Military


DJI: U.S. Army Won't Say Why It Banned Our Drones, Products

International Business Times

The memo cited a classified report, "DJI UAS Technology Threat and User Vulnerabilities," and a U.S. Navy memo, "Operational Risks with Regards to DJI Family of Products." The rule also applies to other items from the company, including flight computers, cameras, radios, batteries, speed controllers, GPS units, handheld control stations, and devices with DJI software applications installed. "We can confirm that guidance was issued," the U.S. Army told International Business Times on Tuesday, "however, we are currently reviewing the guidance and cannot comment further at this time." Others have expressed privacy concerns regarding data collection, as reports claimed DJI shared information with Chinese authorities, a claim the company has disputed.


U.S. Army Orders Units To Stop Using DJI Drones Over Concerns

International Business Times

The Army Aviation Engineering Directorate has issued over 300 separate Airworthiness Releases for DJI products in support of multiple organisations with a variety of mission sets. The Army ordered its units to halt the use of DJI products, including all of the company's unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). The Department of the Army memo even reports that they have'issued over 300 separate Airworthiness Releases for DJI products in support of multiple organizations with a variety of mission sets.' Others have expressed privacy concerns regarding data collection, as reports claimed DJI shared information with Chinese authorities.


US Military: DARPA Grants $65 Million To Connect Human Brains With Digital Devices

International Business Times

A U.S. Military DARPA program is putting $65 million into the creation of an implantable device that will provide data-transfer between human brains and the digital world. The program seeks to heighten hearing, sight and other sensory perception as well as creating a digital brain implant to relay neuron transmissions directly to digital devices. DARPA's research team acknowledged that creating an interface and communicating with the signals of one million neurons "sounds lofty," but Alveda says their research will only map out a foundation for more complex research in the future. But if we're successful in delivering rich sensory signals directly to the brain, NESD will lay a broad foundation for new neurological therapies."


US Fighter Jet Downs Iranian Drone In Syria, Second Pro-Regime Aircraft Shot Down In 3 Days

International Business Times

"The armed pro-regime Shaheed-129 UAV was shot down by a U.S. F-15E Strike Eagle at approximately 12:30 a.m. Carla Babb, the Pentagon correspondent for Voice of America (VOA) tweeted Tuesday saying the sources have confirmed that the Iranian-made drone shot down by the U.S. fighter jet was being operated by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps. The Russian Defense Ministry said Tuesday it would exert new control over the skies of western Syria in response to the downing of a Syrian fighter jet by the U.S. Air Force on Sunday, reports said. "From now on, in areas where Russian aviation performs combat missions in the skies of Syria, any airborne objects found west of the Euphrates River, including aircraft and unmanned vehicles belonging to the international coalition, tracked by means of Russian land and air anti-aircraft defense, will be considered air targets," CNN reported citing the Defense Ministry statement. The U.S. military has established a roughly 50-kilometer "deconfliction" ring around al-Tanf and has warned the pro-Assad forces -- through a Russian deconfliction channel -- that movement within the zone could be considered hostile and the Iranian drone was outside that deconfliction area when it was shot down, the Washington Post reported citing a U.S. defense official.


To Protect AI, Machine Learning Avances, US Wants To Chinese Investment Over Military Fears

International Business Times

Reuters reported Wednesday U.S. officials are concerned such cutting-edge technologies as artificial intelligence and machine learning could be used by the Chinese to augment their military capabilities and achieve greater advancements in strategic industries. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are seen as key components of the military drone program, which is an integral part of the fight against the Islamic State group. Reuters said it had reviewed a Pentagon report that warns China is avoiding U.S. oversight and gaining access to sensitive technology as the debate continues on strengthening the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which reviews foreign acquisitions of U.S. companies based on national security considerations. An aide to Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, told Reuters the lawmaker is working on legislation that would give the committee, which is composed by representatives from the departments of Treasury, Defense, Justice, Homeland Security, Commerce, State and Energy, more authority to block some technology investments.


THAAD Site Under Threat By North Korea? South Korea Accuses Pyongyang Of Spying Using Drone In Seongju Region

International Business Times

The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system, which is designed to intercept and destroy ballistic missiles, is being deployed in Seongju in order to protect South Korea from Pyongyang's growing threats. "It was confirmed that (the craft) took photos of the THAAD site in Seongju," a South Korean defense official told reporters, adding that the distance between the border and the zone in North Gyeongsang Province is around 168 miles. A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor is launched during a successful intercept test, in this undated handout photo provided by the U.S. Department of Defense, Missile Defense Agency. "The THAAD defensive missile system is critical to protecting South Koreans from Kim Jong Un's arsenal," U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce said in a statement last week.


Humans Brains Could Be Connected To Computers If Elon Musk's Neuralink Is Approved

International Business Times

In March, Musk launched Neuralink, a medical research company that creates brain-computer interfaces (BCIs). A few weeks after Musk announced Neuralink, Facebook said it was developing a way for people to "type" by thought. Last year the U.S. military's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced a $60 million program to develop an implantable neural interface. DARPA's goal is to develop a device that can record 1 million neurons simultaneously and stimulate at least 100,000 in the brain.


How Robotics Is Helping Military Veterans With Prosthetics

International Business Times

Today, it is ironic to consider a company that specializes in prosthetic limbs building parts for the war machine that unfortunately increases demand on companies making prosthetic limbs. Indeed, the tragedy of war has pushed prosthetics researchers to work ever harder to help service members and veterans who have lost limbs. As a biomedical engineer specializing in prosthetics, I've reviewed grant proposals seeking funding from the VA to research prosthetic limbs for several years. Veterans Administration Rehabilitation Research and Development funds were used to develop the Seattle Foot.


Who is Abdul Hasib? Afghan ISIS Leader Killed In Special Forces Operation

International Business Times

Hasib, who had been leading the faction since predecessor Hafiz Saeed Khan died in a U.S. drone strike last year, was believed the architect of several high-profile attacks, including a March 8 attack on Kabul's main military hospital that left dozens of medical staff and patients dead. Two U.S. Army Rangers also died in the attack that killed Hasib, part of an operation that included drone strikes that began in March along the border with Pakistan. The April 27 raid killed 35 ISIS fighters, including several high-ranking commanders. "This successful joint operation is another important step in our relentless campaign to defeat ISIS-K [Islamic State Khorasan] in 2017," the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Nicholson said in a statement from U.S. military headquarters in Kabul.


US Coast Guard Plans To Use Voice Recognition To Stop Prank Calls

International Business Times

In response to the pranks, which have been happening nearly every day in recent months, the Coast Guard is planning to adopt voice recognition software to identify the phony callers. While these challenges make it hard to eliminate fake callers, voice recognition may be able to catch the pranksters as the Coast Guard believes most of the calls originate from a small number of callers. It's not entirely clear if the Coast Guard's adoption of voice recognition technology will provide any relief from the pranksters; many software systems record an extended conversation -- up to 40 seconds of talking -- to ID a voice accurately, and callers can potentially thwart the system just by disguising how they talk. The voice recognition software likely wouldn't give the Coast Guard what it needs to make such an arrest or obtain a warrant but would be a solution that would mitigate the damage of the calls without leading to jail time for the callers.