GPS 3 is the future of navigation, and it’s set to roll out in 2023

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Lockheed Martin GPS III

Since 1993, the US Air Force has made its Global Positioning System (GPS) available to the world, and ever since then that technology has found its way into many facets of our everyday lives. It’s in our cars, in our phones, and even in our watches. It’s not surprising then that the United States continues to invest in the development of the technology for both civilian and military use — and that investment is beginning to pay off.

With two satellites in orbit and eight more in various stages of development, the latest iteration, GPS III, already is in the process of being deployed. Here’s what you can expect when the next generation of GPS goes fully operational in 2023.

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The U.S. military is buying a $130 million laser weapon

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A team of Lockheed Martin and Dynetics engineers just won a $130 million contract to provide a 100-kilowatt laser weapon for the U.S. Army.

The High Energy Laser Tactical Vehicle Demonstrator — evocatively abbreviated HEL TVD — laser system is slated to be tested at a missile range in New Mexico in 2022, Defense News reports.

“High energy laser weapons have been a system that the United States has wanted to add into their defense portfolio since the invention of the laser,” said senior VP of contracts at Dynetics Ronnie Chronister in a press release.

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This attack helicopter can launch drones from midair


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Twin Attack Helicopter

American aerospace manufacturer MD Helicopters just announced details of its upcoming MD 969 Twin Attack Helicopter at a military trade show in Nashville, Tennessee.

In the rear of the fuselage of the helicopter, The Drive reports, a munitions guiding system pops out to deploy seven payloads ranging from powered missiles to small drones that could carry out their own missions independently from the copter.

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The Weaponization of the electromagnetic spectrum

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The information age is evolving the very nature of warfare. Today, each nation increasingly depends on closely integrated, high-speed electronic systems across cyberspace, geospace, and space (CGS). But, it’s a cause of great concern if an enemy can easily use a weapon like a small, inexpensive EMP device. An EMP weapon can deny any individual or entity across a nation the ability to use electromagnetic waves for their digital infrastructure and digital connectivity, e.g. radio, infrared, and radar. Moreover, a nuclear blast can also trigger an EMP effect, as can a solar storm. Individually and collectively, this emerging reality understandably changes the nature of warfare, the focus of the war, and the target of warfare, shaking up the very foundation of security.

Electronic warfare is on our doorstep, and no nation seems to be fully prepared. Since electronic warfare appears to already be on our doorstep, in order to meet the complex EMP warfare challenges that are seriously threatening the very progress and advances nations have made in CGS, it is essential to evaluate how prepared each nation is today in their defensive as well as offensive capabilities. How are nations addressing the security challenges to their CGS?

The weaponization of the electromagnetic spectrum is becoming a reality. Acknowledging this emerging reality, Risk Group initiated a much-needed discussion on Electromagnetic Warfare with Colonel Avraham Cohen, Head of National Security Cyber Research Group and the Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Sphere-SOC based in Israel on Risk Roundup.

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Disposable delivery drones pass test with US Marines

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The one-time use drones can carry more than 1,000 pounds of supplies.

The US military is testing delivery drones that can transport supplies over long distances and be thrown away after each use. Made of cheap plywood, the bigger version of the two gliders being tested can carry over 700 kilograms, or roughly 1800 pounds. As reported in IEE Spectrum, the scientists at Logistic Gliders, Inc. revealed that their gliders just successfully completed a series of tests with US Marines. If cleared for mass production, the LG-1K and its bigger counterpart, the LG-2K, could cost as little as a few hundred dollars each.

Using unmanned aircraft for delivery is an idea both the military and private sector have explored for years. Traditional aircraft guzzle fuel, cost money to purchase and maintain and require a human pilot. An unmanned aerial device doesn’t require any of these things. Companies like Amazon flirted with the idea of using drones to speed up package delivery, but couldn’t overcome logistical hurdles. While far away from being suitable for civilian use, these latest delivery gliders may be a step in the right direction.

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Russia is planning a “ground force” of armed military robots

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WAR MACHINE

BattleBots

The Russian military’s research division is working to develop ground-based, combat-ready robots to assist its infantry.

The heavily-armed robots, first displayed in a state-produced video last month, resemble miniature tanks that can be deployed alongside infantry or swarms of quadrotor drones — either of which, according to C4ISRNET, can send targeting information back to the killer robot.

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The U.S. Army is using virtual reality combat to train soldiers

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War Games

The virtual battlefield can simulate millions of “intelligent entities.”

The U.S. military has constructed a massive virtual reality platform to help train infantry soldiers in realistic battlefields filled with millions of artificial intelligence agents.

Futurism first reported on the Synthetic Training Environment (STE) back in April, when the U.S. Army published a whitepaper describing its ability to simulate real cities in the U.S. and North Korea.

Now software developers who contributed to the VR platform opened up about their work in an interview with Digital Trends, describing how virtual reality can help the U.S. train a more combat-ready and versatile military.

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Eye-tracking tech lets you control a drone by looking where you want it to move

There are all manner of weird and wonderful control systems being invented to help drone pilots guide their unmanned aerial vehicles through the skies. One that sounds pretty intuitive, though, is laid out in a new piece of research from engineers at New York University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory. They have invented a method to allow drone pilots to fly using a pair of eye-tracking glasses. What could be simpler?

“This solution provides the opportunity to create new, non-invasive forms of interactions between a human and robots allowing the human to send new 3D-navigation waypoints to the robot in an uninstrumented environment,” Dr. Giuseppe Loianno, assistant professor at New York University and Director of the Agile Robotics and Perception Lab, told Digital Trends. “The user can control the drone just pointing at a spatial location using his gaze, which is distinct from the head orientation in our case.”

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North, South Korea begin removing landmines along fortified border

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SEOUL (Reuters) – Troops from North and South Korea began removing some landmines along their heavily fortified border on Monday, the South’s defense ministry said, in a pact to reduce tension and build trust on the divided peninsula.

Project details were agreed during last month’s summit in Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea, between its leader, Kim Jong Un, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

In a statement, the ministry said the two sides agreed to remove all landmines in the so-called Joint Security Area (JSA) in Panmunjom within the next 20 days, with military engineers performing the hazardous task on the South Korean side.

There was no immediate confirmation from North Korea that its troops had begun the process.

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The Woman Who Smashed Codes: The Untold Story of Cryptography Pioneer Elizebeth Friedman

 

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How an unsung heroine established a new field of science and helped defeat the Nazis with pencil, paper, and perseverance.

While computing pioneer Alan Turing was breaking Nazi communication in England, eleven thousand women, unbeknownst to their contemporaries and to most of us who constitute their posterity, were breaking enemy code in America — unsung heroines who helped defeat the Nazis and win WWII.

Among them was American cryptography pioneer Elizebeth Friedman (August 26, 1892–October 31, 1980). The subject of Jason Fagone’s excellent biography The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America’s Enemies (public library), Friedman triumphed over at least three Enigma machines and cracked dozens of different radio circuits to decipher more than four thousand Nazi messages that saved innumerable lives, only to have J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI take credit for her invisible, instrumental work.

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The Marines 3D printed a concrete barracks

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Letting robots do construction jobs on the battlefield frees Marines to fight.

Forging ahead with plans to have robots do “dull, dangerous and dirty” jobs, the U.S. Marine Corps used a 3D printer to create a barracks building out of concrete. The process, which took less than two days, created a hardened living space capable of resisting enemy fire, a real improvement over canvas and nylon tents.

The U.S. Marine Corps moves around a lot, deploying worldwide, often to dusty, remote locations for months at a time. As a consequence, they tend to build a lot of housing for themselves, and it takes a team of ten Marines five days to build a barracks from wood. Not only is construction dangerous, it also prevents those ten Marines from doing other things during those five days.

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