New research advances U.S. Army’s quest for ultra-secure quantum networking

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Two U.S. Army research projects at the University of Chicago advance quantum networking, which will play a key role in future battlefield operations.

 Quantum networks will potentially deliver multiple novel capabilities not achievable with classical networks, one of which is secure quantum communication. In quantum communication protocols, information is typically sent through entangled photon particles. It is nearly impossible to eavesdrop on quantum communication, and those who try leave evidence of their tampering; however, sending quantum information via photons over traditional channels, such as fiber-optic lines, is difficult – the photons carrying the information are often corrupted or lost, making the signals weak or incoherent.

In the first project, the University of Chicago research team, funded and managed by the U.S. Army’s Combat Capability Development’s Army Research Laboratory’s Center for Distributed Quantum Information, demonstrated a new quantum communication technique that bypasses those traditional channels. The research linked two communication nodes with a channel and sent information quantum-mechanically between the nodes—without ever occupying the linking channel.

“This result is particularly exciting not only because of the high transfer efficiency the team achieved, but also because the system they developed will enable further exploration of quantum protocols in the presence of variable signal loss,” said Dr. Sara Gamble, program manager at the lab’s Army Research Office and co-manager of the Center for Distributed Quantum Information. “Overcoming loss is a key obstacle in realizing robust quantum communication and quantum networks.”

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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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The Army is buying microwave cannons to take down drones in mid-flight

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The high-powered microwave system would be mounted to an aircraft.

The US Army has a new plan for microwaving drones out of the sky. In a public solicitation last Friday, the agency announced its intention to purchase an airborne high-powered microwave system from Lockheed Martin, which is intended for use against drones. The weapon, which would be mounted to an airplane, would disable fixed-wing or quadcopter drones with a beam of focused radiation.

Drone countermeasures are particularly relevant in the wake of an apparent assassination attempt against Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro that was carried out by a pair of hexacopter drones rigged with remote-triggered explosives. Public video collected by Bellingcat indicates the attack was carried out by drones similar to DJI’s Matrice 600. Each drone was equipped with a kilogram of C4 explosive, according to a statement by Venezuelan security forces. The Matrice 600’s maximum carrying capacity is 5.5 kilograms.

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Lockheed Martin begins biomechanical testing on the HULC exoskeleton

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HULC Exoskeleton

Lockheed Martin begins biomechanical testing of the ruggedized HULCTM exoskeleton at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center in Natick, Mass.  Based on feedback from soldiers, the testing is expected to help shape future requirements for the HULC .

 

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