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03 Nov 04. MIT researchers have found a way to let a pilot in a plane control another, unmanned plane, through voice commands. The hard part? Teaching planes to understand English. Engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology describe their aircraft guidance system as a sort of ideal wingman — one willing and able to understand commands, maneuver into danger spots and quickly change course when faced with sudden obstacles or revised battle plans. Meanwhile, its human controller flies behind in safer, higher airspace. MIT worked with Teragram Corp. to create a natural language interface through which the two aircraft communicate and coordinate actions.

02 Nov 04. A Lockheed Martin-led team will employ third-generation (3G) commercial cellular technology to build the Mobile User Objective System (MUOS), an advanced narrowband tactical satellite communications system that will provide significantly improved and assured communications for U.S. warfighters, the company announced today at MILCOM 2004 in Monterey. With the first satellite scheduled for launch in 2010, MUOS will replace the current Ultra High Frequency Follow-On (UFO) system. MUOS satellites will be fully compatible with the existing UFO system and associated legacy terminals, while dramatically increasing military communications availability by leveraging 3G commercial cellular advancements, which represent significant improvement over previous networking technologies. The MUOS 3G Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) waveform and Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) infrastructure are the main technologies that will transmit text, voice, video, and multimedia to a wide range of platforms, including handheld terminals with an “always-on” connection that will be significantly faster than previous systems. MUOS also will maximize the full feature capability of the future Joint Tactical Radio Systems (JTRS) terminals now under development.

29 Oct 04. Northrop unveils laser to counter mortar attacks
Northrop Grumman has offered the US Army a directed-energy laser weapon – which it says could be available within 18 months of a contract – to counter the mortar threat to US and coalition forces currently operating in Iraq.
(Jane’s Defence Weekly)

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