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    DARPA Emerging Technologies projects

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    max steel
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    EXACTO reveal a revolutionary self guided bullet

    Post  max steel on Thu Apr 30, 2015 8:51 pm

    Off Topic Off Topic

    EXACTO reveal a revolutionary self guided bullet


    Watch the U.S. Army test self guided 'smart bullets' that let ANYONE hit a moving target with perfect accuracy :-

    ◙Tests show gun pointed away from intended target and still hitting it
    ◙Technology will increase distance snipers can shoot from, as well as decrease the effect poor weather has on sniper accuracy
    ◙Novice shooter using the system for the first time hit a moving target


    The US Army has revealed testing of a revolutionary self guided bullet is at an advanced stage..
    The latest trials of the Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance, known as EXACTO, program have shown even first time users can hit a moving target.
    The bullets have a real-time guidance system to track targets, and can change their course if needed.






    The bullets have a real-time guidance system to track target, and can change their course if needed. The video shows EXACTO rounds manoeuvring in flight to hit targets that are moving and accelerating.

    The system combines a maneuverable bullet and a real-time guidance system to track and deliver the projectile to the target, allowing the bullet to change path during flight to compensate for any unexpected factors that may drive it off course.

    An experienced shooter using the technology demonstration system repeatedly hit moving and evading targets in the latest trials.

    Additionally, a novice shooter using the system for the first time hit a moving target.



    The video shows EXACTO rounds manoeuvring in flight to hit targets that are moving and accelerating.
    EXACTO's specially designed ammunition and real-time optical guidance system help track and direct projectiles to their targets by compensating for weather, wind, target movement and other factors that can impede successful hits.
    'True to DARPA's mission, EXACTO has demonstrated what was once thought impossible: the continuous guidance of a small-caliber bullet to target,' said Jerome Dunn, DARPA program manager.

    The military says its technology could led anyhit hit targets with the accuracy of a highly trained sniper.

    According to the video, EXACTO is being developed by Teledyne Scientific & Imaging, with funding from DARPA. Teledyne is a research and development firm based in Thousand Oaks, California. Teledyne was awarded a contract worth $25 million in 2010 to develop EXACTO.

    According to DARPA's release, 'EXACTO's specially designed ammunition and real-time optical guidance system help track and direct projectiles to their targets by compensating for weather, wind, target movement and other factors that could impede successful hits.'
    DARPA says that the bullet created by the project will improve the range of snipers, and improve troop safety as they will be able to shoot and neutralize a target from further away. Currently, US Snipers are expected to be able to hit a target 600 meters away, 90 per cent of the time. With the advent of EXACTO, an increased range to 2,000 meters is promised.



    'This live-fire demonstration from a standard rifle showed that EXACTO is able to hit moving and evading targets with extreme accuracy at sniper ranges unachievable with traditional rounds.

    'Fitting EXACTO's guidance capabilities into a small .50-caliber size is a major breakthrough and opens the door to what could be possible in future guided projectiles across all calibers.'

    'It is critical that snipers be able to engage targets faster, and with better accuracy, since any shot that doesn't hit a target also risks the safety of troops by indicating their presence and potentially exposing their location.

    The system combines a maneuverable bullet and a real-time guidance system to track and deliver the projectile to the target, allowing the bullet to change path during flight to compensate for any unexpected factors that may drive it off course.




    DARPA's prototype model of EXACTO, which will increased the distance away from a target snipers can successful shoot

    Despite DARPA's claim that EXACTO is the first bullet of it's kind, in 2012 a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin named Sandia National Laboratories, which does research and development with the US Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration, claimed to be developing their own self-guided bullet.

    Snipers will now be able to hit their targets without interference from unfavorable weather conditions

    Sandia's bullet uses lasers for guidance, as opposed to EXACTO's onboard computer system (the specific working of EXACTO are classified.)
    According to Sandia's website, additional development is needed before a full prototype or test can be performed. However, unlike EXACTO, Sandia plans to make their bullets available to law enforcement in addition to the military.
    According to DARPA, the next phase of the development of EXACTO is to refine the accuracy and performance of the technology.






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    Re: DARPA Emerging Technologies projects

    Post  GarryB on Sat May 02, 2015 9:19 am

    The US again flagrantly disregards international law...

    The Hague convention on small arms clearly states the direct targeting of human individuals with large calibre ammo is illegal... but then they use hollow point rounds in their sniper rifles too, so why start caring now? Rolling Eyes

    Obviously solution is the carry smoke grenades and keep behind cover.


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    Re: DARPA Emerging Technologies projects

    Post  collegeboy16 on Sat May 02, 2015 10:12 am

    hey they are making progress- what they needed an $80k javelin missile to do before could now be done with $1k bullets.

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    Re: DARPA Emerging Technologies projects

    Post  GarryB on Sat May 02, 2015 2:36 pm

    Except they could have just used Metis-M1 with a couple of kilos of HE as a payload... and it can hit moving targets...


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    ― Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order

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    DARPA Emerging Technologies projects

    Post  AirCargo on Mon May 11, 2015 12:39 am

    EXACTO Guided Bullet Demonstrates Repeatable Performance against Moving Targets

    April 27, 2015

    DARPA’s Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance (EXACTO) program, which developed a self-steering bullet to increase hit rates for difficult, long-distance shots, completed in February its most successful round of live-fire tests to date. An experienced shooter using the technology demonstration system repeatedly hit moving and evading targets. Additionally, a novice shooter using the system for the first time hit a moving target.

    This video shows EXACTO rounds maneuvering in flight to hit targets that are moving and accelerating. EXACTO’s specially designed ammunition and real-time optical guidance system help track and direct projectiles to their targets by compensating for weather, wind, target movement and other factors that can impede successful hits.

    “True to DARPA’s mission, EXACTO has demonstrated what was once thought impossible: the continuous guidance of a small-caliber bullet to target,” said Jerome Dunn, DARPA program manager. “This live-fire demonstration from a standard rifle showed that EXACTO is able to hit moving and evading targets with extreme accuracy at sniper ranges unachievable with traditional rounds. Fitting EXACTO’s guidance capabilities into a small .50-caliber size is a major breakthrough and opens the door to what could be possible in future guided projectiles across all calibers.”

    The EXACTO program developed new approaches and advanced capabilities to improve the range and accuracy of sniper systems beyond the current state of the art. The program sought to improve sniper effectiveness and enhance troop safety by allowing greater shooter standoff range and reduction in target engagement timelines. For more information, please visit the program page.

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    Re: DARPA Emerging Technologies projects

    Post  GarryB on Mon May 11, 2015 11:58 am

    Targeting human targets with 50 cal bullets violates the Hague convention on the use of large calibre rounds on human targets.

    Of course their standard 30 cal sniper bullet is a hollow point bullet which violates the Hague convention too... as does the fragmentation effect of the 5.56mm round they use.

    the irony is they tried to accuse the Soviets of violating the same rules with the 5.45mm round but it does not deform on impact... its mild steel case retains its shape.


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    Re: DARPA Emerging Technologies projects

    Post  max steel on Mon May 11, 2015 12:39 pm

    old post again .


    The US again flagrantly disregards international law.

    The Hague convention on small arms clearly states the direct targeting of human individuals with large calibre ammo is illegal... but then they use hollow point rounds in their sniper rifles too, so why start caring now?

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    Re: DARPA Emerging Technologies projects

    Post  Hachimoto on Tue May 12, 2015 11:53 am

    Where do you see it's for Humain targets ?

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    Re: DARPA Emerging Technologies projects

    Post  Werewolf on Tue May 12, 2015 12:26 pm

    Hachimoto wrote:Where do you see it's for Humain targets ?

    Anti Material Rifles are mainly used by US against people not against vehicles or light armored vehicles.

    Just watch the hundreds of videos of US snipers with Barretts firing against civilians or (unproven terrorists).

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    Re: DARPA Emerging Technologies projects

    Post  Hachimoto on Tue May 12, 2015 1:06 pm

    Werewolf wrote:
    Hachimoto wrote:Where do you see it's for Humain targets ?

    Anti Material Rifles are mainly used by US against people not against vehicles or light armored vehicles.

    Just watch the hundreds of videos of US snipers with Barretts firing against civilians or (unproven terrorists).

    The purpose of the design # the actual use of the item.

    As you say the US army , but also Russian/Soviet army in Chechnya remind us this rule.

    But yet again the concept is very futuristic and a huge improvement in modern warfare.


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    Re: DARPA Emerging Technologies projects

    Post  KoTeMoRe on Tue May 12, 2015 2:03 pm

    Hachimoto wrote:
    Werewolf wrote:
    Hachimoto wrote:Where do you see it's for Humain targets ?

    Anti Material Rifles are mainly used by US against people not against vehicles or light armored vehicles.

    Just watch the hundreds of videos of US snipers with Barretts firing against civilians or (unproven terrorists).

    The purpose of the design # the actual use of the item.

    As you say the US army , but also Russian/Soviet army in Chechnya remind us this rule.

    But yet again the concept is very futuristic and a huge improvement in modern warfare.


    I don't know what is huge improvement. Having a 100K projectile that will FIND 0 USE in 90% of situations. This is like the Xcalibur rounds. 200K USD a pop. Great for the show, Nowhere near as economical in mass warfare.


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    Re: DARPA Emerging Technologies projects

    Post  collegeboy16 on Tue May 12, 2015 3:37 pm

    KoTeMoRe wrote:

    I don't know what is huge improvement. Having a 100K projectile that will FIND 0 USE in 90% of situations. This is like the Xcalibur rounds. 200K USD a pop. Great for the show, Nowhere near as economical in mass warfare.

    doubt its anywhere more than 1/100th of that... that's some voodoo corruption level. and sniper rifles aren't artillery whose main use is saturating areas with shells - they are not AR either whose main use is suppressing the enemy in his cover. they are meant to shoot directly at targets you can see and identify on the scope - a guided round would only help in that regard.

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    Re: DARPA Emerging Technologies projects

    Post  KoTeMoRe on Tue May 12, 2015 4:05 pm

    collegeboy16 wrote:
    KoTeMoRe wrote:

    I don't know what is huge improvement. Having a 100K projectile that will FIND 0 USE in 90% of situations. This is like the Xcalibur rounds. 200K USD a pop. Great for the show, Nowhere near as economical in mass warfare.

    doubt its anywhere more than 1/100th of that... that's some voodoo corruption level. and sniper rifles aren't artillery whose main use is saturating areas with shells - they are not AR either whose main use is suppressing the enemy in his cover. they are meant to shoot directly at targets you can see and identify on the scope - a guided round would only help in that regard.

    I was exagerating off course, but still having a specialty round that is needed in a limited set of situations over already available solutions, seems like a solution looking for problems.

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    Re: DARPA Emerging Technologies projects

    Post  collegeboy16 on Tue May 12, 2015 4:25 pm

    KoTeMoRe wrote:

    I was exagerating off course, but still having a specialty round that is needed in a limited set of situations over already available solutions, seems like a solution looking for problems.
    its not a solution looking for a problem. its actually a step in the right direction. training a marksman is very expensive, time-consuming and requires a lot of effort. and yet in the field you can only expect them to perform at least their worst. with this new thingamajig some gi joe could be as good as a trained marksman.

    and it could be only considered a specialty due to cost. literally every situation that requires you to hit an enemy with sniper's bullet would have better outcome when using basically aimbot bullets.

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    Re: DARPA Emerging Technologies projects

    Post  Werewolf on Tue May 12, 2015 4:30 pm

    collegeboy16 wrote:
    KoTeMoRe wrote:

    I was exagerating off course, but still having a specialty round that is needed in a limited set of  situations over already available solutions, seems like a solution looking for problems.
    its not a solution looking for a problem. its actually a step in the right direction. training a marksman is very expensive, time-consuming and requires a lot of effort. and yet in the field you can only expect them to perform at least their worst. with this new thingamajig some gi joe could be as good as a trained marksman.

    and it could be only considered a specialty due to cost. literally every situation that requires you to hit an enemy with sniper's bullet would have better outcome when using basically aimbot bullets.

    Why not buy russian Fire Control System Complex for Sniper rifles, which calculates the trajectory and gives you indicator where to aim and to shoot instead of wasting 20K on every single round?

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    Re: DARPA Emerging Technologies projects

    Post  collegeboy16 on Tue May 12, 2015 7:01 pm

    Werewolf wrote:
    Why not buy russian Fire Control System Complex for Sniper rifles, which calculates the trajectory and gives you indicator where to aim and to shoot instead of wasting 20K on every single round?
    but that would still require you to be able to pull off such a shot yourself. the electronic sight only gives you the correct aimpoint and with maybe an electronic trigger present the correct timing to loose off a round. you still have to get to get your reticle anywhere near that aimpoint. oh and for purposes of long range shooting the extended time on target means environmental factors get to play a bit with your round, and the enemy that was so intent on walking 2m/s in that direction could have remembered he forgotten something and went back- so count that round as a miss then. with a guided round all you need to do is to keep the target under your sights which is easy enough. and then press when the target is recognized.

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    Re: DARPA Emerging Technologies projects

    Post  GarryB on Wed May 13, 2015 4:48 am

    Where do you see it's for Humain targets ?

    Hahaha... did you read their webpage?

    This weapon system is being developed in response to experience in Afghanistan where, when making long range shots in the swirling wind common in mountain ranges their snipers are missing their targets.

    ...not many BMPs to be disabled in the mountains of Afghanistan... I am sure they are very careful not to mention the targets are human on the advice of lawyers... and any humans hit are collateral damage because they are aiming at the weapons those people were carrying...  Rolling Eyes

    Anti Material Rifles are mainly used by US against people not against vehicles or light armored vehicles.

    Just watch the hundreds of videos of US snipers with Barretts firing against civilians or (unproven terrorists).

    We are talking about such honourable individuals that would leave live ammo or wiring in a public place and then shoot anyone who tried to pick it up because obviously they must be a terrorist...

    Wonder if that would work in Washington... put a packet of drugs on the ground and shoot anyone who tried to pick it up... drug dealer... obviously a justified shooting...

    But yet again the concept is very futuristic and a huge improvement in modern warfare.

    Not really... if the same targeting rules are applied then it just means they will able to murder suspects without spending large sums of money on UCAVs and Hellfires.

    and it could be only considered a specialty due to cost. literally every situation that requires you to hit an enemy with sniper's bullet would have better outcome when using basically aimbot bullets.

    Yeah... so every man in the village is killed instead of just half of them... progress.

    with a guided round all you need to do is to keep the target under your sights which is easy enough. and then press when the target is recognized.

    Human beings are shot every day... confused for deer or other game... do you think having rounds that chase the target will make it more likely to hit the right target, or just hit the target.

    This round is clearly for shooting people and is clearly a violation of international law.

    The real problem is that the company that will make these rounds wont care who they are used against... they are just interested in profit, so they will do everything they can to encourage the use of their product... legal or otherwise. expect a lot more foreign leaders to get shot...


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    Re: DARPA Emerging Technologies projects

    Post  magnumcromagnon on Wed May 13, 2015 5:04 am

    Let's be real GarryB, the Hague court for Human Rights is a fraud...a completely politicized institution that will never trial Brzezinski, Cheney, Bush, or any Pro-NATO butchers, which is why the African Union is in a hot dispute with the Hague. The Hague was shown to be nothing more than a fraudulent tool to spread Black propaganda...You can break as many international laws, commit as many human right abuses (Agent Orange in Vietnam, Nukes used to annihilate civilian populations in Japan, depleted uranium in Iraq), so long as your a favored son of NATO...no harm will come to you...unless you outlasted your usefulness, then you'll end up like Saddam! MAFIA STYLE!!!

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    DARPA’s Steerable Sniper Bullet Test

    Post  AirCargo on Wed May 13, 2015 5:29 am

    GarryB wrote:Targeting human targets with 50 cal bullets violates the Hague convention on the use of large calibre rounds on human targets.

    Of course their standard 30 cal sniper bullet is a hollow point bullet which violates the Hague convention too... as does the fragmentation effect of the 5.56mm round they use.

    the irony is they tried to accuse the Soviets of violating the same rules with the 5.45mm round but it does not deform on impact... its mild steel case retains its shape.

    Garry this is a perpetual myth going on for decades,  so much so that it is specifically cited below:

    U.S. NAVY NWP 1-14M
    U.S. MARINE CORPS MCWP 5-12.1
    U.S. COAST GUARD COMDTPUB P5800.7A

    THE COMMANDER’S
    HANDBOOK ON THE LAW
    OF NAVAL OPERATIONS

    EDITION JULY 2007

    9.1.1 Unnecessary Suffering
    Antipersonnel weapons are designed to kill or disable enemy combatants and are lawful notwithstanding the
    death, pain, and suffering they inflict. Weapons that are designed to cause unnecessary suffering or superfluous
    injury are, however, prohibited because the degree of pain or injury, or the certainty of death they produce is
    needlessly or clearly disproportionate to the military advantage to be gained by their use. Poisoned projectiles and
    small arms ammunition intended to cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering fall into this category.
    Similarly, using materials that are difficult to detect or undetectable by field x-ray equipment, such as glass or
    clear plastic, as the injuring mechanism in military ammunition is prohibited, since they unnecessarily inhibit the
    treatment of wounds. Use of such materials as incidental components in ammunition, e.g., as wadding or packing,
    is not prohibited. Use of .50-caliber weapons against individual enemy combatants does not constitute a violation
    of this proscription against unnecessary suffering or superfluous injury.

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    Re: DARPA Emerging Technologies projects

    Post  GarryB on Wed May 13, 2015 8:16 am

    Let's be real GarryB, the Hague court for Human Rights is a fraud...a completely politicized institution that will never trial Brzezinski, Cheney, Bush, or any Pro-NATO butchers, which is why the African Union is in a hot dispute with the Hague. The Hague was shown to be nothing more than a fraudulent tool to spread Black propaganda...You can break as many international laws, commit as many human right abuses (Agent Orange in Vietnam, Nukes used to annihilate civilian populations in Japan, depleted uranium in Iraq), so long as your a favored son of NATO...no harm will come to you...unless you outlasted your usefulness, then you'll end up like Saddam! MAFIA STYLE!!!

    Totally agree with that assessment, but we are not talking about the old boy club the Hague Court, we are talking about the Hague Convention, not the court in the Hague.

    Garry this is a perpetual myth going on for decades, so much so that it is specifically cited below:

    Actually you are quite correct... because of the vagueness of the term unnecessary suffering you could pretty much sign that convention and still use pretty much anything you like.

    More importantly however the US did not sign the part of the convention on bullets that deform or flatten so it would be perfectly legal for any country fighting US troops to use soft nose hunting ammo, or scored ammo designed to fragment... rather interesting really.


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    ― Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order

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    Re: DARPA Emerging Technologies projects

    Post  George1 on Mon Feb 15, 2016 11:05 am

    US Tests Unmanned Ghost Ship to Track Spying Submarines

    Read more: http://sputniknews.com/military/20160215/1034759480/us-vessel-hunter-track-spying-submarines.html#ixzz40EIm06Aj


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    Re: DARPA Emerging Technologies projects

    Post  max steel on Mon Feb 15, 2016 12:01 pm

    George1 wrote:US Tests Unmanned Ghost Ship to Track Spying Submarines

    Read more: http://sputniknews.com/military/20160215/1034759480/us-vessel-hunter-track-spying-submarines.html#ixzz40EIm06Aj

    http://www.russiadefence.net/t4621p45-us-navy-and-naval-aircraft-news#86876

    http://www.russiadefence.net/t4621p45-us-navy-and-naval-aircraft-news#86956

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    US Navy increasing combat lasers power to 500 kilowatt level by 2020 to counter ballistic missiles

    Post  max steel on Fri Apr 08, 2016 10:16 am

    US Navy increasing combat lasers power to 500 kilowatt level by 2020 to counter ballistic missiles


    Fantasy or Grim Reality ?

    In 2012, the US Navy initiated the SSL Technology Maturation (SSL-TM) program, in which industry teams led by BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon, among others, competed to develop a shipboard laser with a beam power of 100 kW to 150 kW by 2016.

    Boosting beam power further—to something like 200 kW or 300 kW—could permit a laser to counter at least some ASCMs. Even stronger beam powers—on the order of at least several hundred kW, if not one megawatt (MW) or more—could improve a laser’s effectiveness against ASCMs (Anti-Ship Cruise Missile) and enable it to counter ASBMs (Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile. Idea Question

    By 2020, it should be possible to demonstrate a 250-500 kW laser weapon system, one appropriate for deployment on current surface combatants and capable of being a game changer in the Navy’s struggle to address the growing A2/AD challenge.








    Lasers don't work. But, periodically, there are scammers that get government money for high-power-laser systems for missile defense, even on ships. People fall for the scams, because lasers sound so SF.

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    Re: DARPA Emerging Technologies projects

    Post  max steel on Tue Apr 12, 2016 12:53 pm

    DARPA Awards $20 Million for Continued Development of a Military Space Plane

    Boeing, Northrop Grumman and Masten Space Systems have won additional funding from the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), to continue developing their concepts for the United States military’s XS-1 robotic space plane under the program’s second phase (Phase 1B).

    The current phase funds the “development of the XS-1 demonstration concept, substantiating identified core component technologies, mitigating risk, developing a Technology Maturation Plan (TMP), and performing several demonstration tasks,” DARPA said. Completion of Phase 1B is expected by August 2016. All three companies had received money in the summer of 2014 for initial “Phase 1” design work. The first XS-1 orbital mission could take place as early as 2018, DARPA said.

    The objective of the Experimental Spaceplane XS-1 program is to demonstrate relevant technologies and then fabricate and fly a reusable, unmanned aircraft to the edge of space. The XS-1 would then deploy a small expendable upper stage able to launch a 3,000-pound spacecraft to Earth orbit at a cost of no more than $5M, or about one-tenth the cost of today’s launch systems.

    The experiment will demonstrate the XS-1’s “aircraft-like” operability, cost efficiency and reliability, agency officials have said. Key anticipated characteristics of the XS-1 aircraft include a physical size and dry weight typical of today’s business jets.

    The XS-1 will likely feature a reusable first stage and one or more expendable upper stages. The first stage will fly to suborbital space and then return to Earth, while the upper stages will deploy the space plane’s payloads.

    The three companies have teamed with private ventures already seeking commercial space flight vehicles. space. Boeing teamed up with Blue Origin; Northrop Grumman partnered with Virgin Galactic and Masten cooperated with XCOR Aerospace.

    Boeing already has experience building robotic space planes for the U.S. military. The company constructed the Air Force’s two X-37B space planes, which have launched on a total of four mystery missions over the past five years. In addition, DARPA is exploring another concept for launching small satellites to orbit from an F-15 – under Airborne Launch Assist Space Access (ALASA). The first in-air ALASA test could occur later this year.

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    Re: DARPA Emerging Technologies projects

    Post  max steel on Mon Jun 06, 2016 1:08 pm

    DARPA Teaches Drones to Collaborate (Under Human Supervision) Cool



    The US Defense Department’s Advanced Research Programs Agency (DARPA) selected Lockheed Martin and Raytheon as the prime contractors for the agency’s Collaborative Operations in Denied Environment (CODE) demonstration. The program seeks to help conduct dynamic Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UASs) operations over long distances, against short lived, moving targets in denied or contested electromagnetic airspace. While improving the flexibility of force projection CODE will decrease the communication bandwidth required to control such airborne forces and reduce cognitive burden on human supervisors.

    DARPA recently awarded Phase 2 system integration contracts for CODE to Lockheed Martin Corporation (Orlando, Fla.) and the Raytheon Company (Tucson, Ariz.). The two prime contractors for the program that will collaborate with six teams that continue their work from Phase 1, supporting technologies associated with CODE.

    CODE’s main objective is to develop and demonstrate the value of collaborative autonomy, in which UASs could perform sophisticated tasks both individually and in teams under the supervision of a single human mission commander. CODE-equipped UASs would perform their mission by sharing data, negotiating assignments, and synchronizing actions and communications among team members and with the commander.

    CODE’s modular, open software architecture embedded on board the UASs would enable multiple CODE-equipped unmanned aircraft to navigate to their destinations and find, track, identify, and engage targets under established rules of engagement.

    The UASs could also recruit other CODE-equipped UASs from nearby friendly forces to augment their capabilities and adapt to dynamic situations such as attrition of friendly forces or the emergence of unanticipated threats.

    A video showing promising early research into the interface is available below:



    “During Phase 1, we successfully demonstrated, in simulation, the potential value of collaborative autonomy among UASs at the tactical edge, and worked with our performers to draft transition plans for possible future operational systems,” said Jean-Charles Ledé, DARPA program manager. “Between the two teams, we have selected about 20 autonomous behaviors that would greaty increase the mission capabilities of our legacy UASs and enable them to perform complex missions in denied or contested environments in which communications, navigation, and other critical elements of the targeting chain are compromised. We have also made excellent progress in the human-system interface and open-architecture framework.”

    CODE’s prototype human-system interface (HSI) is designed to allow a single person, either a pilot or ground controller to visualize, supervise, and command a team of unmanned systems in an intuitive manner. Mission commanders can know their team’s status and tactical situation, see pre-planned and alternative courses of action, and alter the UASs’ activities in real time.

    For example, the mission commander could pick certain individual UASs from a team, circle them on the command station display, say “This is Group 1,” circle another part of the map, and say “Group 1 search this area.” The software then creates a sub-team with the circled UASs, divides up the search task among those assets, and redistributes the original tasks assigned to Group 1 assets to the remaining UASs. This capability significantly simplifies the command and control of large groups of UASs. Other parts of the HSI research focused on how to display the new plan, including the potential impact on other mission objectives, and—depending on pre-set mission rules—either directly executes the plan or waits for the commander’s approval to act.

    The HSI and autonomy algorithms are being developed in open architectures based on emerging standards. These include the Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE) and Unmanned Control Segment (UCS) standards used by the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy, and the Open Mission Systems (OMS) and Common Mission Command and Control (CMCC) standards that the U.S. Air Force uses.

    During Phase 2, DARPA plans to implement an initial subset of the behaviors within each of the two open architectures and use those architectures to conduct live flight tests with one or two live UASs augmented with several virtual aircraft. If those tests are successful, DARPA could move to Phase 3, in which one team would test the capabilities using up to six live vehicles cooperating among themselves and with additional simulated vehicles. A single person would command the UAS team to perform a complex mission involving target search, identification, and engagement against an active, unpredictable adversary.


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