Posted on July 5, 2012 8:00 pm by zandocomm
DARPA’s Satellite-Recycling Program is Looking For the Perfect Orbiting Sat to Dismantle
Dead satellites, that is. Last year, Darpa, the military’s blue-sky research agency, kicked off a program designed to harvest parts from unused communications satellites still orbiting the Earth, and then turn those bits and pieces — antennas in particular — into an array that operates as a low-cost “communications farm” for troops on the ground.
Now that program, called Phoenix, is entering a new phase. First, Darpa last week issued a bid to commercial satellite owners, asking for “a candidate satellite” that’ll act as a space-based guinea pig for initial evaluations of the technology requisite for the initiative. And today, the agency hosted a conference on “sustainable satellite servicing” — attended by academics, private companies and military experts — to discuss everything from the program’s regulatory challenges to more technical “operational considerations” necessary to revive dead satellites.
Filed under: news | Tagged: DARPA, DARPA's Satellite-Recycling Program is Looking For the Perfect Orbiting Sat to Dismantle, International Telecommunication Union, Northrop Grumman, NovaWurks, pentagon, Phoenix, Phoenix Program, Satellite | 2 Comments »
Posted on June 12, 2012 8:01 am by zandocomm
28% of Federal Contract Funds Go to Just 10 Companies…All Make Weapons Systems
If this is the age of budget cutbacks and government austerity, someone ought to tell the Pentagon and its weapons contractors, because they haven’t gotten the memo about shared sacrifice. According to a summary of the top federal contractors produced by the Federal Procurement Data System, the Defense Department gave out $372.8 billion (70%) of the $532.6 billion in government contract spending in fiscal year 2011, with just 10 arms makers accounting for 28% of all contracting dollars, up from 25% a year before, and the top 5 accounting for 20.8%.
Filed under: news | Tagged: 28% of Federal Contract Funds Go to Just 10 Companies…All Make Weapons Systems, Boeing, Defense Department, Federal Procurement Data System, General Dynamics, lockheed martin, Northrop Grumman, pentagon, raytheon | Leave a Comment »
Posted on May 16, 2012 10:00 am by zandocomm
May 15, 2012
A Freedom of Information Act request filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation has revealed a plan by the Department of Homeland Security to collect DNA from children 14 years old and up without a search warrant or criminal prosecution.
EFF reported on Monday that the DHS plan
appears to be working its way through DHS in the wake ofregulations from the Department of Justice that require all federal agencies – including DHS and its components such as ICE – to collect DNA from individuals arrested for federal crimes as well as “from non-United States persons who are detained under the authority of the United States,” whether or not they have been involved in criminal activity.
Filed under: news | Tagged: Department of Homeland Security Prepares to Grab DNA From Kids, Department of Justice, DNA, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Eugene Volokh, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Jennifer Lynch, Northrop Grumman, united states, United States Department of Homeland Security | Leave a Comment »
Posted on April 5, 2012 1:37 pm by zandocomm
US Draws Up Plans For Nuclear Drones: Are They Insane?
Technology is designed to increase flying time ‘from days to months’, along with power available for weapons systems
A conventionally powered MQ-9 Reaper drone, which has a flight time of 14 hours when loaded, could fly far longer with nuclear energy. Photograph: Ethan Miller/Getty
American scientists have drawn up plans for a new generation of nuclear-powered drones capable of flying over remote regions of the world for months on end without refuelling.
The blueprints for the new drones, which have been developed by Sandia National Laboratories – the US government’s principal nuclear research and development agency – and defence contractor Northrop Grumman, were designed to increase flying time “from days to months” while making more power available for operating equipment, according to a project summary published by Sandia.
Filed under: news | Tagged: Northrop Grumman, Nuclear power, Sandia, Sandia National Laboratories, united states, University of New Mexico, Unmanned aerial vehicle, US Draws Up Plans For Nuclear Drones: Are They Insane?, Weapon | Leave a Comment »