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21 Jan 05. The Los Alamos National Laboratory is developing nano-scale thermite materials that would replace the toxic lead compounds used in “electric matches” that remotely set off synchronized fireworks. The nano-scale devices would also be less likely to accidentally go off since they are not as sensitive to electric current. Researchers are also investigating using nano-scale materials to replace the lead-based primers that ignite the propellants in small and medium caliber weapons. The lead-based primers have been identified as hazardous and toxic, so scientists are working on Metastable Intermolecular Composites (MIC) that have specified particle sizes to achieve the optimal ignition time.
26 Jan 05. Radstone Embedded Computing announced two major new additions to its GBX16 Managed Gigabit Ethernet Switch – IPv6 capability and a fully rugged optically expanded variant for long distance applications. The GBX16’s new IPv6 capability aligns with the Department of Defense’s move towards IPv6-capable solutions for all future programs within the Global Information Grid as it pursues its strategy of network-centric warfare. IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6) is the evolutionary ‘next generation’ Internet Protocol and is intended to replace the current version, IPv4. IPv6 is designed to overcome IPv4 limitations by expanding available IP address space (128-bit addressing), improving end-to-end security, facilitating mobile communications, enhancing quality of service (QoS) and easing system management. The GBX16 gains IPv6 capability through a software upgrade which allows its SwitchCore silicon to classify and use IPv6 packets. Through this upgrade the GBX16 is capable of classifying IPv6 packets for policing, QoS and VLAN tagging. In addition to IPv6 support, the GBX16 now offers an optically extended variant via the fully rugged 12 port OXB (Optical Expansion Board). Aimed at long distance and/or electrically noisy networking applications, the OXB is mechanically attached to the base GBX16 such that the Gigabit Ethernet ports are routed down to the OXB’s optical transceivers. Available as a build option, the OXB allows up to sixteen optical Gigabit ports (four are optionally available on the base GBX16) to be implemented on the GBX16. The OXB is compliant with 1000Base-X, and is offered with short distance SX optics (up to 220m) or long distance LX optics (up to 10km). Fully rugged air- or conduction-cooled versions are available. IPv6 capability will be available as a standard feature on the GBX16 in the first quarter of 2005. The optically expanded GBX16 with the OXB fitted is available immediately.
25th Jan 05. EADS Defence and Security Systems Ltd (EADS DS), announces that technical transfer of protocol converter Group Access Terminal Equipment (GATE) to the Defence Procurement Agency occurred in late December 2004. By late January 2005 it is expected that GATE will be in service providing interoperability within the MoD and to NATO. Through the development and delivery of GATE, EADS’ protocol converter, all MoD communication platforms including PTARMIGAN, BOWMAN, and coalition/NATO systems can talk between themselves and between the newly in-service CORMORANT, which provides users with modern office quality communications while on operational duty. This is achieved through the provision of interfacing between a General Purpose Trunk Access Port (GP-TAP) on Ptarmigan and the other systems through “standardised” interfaces such as STANAG 4206 which implements the NATO Digital Gateway and STANAG 4578 which implements the NATO Digital Strategic-Tactical Gateway (DSTG). In line with the joint roll out programme, additional interoperability, through use of STANAG 4578, will be delivered by May 05.
26 Jan 05. Ricardo UK, Ford Motor Company, Valeo SA and Gates Corporation
have announced the results of a successful collaborativ