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30 June 22. DOD Accelerating Innovative Technologies, Enabling Manufacturing Workforce. Groundbreaking technologies were on display in May when the Defense Department’s nine Manufacturing Innovation Institutes demonstrated advanced materials, engineering and manufacturing.
Leaders from the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering in attendance included Deputy Undersecretary David Honey; Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Science and Technology Barbara McQuiston; and Director of Science and Technology Futures Dr. Kevin Geiss.
The DOD MIIs accelerate new technologies using federal funding combined with matching investment from academia, industry and state governments, building a national network of public-private partnerships and creating an industrial common for manufacturing R&D while advancing workforce education and development. Marshalling the best talent across the country, the network strategically aligns resources to address critical technologies and drive interconnected manufacturing systems. The DOD Manufacturing Technology Program, or ManTech, oversees the nine DoD-sponsored MIIs.
Central to the DOD MII mission is identifying industry partners, including small businesses, that have cutting-edge technologies that could benefit the warfighter. Through the MIIs, DOD invests in these industries which specialize in particular areas of advanced manufacturing.
Three of these Manufacturing Innovation Institutes showcased their technologies at the May 24 Pentagon event.
The American Institute of Manufacturing — Integrated Photonics specializes in silicon photonics.
Silicon photonics is a combination of silicon integrated circuits and semiconductor lasers. This technology enables faster data transfer over longer distances compared to traditional electronics, while utilizing the efficiencies of high-volume silicon manufacturing.
David Harame, chief operating officer of AIM Photonics, said his organization has three primary objectives.
The first objective is to advance state-of-the-art technologies in silicon photonics. “In our case, we’re trying to advance integrated silicon photonics for the ecosystem in the U.S.,” he said.
The second part is accessibility. “Our major objective is to make it available for DOD, small/medium enterprises as well as large companies,” he said.
The third part is education and workforce development. “This is a very rapidly expanding area. And we have a very large education workforce development activity,” he said.
Some of the most exciting applications for photonics, he said, are COVID sensors. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act funding resulted in sensors that can detect COVID-19 in less than a minute from a drop of blood. Proteins associated with eight different viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, are contained in separate sensor areas of the chip. If someone has been exposed to any of the viruses, antibodies to those viruses in the blood sample will be drawn to the proteins and detected.
Spotlight: Coronavirus: DOD Response
Joe Steele, senior director of communications and legislative affairs for LIFT — another of the Manufacturing Innovation Institutes — said his organization focuses on materials science, manufacturing processes and systems engineering, along with helping train the talent for advanced manufacturing.
Examples of focus areas that support the warfighter are lightweight armor and hypersonics.
LIFT, through its industry and DOD partners, managed a program to innovate the best materials and processes for designing a ship’s hull, he said. The project, he said, developed innovative computer modeling to better predict where distortion, or warping, will occur when steel plates are welded together. That led the team to ultimately reconfigure the welding sequence, which will enable the use of lighter weight materials and reduce the amount of post-welding work.
Another LIFT project was designing an analog anti-lock brake system and electronic stability control system to help prevent Humvees from rolling over. The initial project was funded and managed by LIFT in collaboration with Ricardo Defense Systems, and led to the successful retrofitting of 10 Michigan National Guard vehicles with the optimized ABS/ESC system. The kit is now available for purchase by military units worldwide. Based on National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data from similar vehicle classes, ABS and ESC systems significantly reduce fatal rollovers by 74 percent.
“We’re not a technology incubator. We’re technology accelerators,” he said.
John Wilczynski, executive director of the America Makes Manufacturing Innovation Institute, said his organization specializes in additive manufacturing, otherwise known as 3D printing.
Additive manufacturing produces components that can be made out of plastic, metal, rubber, polymers and ceramics. Having the capacity to additively produce parts strengthens the military’s ability to operate with agility and speed, especially in contested environments.
“We primarily focus on applied research of the technology, making sure that it is a capable technology that can be used on a weapon system or a commercial system,” he said.
America Makes additionally focuses on the qualification and certification of processes and materials, he said. Lack of qualification and certification is the main barrier to manufacturers fully adopting additive manufacturing.
The organization also analyzes how the capability of the supply chain matches up with the requirements for additively manufactured components, he said.
Education, talent management, and the transition of new technologies from research and development to production are other important aspects of America Makes, he said.
Another ManTech-guided entity that accelerates manufacturing innovation is the Joint Defense Manufacturing Technology Panel, which serves to ensure coordination and collaboration across ManTech.
Spotlight: Engineering in the DOD
Panel members include the directors and senior managers of each ManTech program including the Army, Navy, Air Force, Defense Logistics Agency, Missile Defense Agency, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense,
The panel is chartered to identify and integrate joint requirements, conduct joint program planning, and develop joint strategies.
The panel’s mission is to reduce the acquisition and supportability costs of defense weapons systems, reduce manufacturing and repair cycle times across the life cycles of such systems, and transition manufacturing research and development processes into production.
ManTech is a leading vehicle driving the advancement of critical manufacturing technologies that support our national security, along with growing manufacturing ecosystems that underpin U.S. supply chains. These efforts together are helping the U.S. to build a resilient manufacturing economy and lead in global competitiveness. (Source: US DoD)
29 June 22. Western Australia’s Pawsey Centre installs first room-temperature on-site quantum computer. Australia’s leading research supercomputing facility, the Pawsey Supercomputing Research Centre in Perth, WA, has installed the world’s first room-temperature diamond-based quantum computer on-site.
Developed by German-Australian start-up Quantum Brilliance, the rack-mounted diamond quantum “accelerator” leverages synthetic diamonds to run at room temperature in any environment.
This represents the first integration of quantum computing systems in a supercomputing centre and will be used to demonstrate and test hybrid models of quantum and classical computing, by pairing the quantum accelerator with Setonix, Pawsey’s new HPE Cray Ex supercomputer.
“The installation of Quantum Brilliance’s quantum accelerator is a critical step and prime example of aligning with Australia’s goals to accelerate quantum research and achieve real-world value,” Pawsey executive director Mark Stickells said.
“Completing the installation of the quantum system was a priority once COVID-related border closures were lifted. The partnership between Pawsey and Quantum Brilliance will play a pivotal role in demonstrating how we can deliver classical-quantum compute power scale in a way never before seen in an HPC environment.”
Andrew Horsley, CEO of Quantum Brilliance, said the installation was a significant step for the company as it looks to make quantum technology smaller, more flexible and able to operate anywhere.
“The field trial demonstrates the significant value of HPC’s role in co-developing emerging quantum technologies to accelerate their breakthroughs in the engineering and productisation journey,” Horsley said.
“Our vision is to take quantum from mainframe to mainstream — running your mobile phone, your car, your work platforms, or anywhere close to the application where it is needed. This collaboration is our first step toward achieving this goal.”
The project will now be used to develop a diagnostics and engineering solution for operating a quantum computer in an HPC environment, with the teams working to collect and improve maintenance data and cycles, demonstrate classical and quantum co-processing, and integrate the system with Setonix.
Pawsey, which supports over 4,000 researchers on its infrastructure, will use the opportunity as a way to help researchers run algorithms and become quantum-ready.
Stickells said the integration of the quantum accelerator into the HPC architecture would help researchers learn more about how the two systems can work in tandem.
“This will provide a testbed where real applications can be proved, so our researchers can do more effectively — enabling science and accelerating discovery,” he said.
“We look forward to seeing enterprises and researchers utilising HPC as a hub to explore novel classical-quantum codes using Setonix and the quantum accelerator as a step towards the hybrid computing future.”
The partnership between Pawsey and Quantum Brilliance is demonstrating recommendations from “Growing Australia’s Quantum Technology Industry,” a roadmap from the CSIRO. (Source: Rumour Control)
30 June 22. Japan to conduct combustion flight test of scramjet engine. Japan is preparing to conduct the first combustion flight test of its in-development scramjet engine. The engine is intended to power various hypersonic vehicles to bolster the country’s ability to defend outlying islands. Speaking to Janes, Japan Ministry of Defense’s (MoD’s) Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Agency (ATLA) said that the flight test will be conducted on 23 July 2022 at the Uchinoura Space Center of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). The flight is expected to provide critical information to advance the project.
“The aim of this research project is to acquire a model that estimates [the] in-flight combustion phenomenon in [the] scramjet engine,” ATLA said, adding that results will be compared with data obtained from ground-based wind tunnel tests. The agency added that it will also build and evaluate a numerical model analysis to “correct and predict data during the actual flight”. (Source: Janes)
30 June 22. Improbable Defence continues growth with launch of Skyral platform and collaborative programme with the Royal Navy. Improbable Defence (Improbable) has formally announced the launch of its Synthetic Environment Development Platform, Skyral, as well as a new contract with the Royal Navy.
Skyral is a software development platform engineered to allow organisations across government, industry and academia to collaborate more effectively on the rapid development and ongoing evolution of defence synthetic environments – virtual worlds that are transforming how the UK, the US and their allies plan, train and operate to meet today’s dynamic security challenges.
Skyral comprises a broad range of Improbable and partner tools, technologies and services that provide government organisations and industrial partners the capability they need to develop, deploy and operate synthetic solutions faster and more reliably, and to keep up with ever-evolving demand.
The launch of Skyral follows the award of the Maritime Operational Decision Support Tool (OpDST) contract by the Royal Navy, and the prior launch of the Myridian Programme in conjunction with modelling and simulation technology experts from universities across the country.
The Maritime OpDST contract is a collaborative project for the Royal Navy, delivered through Improbable’s partner, VIMA, to explore and accelerate digital lead planning and decision-making to support and enhance maritime operations in the era of Multi-Domain Integration. The work will focus on mapping out where Synthetic Environments can be used in future to enhance maritime operations and Royal Navy outcomes.
Maritime OpDST will provide comprehensive course-of-action analysis, ingesting data feeds to enable commanders and planners to examine alternative plans against varying assumptions, using the synthetic environment powered by Skyral.
Maritime OpDST represents a significant step in Improbable’s drive to deepen partnerships with industry and UK Armed Forces. It will bring in the latest learning and push the boundaries of what is currently possible. It will also inform the evolution of Skyral for an ever wider variety of applications, which now includes the maritime environment.
Joe Robinson, CEO of Improbable Defence and National Security said: “These developments mark a major milestone in Improbable’s ambition to be at the vanguard of learning and of the implementation of cutting-edge technology, which is only possible through the company’s continued growth and investment in skills development across the UK. We are determined to strengthen the UK as global Simulation & Training hub, and to cultivate the skills required to prepare industry and government for the needs of the future.”
Dominic Eade, Chief Commercial Officer of VIMA Group, said: “Maritime OpDST will explore how and where a Synthetic Environment-based solution can empower commanders and their staff to better understand an increasingly complex operational environment, and develop their plans more efficiently and collaboratively. We look forward to working with the Royal Navy on this important piece of work.”
30 June 22. GDIT Supercomputers, Ranked in the Top 50 Fastest Computers in the World, Begin Running NOAA’s Operational Forecast Models.
- Twin supercomputers provide three times the computing capacity to support advanced weather modeling for NOAA
General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT), a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE:GD), announced today that NOAA’s National Weather Service will begin running its operational weather, water, climate and space weather forecast models on GDIT’s twin supercomputers.
Meteorologists will produce weather forecast products using output from these model runs. These forecasts are critical for public safety and every economic sector in the U.S., including agriculture, transportation, urban planning, air quality monitoring and the management of emergency response, energy and natural resources. They also inform space weather impacts on communications, electrical power grids and satellite operations.
The identical supercomputers, named Dogwood and Cactus, are architected, deployed, operated, and maintained by GDIT. They significantly upgrade the computing capacity, storage and interconnect speed of NOAA’s Weather and Climate Operational Supercomputing System (WCOSS) program and support next-generation weather forecasting models. Dogwood and Cactus are currently ranked No. 49 and 50 fastest in the world by TOP500.
“These supercomputers are a game-changer for NOAA,” said Ken Graham, director of NOAA’s National Weather Service. “With enhanced computing and storage capacity, we can deploy higher-resolution models to better capture small-scale features like severe thunderstorms, more realistic model physics to better capture the formation of clouds, precipitation and a larger number of individual model simulations to better quantify model certainty. The end result is even better forecasts and warnings.”
To provide greater reliability, the supercomputers are located on opposite parts of the country – Dogwood in Virginia, and Cactus in Arizona – with one serving as the primary operational supercomputer and the other as the backup system. The two supercomputers are identical to ensure rapid failover if the primary production role needs to move from one site to another.
Each supercomputing system operates at a speed of 12.1 petaflops, approximately three times the capacity of the previous systems used by NOAA. They ingest bns of observations per day provided by sensors on the ground, ocean buoys, weather balloons and weather satellites. NOAA’s environmental data serves as the basis of all weather forecasts in the United States.
“Timely and accurate weather forecasts protect every American citizen, every segment of the economy and play an increasingly important role in emergency preparedness and response to severe weather events,” said Kevin Connell, GDIT vice president and general manager for Science and Engineering. “With triple the computing capacity of NOAA’s current system, GDIT’s WCOSS supercomputers will enable future upgrades to the National Weather Service’s models that are essential for accurate and timely forecasts and warnings to protect life and property and enhance the American economy. We are proud to support NOAA on this mission-critical program.”
As the largest high-performance computing (HPC) systems integrator for the federal government, GDIT and its High Performance Computing Center of Excellence support complex programs across the civilian, health, defense and intelligence sectors. In addition to WCOSS, GDIT currently operates supercomputing environments for NOAA Research and Development; High-End Scientific Computing portfolio of modeling and visualization tools for the Environmental Protection Agency; and the HPC Modernization Office User Productivity Enhancement and Training program for the Department of Defense. (Source: ASD Network)
29 June 22. USMC unveils information guidance as US rivals spew propaganda. The U.S. Marine Corps is seeking to better position itself to combat threats posed by propaganda, inaccurate information and digital influence campaigns waged by world powers such as China and Russia.
To do so, leadership is increasingly emphasizing media literacy among the ranks and underlining the value of verifiable information in day-to-day operations and planning.
“We’ve been complacent in just assuming information is like the air we breathe” and there is no consequence to using it incorrectly, Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Matthew Glavy, the deputy commandant for information, said June 28. “History is telling us, current events are telling us, that approach will not work, either mid-term or long-term.”
The corps on June 29 made public its latest philosophies and frameworks for information and its warfare applications, known as Marine Corps Doctrinal Publication 8, or MCDP 8. It’s one of several MCDPs that outline tactics, techniques and procedures of the corps, the first of which was published more than two decades ago.
The document, with more than 100 pages and speckled with vignettes, from Crimea in 2014 to Midway in 1942, highlights how torrents of information can be deciphered, filtered and effectively used. It also is meant to spark a conversation among Marines and instigate broader change.
“MCDP 1 being the cornerstone of what the Marine Corps talks about when we talk warfighting, MCDP 8 builds on that discussion, certainly focused on information,” Glavy said.
The update arrives at a time when international players are relying on digital subterfuge, disinformation and skirmishes below the threshold of armed conflict to effect change.
And the MCDP 8 recognizes the stage onto which it is thrust, describing competitors and adversaries as predators pouncing on the prey of “worldwide technological and social vulnerabilities” to destabilize “our systems, networks, and partnerships, thereby eroding our trust in each other and our institutions.”
Russia meddled directly in the the 2016 U.S. presidential election, and concerns of a repeat performance return each election season. More recently, the country pumped out reams of disinformation about its February invasion of Ukraine, and China amplified it. The U.S. State Department in May said Beijing routinely boosts Kremlin propaganda in an attempt to rationalize Russian President Vladimir Putin’s belligerence and sway public sentiment.
Chinese authorities also leverage disinformation to spin the country’s takeover of Hong Kong and to exert influence over Taiwan.
In the Middle East, where the U.S. spent decades leaning into counterinsurgency, attempting to root out terrorism, extremists use social media to distribute malicious information, like weaponized coronavirus conspiracies, and share updates about attacks. Groups craft fake news outlets and repeatedly sidestep censors.
The Marine Corps considers the information environment an interconnected, contested space, where military advantages can be won or lost; in a fight, information can be used to spoof or fool, distract or deny. The U.S. expects to face opponents with substantial computer, cyber and surveillance skills, and the proliferation of sensors the world over makes keeping a low profile incredibly difficult.
“We now know that through hyper connectivity and global reach, adversaries can reach into a commander’s area of operations and affect those operations, not only through things like propaganda or disinformation through social media, but more technically and deliberately, aiming to disrupt our ability to command and control forces or project combat power within that area of operations,” said Eric Schaner, a senior information strategy and policy analyst and key contributor to MCDP 8.
“Battlespace awareness in the information environment is crucial, as well as if we think about how we would apply 21st century combined arms, integrated fires, maneuver and information,” he added. “Command and control becomes absolutely vital.”
A new Marine Corps Information Command, or MCIC, was included in a May update to Force Design 2030, Gen. David Berger’s plan to optimize the corps and counter contemporary threats. The command could streamline collaboration and reduce burdens at the headquarters level, accelerating reactions as first moves are made in the information and cyber spaces.
“Information is key to gaining advantage in all domains, whether during kinetic actions on the battlefield or during day-to-day operations in competition,” Berger, the Marine Corps commandant, said in a statement June 29. “It’s especially critical when our Marines need to sense and make sense of the operating environment in support of the joint force or to exploit opportunities and take action against our adversaries.”
The plan directed officials to develop options for the creation of the MCIC, but provided no specific timeline. Additional publications and guidance about information and how the Marine Corps will use it, Schaner said, are expected in the near future. (Source: Defense News)
29 June 22. DLA Program Introduces Domestic Germanium Recycling Capability. A Defense Logistics Agency program for recycling optical-grade germanium used in military weapons systems and night vision equipment brought about new capability in the U.S. defense industrial base.
“Until now, there was no entity in the country that could do this complete process, from demilitarization and disassembly to ingot production,” Nancy Albertson, a chemist and program manager for DLA Strategic Materials, said. “Everything that’s being done to recycle the material through this program is being done 100% stateside.” The recycling is being done by a veteran-owned small business.
Optical-grade germanium is considered a critical material because it’s sourced mainly by China and could be hard to acquire in a national defense emergency.
“Mainland China pretty much has a chokehold on the market right now, so if it decided to either ramp up the cost or cut us off completely — and that’s not unheard of — that would be a very big issue for us,” Albertson said.
The U.S. relies on imports for over 50% of its germanium needs, and nationwide consumption was about 30,000 kilograms in 2020, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The DLA program is expected to yield 2,200 to 3,000 kilograms of recycled germanium a year — nearly 10% of the nation’s annual need — for use in night-vision and thermal-sensing devices in platforms like Abrams main battle tanks, Bradley Fighting Vehicles, Apache helicopters and naval systems.
Most germanium scrap being recycled through the program is from Pennsylvania’s Tobyhanna Army Depot, which specializes in demilitarizing military optical systems. The agency is also working with Navy officials and others to expand access to scrap germanium. It can otherwise end up on a barge back to China or get dumped in a landfill, Albertson said.
Military organizations are bound by numerous executive orders and recent Defense Department policy to pursue acquisitions that are green and sustainable. While recycling germanium for new applications is inherently green, the program also reuses material that surrounds lenses and windows.
“Probably 98% of everything that goes into this process is recovered and recycled, including aluminum, stainless steel and recyclable polymers,” Gary Porter, director of material management for DLA Strategic Materials, said. “It’s one of the reasons why this program is so successful.”
Even the recycling process is green, Albertson added. Most germanium lenses and windows are coated with thorium, a radioactive element, or carbon that must be removed before recycling. The contractor uses a self-contained process with water-based, environmentally friendly solvents to disassemble the scrap and remove the coating. Waste from thorium is shipped to Rock Island Arsenal Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center, which has experience disposing of radioactive waste; and the rest is nonhazardous.
Albertson and Eric Deal, who monitors the recycling contract, verify that scrap is indeed germanium before it’s sent to DLA warehouses, where it’s then sorted for de-coating.
“Once the contractor de-coats it, they melt it down,” Albertson said. “It comes back to us in beautiful, shiny ingots that are 99.999% pure. A lot of metals you can’t get that pure. You’d never have that for bulk iron or zinc, for example.”
The ingots are glasslike and can be brittle, so they’re cradled in wooden storage boxes and kept in DLA warehouses until needed by equipment manufacturers who have contracts for making military systems. Though the program focuses on optical-grade germanium lenses and windows, the ingots could potentially be used for other Defense Department applications.
“The crystals that can be made with this germanium can also be used for solar cells in satellites,” Deal said. “That’s just one of the many other ways DOD uses germanium.”
Deal said he’s also seen it used in proximity sensors in cars.
“There’s only so much germanium being produced in the world, and with more options for its use, we don’t want to have to compete for it,” Deal added. “That’s another good reason for us to recycle it.”
Germanium was added to the Strategic National Stockpile in the early 1980s after being recognized for its growing use in semiconductors, fiber optics, infrared sensors and other electronic applications. (Source: US DoD)
29 June 22. Sarcos Subsidiary RE2, LLC Achieves Technical Milestone with Dexterous Underwater Robotic Gripper for U.S. Navy.
- The Company Bolsters its End-of-arm Tooling Capabilities With Tactile Feedback for Underwater Manipulation
RE2, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sarcos Technology and Robotics Corporation (“Sarcos”) (NASDAQ: STRC and STRCW), today announced that it has achieved a significant technical milestone with its Strong Tactile mARitime hand for Feeling, Inspecting, Sensing and Handling (STARFISH), an underwater end-of-arm tooling (EOAT) project being funded through the U.S Navy’s Office of Naval Research (ONR). STARFISH is an advanced gripper EOAT with tactile feedback that is being developed for mine countermeasures and explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) for the U.S. Navy. With this technical milestone, the company has successfully assembled and lab-tested a complete STARFISH gripper capable of grasping and holding a variety of different objects.
During lab testing, the STARFISH prototype used three tactile-sensing fingers to successfully achieve a variety of fine- and large-gripping skills, including squeezing a pair of tweezers and grasping larger objects. Each finger conforms to the shape it is grasping, enabling it to securely hold objects upon contact.
The Company is developing this technology with professors Dr. Veronica Santos, director of the Biomechatronics Laboratory at UCLA, and Dr. Jonathan Posner, professor of mechanical engineering and chemical engineering at the University of Washington. Dr. Posner’s team, in collaboration with Dr. Santos’ team, designed the multimodal tactile sensor skin that enables the grippers’ sensorized fingertips to feel normal and shear forces.
“When visual feedback is limited, complementary senses such as touch play a critical role in completing dexterous tasks,” explains Santos. “This is true for humans as well as for robots remotely controlled by humans. Tactile sensation will enhance the teleoperation and semi-autonomous control of underwater robot hands for difficult manual tasks.”
“STARFISH uses advanced touch sensors and next-generation haptic feedback to provide robot operators with the last link in terms of robotic perception capabilities—the ability to ‘feel’ objects in the environment,” said Dr. Adam Brant, project manager, Sarcos. “This will enable EOD personnel to locate, sense, and interact with objects they both can and cannot visualize from a remote, safe distance.”
The gripper uses an advanced array of visual and underwater sensors to orient itself to its environment. It will operate in hazardous underwater environments that would typically damage end effectors, including turbidity, ocean swells, and other dynamic underwater conditions. Data collected from the hand’s interactions within the environment will be sent back to the operator control unit (OCU), allowing the operator to perform complex manipulation tasks from a remote location.
“STARFISH significantly advances the capabilities of underwater robotics across a variety of military and commercial applications,” said Jorgen Pedersen, Chief Operating Officer, Sarcos. “Adding the STARFISH EOAT to our Sapien Sea Class robotic arms will provide robot operators with even greater mobility, visualization, and dexterity in precarious underwater environments.”
During the next phase of the project, the STARFISH grippers will be attached to Sapien Sea Class underwater arms, which will then be mounted on an underwater ROV and tested in a subsea environment. (Source: ASD Network)
28 June 22. French Defense Innovation Agency Investigates the Use of DNA Script’s SYNTAX System to Synthesize Custom qPCR Probes for On-demand Detection of Biothreats. DNA Script, a world leader in Enzymatic DNA Synthesis (EDS) for DNA on demand, has announced the first successful qPCR assays using primers and probes synthesized by a customer via enzymatic synthesis using the company’s SYNTAX System DNA printer. This success was achieved as part of a contract with the French Defense Innovation Agency, in liaison with the French Armament General Directorate (DGA), first announced in January 2021.
The partnership leverages the SYNTAX System to produce high-quality DNA primers and probes to rapidly develop qPCR assays for infectious disease detection. Based on these results, the collaboration has been extended to further test EDS primers and probes for qPCR assay development, giving the DGA access to new versions of synthesis and labeling technologies that the company commercially develops.
This market’s applications in biodefense are a strategic focus contributing to the sovereign production of biological assays for the French Ministry for the Armed Forces.
“This extension validates the importance of our SYNTAX benchtop DNA printing system for rapid response programs,” said Thomas Ybert, CEO and co-founder of DNA Script. “We have demonstrated that SYNTAX can consistently print high-quality DNA probes for mobile and onsite deployment, enabling same-day qPCR from design to results, which is an enormous advantage for any pathogen early warning system.”
The ultimate goal is to create a platform that can quickly develop new assays targeting biological threats or emerging pathogens during an outbreak’s earliest phases.
“COVID has taught us that we need to be prepared for new threats,” said Ybert. “Our work with the DGA takes that preparation to the next level, providing the ability to respond faster to new biothreats.”
The SYNTAX System delivers a DNA printing technology that is compliant with the DGA’s requirements. The system relies on enzymatic synthesis, a safer, more sustainable technology that does not rely on toxic reagents or produce the hazardous organic waste associated with phosphoramidite chemistry DNA printing.
The SYNTAX printer synthesizes high-quality, custom nucleic acids for immediate use within hours. As a result, researchers developing new assays can save days, sometimes even weeks, by printing in-house versus waiting for oligos to be delivered from third-party service providers. This capability is critically important for programs focused on improving the response time to emerging biological risks and biothreats.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
About DNA Script
Founded in 2014, DNA Script is a pioneering life sciences technology company developing a new, faster, more powerful and versatile way to design and manufacture nucleic acids. The company has developed an alternative to traditional DNA synthesis called Enzymatic DNA Synthesis, or EDS, enabling this technology to be accessible to labs with the first benchtop enzymatic synthesis instrument, the SYNTAX System. By putting DNA synthesis back in the lab, DNA Script aims to transform life sciences research through innovative technology that gives researchers unprecedented control and autonomy. www.dnascript.com (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
28 June 22. CPI TMD Technologies Division Shows Its PTCM Intelligent, Modular Instrumentation Amplifier Series on Stand 315, Hall 10.2. At EMV 2022. The CPI TMD Technologies Division of Communications & Power Industries (CPI) will be demonstrating its exceptional and proven capability in the Electromagnetic Capabilities (EMC) / Electromagnetic Interface (EMI) field. Said Imad Gharib, CPI TMD Technologies Division’s sales manager for RF and microwave amplifiers, ‘’EMV is recognized as the major European exhibition for all those interested in electromagnetic compatibility in all its different configurations – and the show offers CPI the ideal, dedicated platform to present our PTCM Series intelligent instrumentation amplifiers to a wide spectrum of industry professionals.’’
PTCM Series – with single and dual versions
CPI TMD Technologies Division’s PTCM Series products are suitable for both EMC/EMI applications, and also for scientific and medical applications.
The standard, single version of the PTCM Series units operates from DC to 42 GHz, with an output of up to 50 kW. They are of 6U high rack-mounting construction and deliver high field strengths in the test environment. User benefits include self-test, fault diagnosis, and modular plug-and-play printed circuit boards. Built to demanding military standards, the amplifiers offer high MTBF.
The dual version of the PTCM Series operates from 2-18 GHz, and delivers more than 10 kW pulsed and greater than 4 kW CW. This performance is achieved by combining two travelling wave tubes (TWTs) and high-voltage power supplies within one rack-mountable amplifier, thus maintaining a single input and output. CPI TMD Technologies Division offers the PTCM Series modular 6U system in different configurations to meet each customer’s particular requirements.
27 June 22. DoD and NSF Kick-Off Resilient and Intelligent NextG Systems Program. The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced awards for the “Resilient and Intelligent NextG Systems” (RINGS) program on April 18. The RINGS program officially kicks off today. The Department of Defense is pleased to be a part of this unique, collaborative effort to expand public-private partnerships. The RINGS program is NSF’s single most significant effort to date to engage government, academic, and industry partners in a joint research program. This program seeks to accelerate research, drive innovation, and increase the competitiveness of the U.S. in NextG networking and computing technologies. The Innovate Beyond 5G (IB5G) program in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering contributed $6 m towards the total of over $37 m awarded to 41 research projects.
The DoD views this partnership as integral to the larger mission of inviting the academic/non-profit research community to the table. By contributing novel solution concepts that address critical operational priorities and communications challenges, these communities will make their mark on the next generation of network technologies supporting our warfighters today and into the future. Private sector partners in this effort include Apple, Ericsson, Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Nokia, Qualcomm, and VMware.
“The Department of Defense has a vital interest in promoting the continuous adoption and adaptation of advanced wireless technologies as it seeks to integrate these within the evolution of MIL Network concepts,” said Dr. Sumit Roy, Program Director for IB5G. “The 5G-to-NextG initiative is particularly pleased to support efforts such as RINGS that promote public and private sector collaboration in continuing research, development, and prototyping that emphasize secure and resilient network operational concepts and their evaluation.”
RINGS projects will explore multiple aspects of wireless network systems relevant to the DoD, including enhanced software/hardware features for secure operations for client devices, edge network elements, emergent network architectures impacting RAN, and the network core underpinning future agile B5G MIL networks.
The Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (USD(R&E) is the Chief Technology Officer of the Department of Defense. The USD(R&E) champions research, science, technology, engineering, and innovation to maintain the United States military’s technological advantage. Learn more at www.cto.mil, follow us on Twitter @DoDCTO, or visit us on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/company/ousdre. (Source: US DoD)
24 June 22. French navy eyeing US progress in unmanned, ‘data-centric’ operations. The French navy is assessing what it can learn from U.S. advances in “data-centric operations” and cloud technologies, its chief told reporters Friday following a week of travel in the United States.
Adm. Pierre Vandier spoke June 24 at the Washington Navy Yard about the need to be interoperable and interchangeable with the U.S. Navy as they partner in four oceans and all domains.
He said he spent the week in California, with an itinerary designed by U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday to show off future technologies and concepts of operations the French Navy could incorporate into its own modernization plans.
Vandier said he visited destroyer Zumwalt, the unmanned surface vessel squadron, industry in Silicon Valley and more. With European defense budgets back on the rise, he said, he has important decisions to make about the future navy.
“The main advance I think the U.S. has is in IT,” he said. “This is something I think Europe is late on, and we need to make a good choice in the future to be interoperable in managing huge amounts of data.”
He said France will begin using an unmanned vessel later this year for minehunting missions, but has not started working with the kinds of large USVs the Navy is experimenting with. These can operate for weeks or months at a time without human intervention.
France is also looking to unmanned systems as part of its new seabed strategy released in February.
Vandier told Defense News France wants to reconstitute the capability it lost in the 1990s.
“We think that the technology which is now available in industry, and especially in the offshore industry, is able to let us find some objects in the depth to monitor the undersea cables and to see what bad guys are doing in deep areas,” he said. “For the global protection of our [vast exclusive economic zone], of our submarines, this domain is critical.”
Gilday said the French navy participated in U.S. 5th Fleet’s International Maritime Exercise 2022 in February, which focused on incorporating unmanned systems, artificial intelligence and big data into routine naval operations.
He noted Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has urged the U.S. Navy to collaborate with close partners on information-sharing and technology transfer opportunities One good example of that, Gilday added, would be learning to operate the U.S. F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets and the vast quantity of data they collect with the French navy’s fourth-generation Dassault Rafale fighters.
U.S. carriers frequently operate alongside French carrier Charles de Gaulle, and Gilday said the strike groups must ensure they collectively make the most of the data they have access to.
“The cooperation we’ve see across NATO during this Russia-Ukraine crisis and the sharing of information and intelligence from the United States has also given us momentum to break down barriers and trade information and technology with our close partners like the French. We have to” now, Gilday said, before they find themselves in combat together.
“We’re trading information and concepts of operations from the seabed to space so that we can operate more closely together,” he added. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)
23 June 22. HB11 Energy demonstrates nuclear fusion, launches $22m laser project to build sovereign nuclear fusion energy capabilities. Just weeks after demonstrating the world’s fusion reactions by a private company, Sydney-based fusion energy company HB11 Energy will launch a $22 m project to develop the next-generation high-power lasers needed to create a multi-bn-dollar nuclear fusion energy industry in Australia, and export this capability to the world.
The company demonstrated a world-first ‘material’ number of fusion reactions by a private company, producing ten times more fusion reactions than expected based on earlier experiments. HB11 Energy’s world-first results were published earlier this year in the peer-reviewed scientific journal, Applied Sciences, and demonstrate non-thermal fusion of hydrogen and boron-11 using high-power lasers.
This approach was predicted in the 1970’s at UNSW by Australian theoretical physicist and HB11 Energy co-founder, Professor Heinrich Hora, and differs radically from most other fusion efforts to date that require heating of hydrogen isotopes to ms of degrees.
“The demonstration of fusion reactions alone is incredibly exciting,” said Dr Warren McKenzie, founder and managing director of HB11 Energy. “But on top of this, the unexpectedly high number of reactions additionally gives us important information about how to optimise our technology to further increase the fusion energy we can create.”
For nuclear fusion to have commercial applications, it must create a net energy gain whereby the energy output of a reaction significantly exceeds the energy input required to catalyse it. HB11 Energy’s research demonstrated that its hydrogen-boron energy technology is now 4 orders of magnitude away from achieving net energy gain when catalysed by a laser. This is many orders of magnitude higher than those reported by any other fusion company, most of which have not generated any reaction despite bns of dollars invested in the field.
However, the project was undertaken at the LFEX petawatt laser facility at Osaka University in Japan due to the lack of a local high-power laser facility, meaning Australia has a long way to go in creating sovereign capability in this critical industry, according to HB11 Energy.
The company’s $22m laser project forms part of the $50m Defence Trailblazer grant awarded to the Universities of Adelaide and New South Wales under their ‘Concept to Sovereign Capability’ bid. It comprises a $6 m grant and $16m in contributions from partners and is a collaboration involving many of HB11 Energy’s growing list of international academic partners.
“If HB11 Energy’s research program is successful, it will place Australia at the heart of an industry deploying the only truly safe, scalable, and extremely low-cost future energy,” Dr McKenzie said. “On this journey, there is also a new multi-bn-dollar industry to be built in both manufacturing these lasers and developing their applications in industries such as clean energy, health, manufacturing, quantum computing, and many others.
“This Trailblazer grant opens a fantastic opportunity for Australia to lead these new industries and capture new advanced manufacturing opportunities that will grow from them.”
HB11 Energy will assist with the proof-of-concept and development of new petawatt laser technology that is suited to generating hydrogen-boron fusion.
The project supports a key element of HB11 Energy’s technology roadmap towards creating clean, safe, and reliable energy at better prices and in greater abundance than all existing renewable energy sources combined.
Creating this capability on home soil would also re-establish Australia as a leader in fusion technology, after Australian physicist Sir Mark Oliphant first experimentally demonstrated nuclear fusion and contributed to Ernest Rutherford’s work first splitting the atom in 1932.
With HB11 Energy being the only commercial entity to achieve Hydrogen Boron fusion so far, it is now the global frontrunner in the race to commercialise the holy grail of clean energy.
On the back of this result, HB11 has also recruited Ellen Gorissen as General Manager: Commercial, formerly the Investment Director at IP Group and Head of Commercialisation at CSIRO, to run a new Series A funding round. (Source: Rumour Control)
23 June 22. UNSW scientists take key step towards world’s first Quantum computer. A team of quantum computer physicists at UNSW Sydney have engineered a quantum processor at the atomic scale to simulate the behaviour of a small organic molecule, solving a challenge set some 60 years ago by theoretical physicist Richard Feynman.
The achievement, which occurred two years ahead of schedule, represents a major milestone in the race to build the world’s first quantum computer, and demonstrates the team’s ability to control the quantum states of electrons and atoms in silicon at an exquisite level not achieved before. Quantum science is one of the main areas of focus of DST Group’s STaR Shot program and the Next Generation Technologies Fund (NGTF).
The researchers from UNSW spin-off Silicon Quantum Computing (SQC) have mimic-ed the structure and energy states of the organic compound polyacetylene – a repeating chain of carbon and hydrogen atoms distinguished by alternating single and double bonds of carbon.
Lead researcher and former Australian of the Year, Scientia Professor Michelle Simmons, said, “We should have some kind of commercial outcome from our technology five years from now.”
She said the team at SQC built a quantum integrated circuit comprising of a chain of 10 quantum dots to simulate the precise location of atoms in the polyacetylene chain. The research relied on measuring the electric current through the replica of the polyacetylene molecule as each new electron passed from the source outlet of the device to the drain – the other end of the circuit.
To be doubly sure, they simulated two different strands of the polymer chains. Not only did the measurements match the theoretical predictions, they matched perfectly.
“What it’s showing is that you can literally mimic what actually happens in the real molecule,” said Prof. Simmons. “And that’s why it’s exciting because the signatures of the two chains are very different.
“Most of the other quantum computing architectures out there haven’t got the ability to engineer atoms with sub-nanometer precision or allow the atoms to sit that close. And so that means that now we can start to understand more and more complicated molecules based on putting the atoms in place as if they’re mimicking the real physical system.”
A carbon chain of 10 atoms was chosen because that sits within the size limit of what a classical computer is able to compute, with up to 1024 separate interactions of electrons in that system. Increasing it to a 20-dot chain would see the number of possible interactions rise exponentially, making it difficult for a classical computer to solve.
“We’re near the limit of what classical computers can do, so it’s like stepping off the edge into the unknown,” said Prof. Simmons.
“And this is the thing that’s exciting, we can now make bigger devices that are beyond what a classical computer can model. So we can look at molecules that haven’t been simulated before. We’re going to be able to understand the world in a different way, addressing fundamental questions that we’ve never been able to solve before.”
Prof. Simmons said that the development of quantum computers is on a comparable trajectory to how classical computers evolved – from a transistor in 1947 to an integrated circuit in 1958, and then small computing chips that went into commercial products like calculators approximately five years after that.
“And so we’re now replicating that roadmap for quantum computers,” Prof. Simmons says.
“We started with a single atom transistor in 2012. And this latest result, realised in 2021 is the equivalent of the atom-scale quantum integrated circuit, two years ahead of time. If we map it to the evolution of classical computing, we’re predicting we should have some kind of commercial outcome from our technology five years from now.”
One of the advantages that the UNSW/SQC team’s research brings is that the technology is scalable because it manages to use fewer components in the circuit to control the qubits – the basic bits of quantum information.
Looking ahead, Prof. Simmons and her colleagues will explore larger compounds that may have been predicted theoretically, but have never been simulated and fully understood before, such as high temperature superconductors. (Source: Rumour Control)
24 June 22. USAF migrates air tasking software into cloud. The US Air Force (USAF) and BAE Systems have successfully migrated the air service’s premier planning and tasking software for mobility operations into a cloud computing environment, marking one of the first mission-critical air force programmes to be transitioned into the cloud. The Mobility Air Forces Automated Flight Planning Service (MAFPS) is the primary air planning tool used by Air Mobility Command (AMC) to support air tasking orders (ATO) for air refuelling and material transport operations across the globe. The primary users of the MAFPS programme are airmen assigned to the AMC’s 618th Air Operation Center (AOC) at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois, as well as the 603rd AOC at US Air Forces in Europe and the 608th AOC headquartered at US Pacific Air Forces. (Source: Google/Reuters)
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Oxley specialises in the design and manufacture of advanced electronic and electro-optic components and systems for air, land and sea applications within the military sector. Established in 1942, Oxley has manufacturing facilities in the UK and USA and enjoys representation worldwide. The company’s products include night vision and LED lighting, data capture systems and electronic components. Oxley has pioneered the development of night vision compatible lighting. It offers a total package incorporating optical filters, equipment modification, cockpit and external lighting along with fleet wide upgrade services including engineering, installation, support, maintenance and training. The company’s long experience of manufacturing night vision lighting and LED indicators, coupled with advances in LED technology, has enabled it to develop LED solutions to replace incandescent and fluorescent lighting in existing applications as well as becoming the lighting option of choice in new applications such as portable military hospitals, UAV control stations and communication shelters.