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10 Jun 08. A supercomputer developed by International Business Machines Corp. and scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico has become the first “petaflop” computer, processing more than one thousand trillion calculations per second. That is double the speed of the previous fastest, the IBM Blue Gene. The new computer, dubbed “Roadrunner,” was commissioned by the U.S. Department of Energy to protect U.S. nuclear weapons. IBM said it is a hybrid assembled from components including chips used in videogames and standard x86 processors. (Source: WSJ)
06 Jun 08. QinetiQ delivers successful first test of penetrator for future planetary research. The first three test firings of small missile-like probes that will allow scientific measurements to be taken from the far side of the Moon have been successfully completed at MOD Pendine in South Wales in May 2008 using the long test track facility which is operated and managed by QinetiQ. The probes, called penetrators, travelled at 700 miles per hour along 300 metres of the 1,500 metre test track before hitting a sand target that had been constructed to replicate the surface of the moon. The impact generated a g-force of 10,000g – more than a thousand times stronger than a human-being could survive. The penetrators are being developed for the proposed UK-led MoonLITE mission to the Moon.
03 Jun 08. The ability to print large images such as maps of areas of special interest or blow-ups of pictures taken by UAVs can be crucial to military and humanitarian operations in the field. The new Ndura RUGGED® A0 Plotter from Blazepoint meets all the requirements in terms of print performance, deployability and resistance to extreme conditions and rough handling. Employing the latest printing technology, the new Plotter incorporates significant advances over the Ndura RUGGED® model that it replaces. Colour and monochrome images can be printed with a maximum print resolution of 2400 x 1200 dpi at significantly improved print speeds. In fact, images that previously took up to 30 minutes to print can now be achieved in around 80 seconds. The Plotter will print on a wider range of media than its predecessor, while the efficiency of ink usage has been enhanced. Very wide images can be printed as well as all sizes up to A0 (841mm x 1189mm) with edge to edge printing avoiding trimming and increasing image size.
05 Jun 08. Two Raytheon Company-built Standard Missile-2 Block IV missiles successfully intercepted and destroyed a short-range ballistic missile target above the Pacific Ocean June 5. The successful engagement demonstrated a near- term, sea-based capability for stopping threat ballistic missiles in their terminal or final phase of flight.
10 Jun 08. Today marked an important milestone in the Airbus Military A400M Flight Test Bed programme with the first ground runs of the Europrop International (EPI) TP400-D6 engine and Ratier-Figeac propeller installed upon the Marshall-owned C-130 test aircraft. This first run emphasises the power of the A400M engine/ prop combination which is the largest ever to be designed and produced in the Western world. The ground runs will enable the engineers to test and measure the engine starts, nacelle ventilation, intake distortion, engine noise behaviour and undertake the vibration stress survey to clear the new Ratier-Figeac/ Hamilton Sundstrand propeller. In total over 30 hours of ground running is foreseen before the aircraft can be cleared for flight, and during this phase Marshall Aerospace (MA) will start delivering data recorded from its Data Acquisition System to provide Airbus Military with key data on engine, propeller and nacelle performances. During the initial ground runs, checks will be performed to confirm the aircraft, engine and propeller interfaces, and flight test instrumentation. In addition, the propulsion system will undergo low power