7 septembre 2018 | International, Terrestre

Can soldiers use their own movement, marching to charge the batteries they carry? The Army’s working on it


Scientists with the Army’s communications and electronic research group are looking to the soldier’s own footsteps, and other means, to potentially increase battery life and lighten the load for increasingly tech-laden troops.

Army researchers are forecasting that the battery load for a dismounted soldier could double by 2025, given the need for more sophisticated and powerful electronic systems being used by soldiers.

That load currently runs from 15 to 25 pounds for a three-day mission, no small amount when every ounce counts, and soldiers will strip rations and cut a toothbrush handle to save weight.

New battery and power requirements could come from augmented reality equipment and the more sophisticated Next Generation Squad Weapon program, which will add new targeting capabilities to the soldier’s rifle but also need power that’s not there now.

Julianne Douglas, the Energy Harvest lead with the Army’s Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center said in an Army release that the “added weight means soldiers can get fatigued much more easily, are more susceptible to injury and are less able to maneuver nimbly.”

Full article: https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2018/09/06/can-soldiers-use-their-own-movement-marching-to-charge-the-batteries-they-carry-the-armys-working-on-it

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  • China’s missile and space tech is creating a defensive bubble difficult to penetrate

    2 juin 2020 | International, Aérospatial

    China’s missile and space tech is creating a defensive bubble difficult to penetrate

    By: Mike Yeo  MELBOURNE, Australia — The U.S. Navy is facing growing asymmetric threats, not least of which is from China, and more specifically its anti-access/area denial strategy. The Pentagon’s annual report on China’ military strength from 2019 describes the A2/AD strategy as a means to “dissuade, deter, or, if required, defeat third-party intervention against a large-scale, theater-wide campaign” mounted by China’s People’s Liberation Army, or PLA. In short, it appears Beijing’s aim is to prevent American and allied military forces from operating freely in the A2/AD airspace and maritime “bubble” around China’s coastline. China has in recent years worked to extend the range of this bubble beyond the so-called first island chain and into the Western Pacific. The key to this effort is not just longer-range missiles, but also a growing number of space-based sensors. The U.S.-based Union of Concerned Scientists reported that as of 2016, China had 192 satellites in orbit, a number that has since increased, with nearly all of these belonging to organizations or companies with close ties to the government and having dual roles to for civilian and military use. Some of China’s satellites include several payloads that are almost certainly for military purposes, such as electro-optical sensors, synthetic aperture radar and electronic intelligence technology. The country also uses a constellation of Naval Ocean Surveillance System satellites providing persistent coverage of water surrounding China. These capabilities can also support targeting for China’s anti-ship ballistic missiles, and with sufficient numbers and integration, they could provide real-time target triangulation data to build up a robust picture of a target’s location to ultimately generate a targeting approach. 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  • Army Researchers Develop Breakthrough Sensors For Small Drones

    27 août 2020 | International, Aérospatial

    Army Researchers Develop Breakthrough Sensors For Small Drones

    Imagine asmall aerial drone navigating a field with electrical power lines. How will it see them? More importantly how will it avoid this significant obstacle in its flight path? At the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command’s Army Research Laboratory, researchers developed a novel sensor and software application to detect and avoid energized power lines in the vicinity of unmanned aerial system, or UAS. The goal is to provide autonomous systems sufficient time and distance to react, avoid wires and navigate follow-on maneuvers. Army researcher David Hull developed the innovative approach using a unique configuration of field and 3-D sensors, in conjunction with low-power processing methods. This resulted in detecting power lines and informing the device’s autopilot to prevent collision with the wires. This method allows UAS equipped with these to use smaller, lower power and lower cost sensors to detect the location and Poynting vector (i.e. the directional energy flux density) of nearby power lines. This allows the UAS to autonomously avoid or navigate alongside the detected power lines. While existing wire-detection and wire-avoidance technologies that use radar and/or optical sensors have had commercial success, they are known to be expensive, bulky, and power-intensive with technical limitations. The detection algorithm developed at the lab will result in size, weight, power and cost reduction. By combining both sensing modalities in one sensor, Army researchers estimated the direction of power flow, something no traditional sensor can do, Hull said. The lab recently announced a patent license agreement with Manifold Robotics, a startup company based in New York, who will produce the new technology for drone-based commercial applications. Engineers and drone experts at Manifold Robotics said they intend to create a drone-based system that will detect power lines at a distance and determine their precise location to enable safe navigation. They said this will overcome the factors that limit the efficacy of drones in the vicinity of power lines and unleash their full potential for autonomous power line inspection as well as other Beyond Visual Line of Sight operations. From a military perspective, UASs are increasingly used by Soldiers for a variety of missions. In many cases, these drones must successfully operate in urban environments with a high number of power lines in and around the area. The development goal is to see significant improvement in the safe usage of aerial drones in close proximity to power lines and power grids. Researchers said they believe the licensed Army technologies will enable commercial and military drones to detect power lines at a greater distance. Additionally, the technology is expected to accelerate the development of drone applications such as power line inspection systems and freight delivery drones. https://uasweekly.com/2020/08/25/army-researchers-develop-breakthrough-sensors-for-small-drones/

  • L3 awarded $73.7M for Navy submarine photonics mast programs

    26 juin 2019 | International, Naval

    L3 awarded $73.7M for Navy submarine photonics mast programs

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