Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Air Force Blue Devil Airship

Another day and another tech news worthy of mentioning. The Air Force’s Blue Devil airship is getting yet another high-tech upgrade. Via a federal announcement put out last week, The Register reports that DARPA will outfit the Blue Devil Block 2 ISR airship with up to two Free-space Optical Experimental Network Experiment (FOENEX) systems. Think of them like optical lasers that move through the air with the fidelity of a fiber optic cable.
FOENEX taps adaptive optics technology--the same technology that lets terrestrial telescopes filter out visual noise from Earth’s atmosphere--to correct for distortions in the light caused by things like moisture and particulate matter in the air. They do so by measuring the distortions in a guide laser, then adjusting the receiver to compensate--down to one fifty-thousandth of a millimeter every millisecond. This basically gets rid of all airborne noise that can alter the stream of incoming photons in any way.

As such, FOENEX broadcasts via line-of-sight, through-the-air streams of photons with nearly the same transmission fidelity and reception as optical cable. It’s basically like this floating airship is plugged right into the fiber network, boosting transmission speeds. With resolution right down to the individual photon, FOENEX even opens the door to quantum cryptography.
If you aren’t up to speed on Blue Devil and the military’s ISR (that’s intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance) conundrum, here’s why that’s important: Blue Devil Block 2 is what’s known as a C4ISR aircraft. That’s Command, Control, Computers, Communication, Intelligence Surveillance, and Reconnaissance. Unlike the Predators and Reapers that are already in the air streaming buckets of raw, uncatalogued data back to intelligence analysts on the ground, Blue Devil is more like an aerial intel hub. It doesn’t just stream back raw data for human analysts to deal with like Predator and Reaper, but rather it crunches and catalogs the data via a supercomputer in real time on board the aircraft.
The optionally-manned Blue Devil carries its own suite of sensors, and it can also handle incoming feeds from Reapers, Predators, and other ISR assets in the area. It processes that data and stores it onboard, and analysts on the ground can then remotely access it via data link, downlinking only the data they need (and leaving all that meaningless data they don’t need aboard the airship). This should streamline the whole ISR process tremendously and get meaningful information in the right hands faster.
And now, with a super-fast FOENEX downlink (or two), Blue Devil should be able to put that actionable intel in the hands of analysts at an even faster rate, cutting the lag between ISR collection and actual human decision-making on the ground.

Sources: Popsci, Daarpa, US Airforce 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

MIT X-ray Vision Now possible

There is no question the United States ambition to create super soldiers is an ongoing process that has given rise to crazy and incredible discoveries in various technology departments. From flying Humvees, to micro drones, MIT University researchers at Lincoln center have announced they have created a radar array that provides real-time images of whats happening on the other side of solid structures, even if its an 8 inch thick solid concrete wall 60 feet away.
If this isn't impressive take note that 99 percent of radar signals are lost when penetrating a wall and another 99 is lost when the signals are reflected back. Using a leverage method on signal amplifiers, MIT University Researchers have created a powerful digital processing "new radar system" that basically amounts to a real-time video of movements on the other side of solid structures walls at 10.8 fps(Frames per second). The US military is taking a good look at this technology and we can all bet they will use it in some degree to further spur the almighty "Future Super Soldier Program". Giving soldiers this type of tech will give them a ten fold advantage during dangerous urban conflict areas and more than likely save lives on both ends, soldiers and innocent civilians alike. I was thinking that it wont be long till DARPA gets involved in this project and further expand the capabilities of such a system. All will be be seen in due time and lets hope for the best.

Check out this Youtube video and hear the MIT Lincoln Lab's Radar breakdown on this tech

Sources: MIT Lincoln Lab Reports, popsci, Science Journal

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Modern Banking and Future

This is an interesting info-graph depicting the many banking methods used currently. In some way it basically demonstrates the form on baking technology currently present in our society and go we go about using banks to get money. Just notice the great percentage of online banking and its astronomical rise from 2010 into 2011, showing we are in fact moving more and more away physically and going "cyber" or as some others call it "Online connected".

You can also check out the other post I made on future credit card called "Credit Card 2.0" at
"link" and make connections into the future of the banking industry.

Big thanks to LiveScience for making it publicly available and allowing use of such info graphic.

Today's GoFigure infographic takes a look at how people are using the internet, banks and ATMs to access their cash.