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16 Apr 08. US army develops robotic suits. Rex Jameson, software engineerOn the big screen, films like Robocop, Universal Soldier and forthcoming release Iron Man show man-machines with superhuman powers. But in Utah they are turning science fiction into reality. We are at a research facility on the outskirts of Salt Lake City, ringed by beautiful snow-capped mountains. Once they held the Winter Olympics here; now they are testing endurance in other ways. The aluminium limbs gleam in the brilliant sunshine, as the strange metal skeleton hangs from a safety harness at the outdoor testing site. It seems to be treading water; actually its programme is telling it to keep the hydraulic fluid in its joints moving. Rex Jameson, a software engineer here at laboratories run by Sarcos, the robotics firm which designed the XOS exoskeleton, steps up and into the suit. Stephen Jacobsen, SarcosThe lightweight aluminium exoskeleton, called XOS, senses Rex’s every move and instantly moves with him; it is almost like a shadow or a second skin. It is designed for agility that can match a human’s, but with strength and endurance that far outweigh our abilities. (Source: BBC)
16 Apr 08. Raytheon Company is developing transmit-receive modules based on the advanced semiconductor gallium nitride (GaN) for use in future radar upgrades. The development is part of an on-going 42-month, $11.5m Next Generation Transmit Receive Integrated Microwave Module (NGT) contract funded by the Missile Defense Agency’s Advanced Technology Directorate. Raytheon is demonstrating that transmit-receive modules using GaN-powered monolithic microwave integrated circuit amplifiers have a significant performance advantage in that they provide significantly higher radio frequency power with greater efficiency than current modules. The NGT program leverages GaN technology being developed under the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Wide Bandgap Semiconductor program as well as company-funded efforts.
15 Apr 08. DVD helps GSV IPT improve risk assessment on operations Commanders on operations will soon be able to make much better informed decisions relating to the safety of fuel carrying vehicles, fitted with a wide range of Urgent Operational Requirements (UORs), whilst on operations. The improved level of risk assessment has been made possible following the introduction of TRL Compliance to General Support Vehicles Integrated Project Team (GSV IPT) at DVD last year. Since DVD last year, GSV IPT and TRL Compliance have conducted a series of tests on two types of fuel carrying vehicles. This work aims to better understand the risks associated with fitting a range of UORs in an environment where, due to the high ambient temperature, there is an increased likelihood of a vapour hazard. Recommendations based on the results will be passed on to front line commanders as soon as they are finalised.
16 Apr 08. Lockheed Martin’s Savi business launched SmartChain® 5.0, a platform and application suite providing new leading-edge capabilities that enhance the performance, business processes and efficiency of supply chains for commercial and government customers. Savi SmartChain 5.0, built on 15 years of delivering the industry’s most complete RFID-based solutions, was announced here today at the opening of the RFID Live! conference. Savi SmartChain 5.0 leverages Services Oriented Architecture (SOA) to provide a framework for integrating real-time data from all types of wireless technologies about an organizations business processes into its enterprise software systems or information services. The Savi SmartChain platform processes and transforms data into actionable information from any standards-based Automatic Identification and Data Collection (AIDC) technology, including bar codes, sensors, passive or active Radio Frequency Identification, cellular, GPS or satellite communications s