Aerospace & Defense


Will Artificial Intelligence Be Disruptive to Our Way of War?

#artificialintelligence

Meanwhile, many Chinese strategists recognize the trend towards unmanned and autonomous warfare and intend to capitalize upon it. The PLA has incorporated a range of unmanned aerial vehicles into its force structure throughout all of its services. The PLA Air Force and PLA Navy have also started to introduce more advanced multi-mission unmanned aerial vehicles. It is clear that China is intensifying the military applications of Artificial Intelligence and, as we heard at a recent hearing by the Senate's U.S. – China Economic and Security Review Commission (where CNA's China Studies Division also testified), the Chinese defense industry has made significant progress in its research and development of a range of cutting-edge unmanned systems, including those with swarming capabilities.


Reliable Perching Makes Fixed-Wing UAVs Much More Useful

IEEE Spectrum Robotics Channel

Dino Mehanovic, John Bass, Thomas Courteau, David Rancourt, and Alexis Lussier Desbiens from the University of Sherbrooke realized that perching with a fixed-wing aircraft doesn't need to involve a stall to achieve that vertical and ultra low-speed approach, as long as you can maintain control over the aircraft. We are thinking about various failure causes (unsuitable states during the approach, smooth surface for the microspines) and failure detection timing (before touchdown, at touchdown and after touchdown). You also have to consider numerous factors that are sometime hard to quantify: efficiency of gears, reuse of some components between flight and climbing, transition time, propeller size, operating away from the design point, battery size, etc. Autonomous Thrust-Assisted Perching of a Fixed-Wing UAV on Vertical Surfaces, by Dino Mehanovic, John Bass, Thomas Courteau, David Rancourt, and Alexis Lussier Desbiens from the University of Sherbrooke in Canada, was presented at the 2017 Living Machines Conference at Stanford, where it won a Best Paper award.


BAE systems releases images of driverless mini-tanks

Daily Mail

BAE Systems said its vision of future warfare sees full-size autonomous tanks supported by'fleets of smaller autonomous air and ground vehicles' which create a defensive perimeter. The tanks manoeuvre using rubber caterpillar tracks and BAE systems aims to make them completely autonomous in future, meaning they operate without a human controller. In future they could be equipped with autonomous'friend or foe' tracking software, allowing them to work unmanned The vehicles have an armoured hull that protects them against blast and small arms fire. BAE systems' vision (pictured) sees full-size tanks supported by'fleets of smaller autonomous air and ground vehicles' which create a defensive perimeter (yellow line) around the tank and human troops.


Facebook reveals map showing where EVERY human on the planet lives

#artificialintelligence

'We then combined our results with existing census counts and created a population data set with 5-meter resolution for 20 countries. The revolutionary craft has completed its second test flight as Facebook works on its plan to use to beam the internet to people in remote areas with no mobile network coverage. New'Flip-flop' design makes quantum computers more affordable'Fortunately, we have developed other technologies like Aquila that will connect people as well. New'Flip-flop' design makes quantum computers more affordable Facebook added hundreds of sensors to the aircraft to understand how Aquila's shape responds to flight in real-time for the flight, including hundreds of strain gauges and three-axis inertial measurement units (IMUs.)


Airbus' Perlan 2 aircraft sets a new world altitude record

Daily Mail

Ed Warnock, CEO of the Perlan Project, said: 'We are celebrating an amazing victory for aerospace innovation and scientific discovery today, and we're so thankful to all the volunteers and sponsors whose years of tireless dedication have made this achievement possible. And while the Perlan 2 didn't quite reach those heights, it smashed the previous world gliding altitude record of 50,671 feet, set in 2006 by Steve Fossett and Perlan Project founder Einar Enevoldson in the unpressurised Perlan 1 glider. NASA's Voyager spacecraft reaches 40 year anniversary Prince Jackson says his dad's Thriller video scared him'We'll celebrate next week': Prince William on royal baby news The record-breaking flight took place on Sunday, with Airbus' Perlan 2 setting off from El Calafate in Argentina, and flying over the stunning region Ed Warnock, CEO of the Perlan Project, said: 'We are celebrating an amazing victory for aerospace innovation and scientific discovery today, and we're so thankful to all the volunteers and sponsors whose years of tireless dedication have made this achievement possible. Following the completion of the mountain-wave gliding season in Argentina, the Perlan 2 will return to Minden, Nevada, where the all-volunteer team will modify and enhance the glider based on information acquired in this year's test flights Tom Enders, CEO of Airbus, said: 'Perlan's outstanding aviation success is the result of bold thinking.


Robots could soon fly using Iron Man-style jet packs

Daily Mail

Mr Browning's suit combines body mounted miniaturised jet-engines, with a specially designed exo-skeletal suit, allowing the pilot to vertically take off and fly using the human body to control the flight. Four arm-mounted gas turbine engines and two hip-mounted gas turbine engines provide enough lift to enable a person capable of holding their body weight for long periods of time to fly. The technology combines body mounted miniaturised jet-engines, with a specially designed exo-skeletal suit, allowing the pilot to vertically take off and fly using the human body to control the flight. Four arm-mounted gas turbine engines and two hip-mounted gas turbine engines provide enough lift to enable a person capable of holding their body weight for long periods of time to fly.


SpaceX's Falcon Heavy Rocket Has Completed First Stage Testing For November Launch

International Business Times

The first stage of the Falcon Heavy is made up of three cores that have 27 engines and can create 5.1 million pounds of thrust at liftoff. There are several Falcon Heavy launches on SpaceX's launch manifest for future missions but no dates listed yet. A flight animation of the rocket in use shows the three cores returning to Earth and landing upright, like the Falcon 9 rockets land currently. For all the attempts the Falcon 9 rocket made at landing upright either on one of the company's autonomous drone ships or on land there were certainly times that it did not end in cheers from the control room.


Facebook map shows where EVERY human on the planet lives

Daily Mail

Shocking dashcam video of cop saying'we only shoot black people' 'Our data showed the best way to connect cities is an internet in the sky,' Lewis told the conference, according to CNBC. The revolutionary craft has completed its second test flight as Facebook works on its plan to use to beam the internet to people in remote areas with no mobile network coverage. Shocking dashcam video of cop saying'we only shoot black people' 'Fortunately, we have developed other technologies like Aquila that will connect people as well. Shocking dashcam video of cop saying'we only shoot black people' Facebook added hundreds of sensors to the aircraft to understand how Aquila's shape responds to flight in real-time for the flight, including hundreds of strain gauges and three-axis inertial measurement units (IMUs.)


High-Res Satellites Want to Track Human Activity From Space

WIRED

Hundreds of miles above the crowd, high-resolution satellites stared down, snapping images of the sprawl. The leading smallsat imaging company, Planet, prides itself on capturing the globe's full landmass every day, mostly at around four meters of resolution--so a Pontiac shows up as about a pixel. Planet has around a hundred satellites in orbit, and the smallsat industry at large is out to launch thousands more in the next decade, filling low-Earth orbit and staring down at the world with a gaze of increasing intensity. According to the latest Satellite-Based Earth Observation report from Northern Sky Research, an industry analysis group, the satisfied urge to merge gives MDA/DigitalGlobe command over the Earth observation stage.


Is 'killer robot' warfare closer than we think?

BBC News

The company did not respond to repeated requests by the BBC for an interview, but according to Russia's state-run Tass news agency it uses "neural network technologies that enable it to identify targets and make decisions". "If weapons are using neural networks and advanced artificial intelligence then we wouldn't necessarily know the basis on which they made the decision to attack - and that's very dangerous," says Andrew Nanson, chief technology officer at defence specialist Ultra Electronics. Automated defence systems can already make decisions based on an analysis of a threat - the shape, size, speed and trajectory of an incoming missile, for example - and choose an appropriate response much faster than humans can. And Samsung's SGR-A1 sentry gun, capable of firing autonomously, has been deployed along the South Korean side of the Korean Demilitarised Zone.