciprocity. If we could route waves in one direction only—breaking reciprocity—we could transform a number of applications important in our daily lives. Breaking reciprocity would allow us to build novel “one-way” components such as circulators and isolators that enable two-way communication, which could double the data capacity of today’s wireless networks. These components are essential to quantum computers, where one wants to read a qubit without disturbing it. They are also critical to radar systems, whether in self-driving cars or those used by the military.

A team led by Harish Krishnaswamy, professor of electrical engineering, is the first to build a high-performance non-reciprocal on a compact chip with a performance 25 times better than previous work. Power handling is one of the most important metrics for these circulators and Krishnaswamy’s new chip can handle several watts of power, enough for cellphone transmitters that put out a watt or so of power. The new chip was the leading performer in a DARPA SPAR (Signal Processing at RF) program to miniaturize these devices and improve performance metrics. Krishnaswamy’s group was the only one to integrate these non-reciprocal devices on a compact chip and also demonstrate performance metrics that were orders of magnitude superior to prior work. The study was presented in a paper at the IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference in February 2020, and published May 4, 2020, in Nature Electronics.

“For these circulators to be used in practical applications, they need to be able to handle watts of power without breaking a sweat,” says Krishnaswamy, whose research focuses on developing integrated electronic technologies for new high-frequency wireless applications. “Our earlier work performed at a rate 25 times lower than this new one—our 2017 device was an exciting scientific curiosity but it was not ready for prime time. Now we’ve figured out how to build these one-way devices in a compact chip, thus enabling them to become small, low cost, and widespread. This will transform all kinds of electronic applications, from VR headsets to 5G cellular networks to quantum computers.”

May 30, 2020

New 5G switches bring better battery life, higher bandwidth and speeds

Posted by in categories: energy, internet, military

As 5G hits the market, new U.S. Army-funded research has developed a radio-frequency switch that is over 50 times more energy efficient than what is used today.

May 30, 2020

U.S. Army signs deal with SpaceX to assess Starlink broadband

Posted by in categories: internet, military

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army will experiment using Starlink broadband to move data across military networks. An agreement signed with SpaceX on May 20 gives the Army three years to try out the service.

The Army and SpaceX signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement known as a CRADA, an Army source told SpaceNews.

The project will be overseen by the Combat Capabilities Development Command’s C5ISR Center based at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.

May 29, 2020

This Atomic Tank survived a nuclear test, then went to war

Posted by in categories: military, nuclear weapons

In August of 1953, a British-built Centurion tank drove through the brutal desert terrain of South Australia, its destination a parking spot a few hundred yards from an atomic bomb test. That was just the beginning of this tank’s amazing, and perhaps tragic, operational life.

May 29, 2020

Why the Military Is Building a Tunneling Earthworm

Posted by in categories: military, robotics/AI

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Pentagon’s cutting-edge research and development branch, is funding one of the oddest robotic concepts yet: a robot that mimics an earthworm to dig underground tunnels. It’s all part of an effort to demonstrate robotic tunneling technologies that will provide a secure way of resupplying U.S. Army troops in battle zones.

May 29, 2020

Making matter out of light: high-power laser simulations point the way

Posted by in categories: engineering, military, particle physics

A few minutes into the life of the universe, colliding emissions of light energy created the first particles of matter and antimatter. We are familiar with the reverse process—matter generating energy—in everything from a campfire to an atomic bomb, but it has been difficult to recreate that critical transformation of light into matter.

Now, a new set of simulations by a research team led by UC San Diego’s Alexey Arefiev point the way toward making matter from light. The process starts by aiming a high-power laser at a target to generate a magnetic field as strong as that of a neutron star. This field generates that collide to produce—for the very briefest instant—pairs of matter and antimatter particles.

The study, published May 11 in Physical Review Applied offers a sort of recipe that experimentalists at the Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) high-power laser facilities in Eastern Europe could follow to produce real results in one to two years, said Arefiev, an associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering.

May 28, 2020

How the U.S. Is Quietly Winning the Hypersonic Arms Race

Posted by in category: military

The Russians have their Avangard missiles and the Chinese have a railgun, but the Americans have developed maneuverable hypersonic shells for their existing artillery.

May 28, 2020

Russian Military Hackers Behind Ongoing Cyber Attack, NSA Warns U.S. Organizations

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, military, privacy

The NSA has today issued an advisory warning concerning an ongoing Russian military hacking campaign.

May 27, 2020

Mobile Nuclear Microreactor Development: A Military-Civilian Symbiosis

Posted by in categories: computing, military, nuclear energy

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The US Department of Defense has been working with American companies for the past year on a project to develop a prototype for a portable nuclear microreactor, a device intended for use by the US military in security scenarios around the world. The US Department of Energy is also involved in the project, with the aim of providing electricity to remote sites that are difficult to link to the grid. The project thus represents a symbiosis between military and civilian technological development.

A symbiotic relationship between military and civilian aspects of technological development gained momentum in the US after the end of WWII. This was particularly visible among applications in the communication, computing, and aerospace fields, but was also present in the field of nuclear technology. Some technology projects were presented as dual-use in order to justify the cost of their development.

One example of nuclear energy symbiosis was the development of nuclear power-generating reactors. By 1956, more than a decade after the destruction of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by nuclear bombs, only the UK’s Calder Hall nuclear power plant, which had four reactors each producing 60 MW electricity (MWe), was in operation. However, as of December 2019, 443 nuclear power generators were operating worldwide, with a total output of 395 gigawatts electric (GWe)—an average output of nearly 900 MWe per reactor.

May 27, 2020

Inside the Pentagon’s race against deepfake videos

Posted by in categories: government, military, robotics/AI

Advances in artificial intelligence could soon make creating convincing fake audio and video – known as “deepfakes” – relatively easy. Making a person appear to say or do something they did not has the potential to take the war of disinformation to a whole new level. Scroll down for more on deepfakes and what the US government is doing to combat them.

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