Aerospace & Defense


The 'R2D2' bot set to mine the moon to win $20M X-Prize

Daily Mail

At first glance, it looks like R2D2 haas finally been blasted in space. But in fact, the MX-1E from Moon Express could revolutionise space exploration - and pave the way to mine the moon. The privately owned, Cape Canaveral based Moon Express hopes to take America back to the moon 45 years after NASA's last lunar landing, and this week the rocket that could take it there began its final testing. The initial spacecraft, known as MX-1E,is a similar size and shape to the R2D2 droid from Star Wars, and is slated to fly before next year aboard a Rocket Lab Electron booster, which launches from New Zealand. Ultimately the company plans to establish a lunar outpost in 2020 and set up commercial operations on the Moon, mining material and returning it to Earth to sell.


Airbus is ready to test its self-flying taxi

Engadget

We've covered Airbus's Vahana project, which is the aeronautical company's endeavor to build a self-flying taxi network, in detail before. Now, it looks as though Airbus has reached a major milestone. The company is ready to test its Vahana flying car after moving it from the company's headquarters to a dedicated hangar in Pendleton, Oregon, as the Vahana team details in a blog post. Preparing the aircraft for shipment meant disassembling it and loading it into a truck. Once it arrived in Pendleton, the team took Vahana's landing gear and towing provisions on its first real-world test.


Who's afraid of the A.I. wolf?

#artificialintelligence

Imagine this scenario: Economic and military pressures drive the rapid development of artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Despite engineers' good intentions, machines advance toward a fully autonomous existence. Panicked, humans try to reverse course, but it's too late. A military drone makes a conscious decision to kill on its own terms. AI is now self-aware, and continues to learn and evolve at an unprecedented rate.


New Northrop Grumman drones to begin taking over 50-year-old Navy ocean surveillance plane mission

Los Angeles Times

A high-flying drone equipped with surveillance sensors and a wingspan longer than that of a Boeing 737 will be the newest way for the U.S. Navy to monitor the seas. The first operational MQ-4C Triton drone will be delivered by Northrop Grumman Corp. to the Navy within the next week at Point Mugu Naval Air Station near Oxnard, with a second drone to follow by the end of the year. The two drones will undergo testing at Point Mugu before being deployed to Guam next year. The program has strong California roots -- engineering and design is done in Rancho Bernardo, and the drone is assembled in Palmdale. During low-rate initial production, that line will churn out three Tritons a year.


Take a holiday on the 'flying bum'

Daily Mail

It has been dubbed'the flying bum' - and could soon be taking holidaymakers for an'air cruise' around the world's most picturesque areas. The 20-tonne Airlander 10 is set to be tested by luxury travel firm Henry Cookson Adventures next year. It says it hopes to take the craft wherever clients want to go, promising passengers will'experience landscapes that vary as diversely as the North Pole, Bolivian Salt Pans and Namib Desert'. The 20-tonne Airlander 10 is set to be tested by luxury travel firm Henry Cookson Adventures next year, and will be fitted with a luxury interior meaning it can stay aloft for weeks at a time. Airlander is the largest aircraft in the world, bigger even than the Airbus A380 - but would be dwarfed by the historic zeppelins developed in Germany during the 1930s.


Pentagon is developing drone swarms of over 250 robots

Daily Mail

DARPA is looking to develop robotic swarms that can assist troops from the ground and skies, with hundreds of drones all working together. The Pentagon's research branch has revealed its Offensive Swarm-Enabled Tactics (OFFSET) program is seeking ideas for new systems that could allow for'human-swarm teaming.' The program has awarded contracts to teams from Raytheon and Northrop Grumman to design, develop, and deploy the technology in physical and virtual environments – and eventually, they're hoping to create swarms of over 250 robots. The Pentagon's research branch has revealed its Offensive Swarm-Enabled Tactics (OFFSET) program is seeking ideas for new systems that could allow for'human-swarm teaming' in cities High-tech weapons that the Secret Service is not trained to cope with pose a'grave threat' to the White House, a former agent has warned. Swarms of weaponized drones or even 3D printed plastic guns could be used to launch unforeseen attacks on the president, according to Dan Bongino, author of Protecting the President.


Lockheed joins Boeing and General Dynamics in betting on ocean drones

Los Angeles Times

Lockheed Martin's interest in a San Diego start-up shows how big aerospace companies are pushing the drone revolution out to sea. Lockheed Martin Ventures last month invested an undisclosed amount in San Diego-based Ocean Aero -- a 25-employee start-up that is developing the Submaran, a solar- and wind-powered ocean drone capable of operating above and below the surface. "The ability to be environmentally powered allows us to maneuver at great persistence because it's renewable," said Eric Patten, chief executive of Ocean Aero and a former Navy officer. "And then to be able to transition that vehicle from the surface to a sub-surface vehicle that has significant capability under water, that is truly unique." Lockheed Martin Venture typically invests $1 million to $5 million in young companies.


Deep Learning for industrial Prognostics & Health Management (PHM)

#artificialintelligence

Implementation and Results Introduction Conclusion References Deep Auto-Encoders • 4xNvidia K40 GPUs with with 2880 cores and 12 GB device RAM each in Ubuntu OS workstation •Theano based toolchain for Deep Learning • Nvidia K40 with 12 GB device RAM - driving factor for large dataset inhalation, caching and computation - especially the pre-training stage for DBNs Email:{venugov, gierinmj, reddykk}@utrc.utc.com Deep Belief Nets Layer 1 Layer 2 Bottleneck layer Input layer W2 T Layer 1 Layer 2 RBM RBM RBM Recursive pre-training W1 T W3 T • Successful adoption of Deep Learning methodologies to UTC applications in aerospace and building systems as shown in the timeline. Offers customized support agreements to help operators achieve optimal aircraft utilization. Products range from single actuators to complete flight control systems for the fixed wing, rotorcraft and missile segments as well as fly-by-wire cockpit controls, cabin equipment, trimmable horizontal stabilizer actuators and ...


Cave discovered on the Moon raises hope for human colonization

FOX News

Space luminaries such as Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos have talked about building bases on the Moon to let humans live, work and play on the lunar surface. A new discovery, however, may bring that dream to reality sooner than realized. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has discovered an enormous cave under the lunar surface, something it calls a "very significant" discovery, due to its value for both science and human expansion into space. The discovery was made by Japan's Selenological and Engineering Explorer (Selene) probe and shows a 50 kilometer (31 miles) "lava tube" underground, alongside a lava flow river "rille" on the Marius Hills of the Moon. JAXA used radio waves to confirm the existence of the cave after examining the hole.


Boeing invests in autonomous flight tech provider

Daily Mail

Boeing Co said on Thursday it invested in Near Earth Autonomy, a Pittsburgh-based firm that develops technologies enabling autonomous flight such as drones. In addition to the undisclosed investment, Boeing said the two companies will also explore products and applications for emerging markets such as urban mobility. It was the first investment in autonomous technologies by Boeing's venture capital arm, Boeing HorizonX, since it was established in April of this year, Boeing said. Near Earth Autonomy, a spin-off from the Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute, develops technologies including sensor suites, three dimensional mapping and survey, and collision detection and avoidance that enables aircraft to operate autonomously. Near Earth Autonomy, a spin-off from the Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute, develops technologies including sensor suites, three dimensional mapping and survey, and collision detection and avoidance that enables aircraft to operate autonomously.