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23 Apr 08. Britain next week is expected to partially take the wraps off a plan to better direct its research and development effort, according to the official tasked with pulling the defense technology roadmap together. Only companies cleared by the British to handle classified data, known here as List X companies, and various Ministry of Defence organizations will be given access to the full document. An unclassified version is scheduled to be released later this year. Speaking at a Royal Aeronautical Society conference here April 23, Paul Stein, the Ministry of Defence’s science and technology director, showed a list of some of the technologies Britain could be looking to pursue in its new Defence Technology Plan. The list included a number of possible priority goals for research and development, including a fossil-fuel-free armed forces, development of combat UAVs and lightweight armored fighting vehicles, lighter equipment for dismounted combat troops to carry, and next-generation communications capabilities. The Defence Technology Plan is an attempt to put some flesh on the bones of work published in 2006 as the Defence Technology Strategy. The plan, which will be available as a Web-based document, aims to provide a series of research and development roadmaps, allowing industry and academia to better direct their investment priorities. Britain’s defense procurement minister, Baroness Taylor, last November announced the MoD’s intention to develop the plan, saying the new scheme will enable transparent prioritization and coherence across the MoD’s research and development program. “It will set out the research program in the form of technology roadmaps derived from key research and development objectives,” she said. “It will form the basis of our national and international partnerships with academia, industry and allies.” (Source: Defense News)

17 Apr 08. Nano switch hints at future chips. Researchers have built the world’s smallest transistor – one atom thick and 10 atoms wide – out of a material that could one day replace silicon. The transistor, essentially an on/off switch, has been made using graphene, a two-dimensional material first discovered only four years ago. Graphene is a single layer of graphite, which is found in the humble pencil. The transistor is the key building block of microchips and the basis for almost all electronics. Dr Kostya Novoselov and Professor Andre Geim from The School of Physics and Astronomy at The University of Manchester have been leading research into the potential application of graphene in electronics and were the first to separate a sheet of the material from graphite. (Source: BBC)

21 Apr 08. Cambridge Consultants has developed a remote laptop application for its successful prism 200, a compact through-wall radar, which is a sensing device to locate people on the other side of a wall in dangerous and high risk situations. The new laptop application will enable remote monitoring and data-recording to occur, requiring only a sole operative or robot to deploy prism 200. This application will improve both safety and discretion in surveillance exercises when managing hostage situations or when searching a building for criminals or terrorists. prism 200 communicates using TCP/IP, enabling information to be monitored from a laptop computer and potentially anywhere in the world via the internet. The new application enables a remote computer to be linked via a network cable or wireless link. The 3D information created by prism 200 can then be objectively reviewed from a safer, more distant location by police, special forces, security services or emergency services. prism 200 uses high-powered signal processing to provide the intelligence it gathers in real time on the equipment’s display, which is immediately replicated on the display of a computer using the new laptop application. The laptop applicatio

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