Tag Archives | DARPA

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Photo oddity: Global Hawks go biplane

Our colleague Zach Rosenberg filed on the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s completion of a flight test programme intended to prove the viability of autonomous high-altitude refuelling involving unmanned air vehicles. Performed using a pair of NASA-owned Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawks, the activity showed that refuelling could have been successfully conducted during 60% […]

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UCAR lives, but aircraft switch sides

In the defense industry, stuff goes around, comes around, then switches sides. Last August, the US Navy rejected Northrop Grumman’s bid based on the MQ-8B Fire Scout for a contract to demonstrate autonomous resupply. Compared to the winning bidders — Boeing A160 Hummingbird and Kaman/Lockheed Martin K-MAX — the Fire Scout lacked cargo-carrying capacity. Almost […]

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DARPA calls for an unmanned A-10 — literally, perhaps

Since the moment on November 4, 2002, when a Hellfire-armed MQ-1 Predator whacked a car full of terrorists in Yemen, the idea was planted. It wouldn’t be long before armed, remotely piloted aircraft would be doing more than striking high value targets. They would be hovering somewhere over a gunfight, backing up the good guys […]

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AUVSI: USN, USAF may revive UCAV partnership 3 years after J-UCAS

DARPA’s joint unmanned combat air systems (J-UCAS), with the Boeing X-45 for the US Air Force and the Northrop Grumman X-47B for the US Navy, died in 2005. The USAF kept the program on life support for one year, but the USN split off to launch a carrier-landing demonstration program (UCAS-D), eventually re-selecting the X-47B […]

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Lockheed Martin to build the mother of all airborne radars [UPDATED W/PHOTO]

Source: Skunk Works Lockheed Martin will build a demonstrator airship with a massive radar system called the Integrated Sensor is Structure (ISIS) under a $400 million contract awarded today by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.While I write the rest of the news story, please peruse the ISIS program overview that DARPA provided to […]

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Breaking: Bush’s DARPA chief announces “it’s over”

Eight-year DARPA Director Tony Tether announced his relatively unexpected resignation by email today. As his widely distributed note suggests, Tether also believed the conventional wisdom that he would remain in office until his successor arrived. It appears that Tether doesn’t appreciate how he was informed. Here’s the email: Subject: The Time to Go has Been […]

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2008 in review: Top 5 news

1. KC-Xcontract overturned – It embarrassed the US Air Force, embittered Europeanindustrialists and empowered Boeing. On 18 June, the Government AccountabilityOffice sustained Boeing’s protest, nullifying the second deal to recapitalizethe tanker fleet and the first requiring translation into French and German. 2. USAFleadership ousted – On 9 June, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates went nuclearon […]

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DARPA’s submersible aircraft explained

Alert to DARPA fans: hold your cursor over this link for a few seconds. The agency’s recent briefing on the submersible aircraft concept should pop up. (You can also read it here and read about it here.) Talk about a “DARPA-hard” challenge. Here’s a sample from the brief:  

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Mach 6 HyFly wants to make 3X the charm

The first test in September 2007 was mostly scratched by a software glitch unrelated to the engine. The second test in January 2008 was mostly a failure because of a fuel system malfunction, also unrelated to the engine. For the HyFly program, it was the worst possible outcome: two tests and still no data to […]

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Can you beat Chloe’s nose? (DARPA wants to know)

This is Chloe. She’s a dog. She’s actually not my dog, but my co-worker’s. Isn’t she cute? Anyway, DARPA  wants to develop a nose just like hers, mucous membrane and all. The so-called “RealNose Effort” was opened to competition yesterday, and asks contractors to “build a ‘nose’ constructed from actual olfactory receptors that furtherleverages the […]

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