Support the Arctic Sea Ice Forum and Blog

Author Topic: Robots and AI: Our Immortality or Extinction  (Read 35602 times)

vox_mundi

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3793
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 2225
  • Likes Given: 298
Re: Robots and AI: Our Immortality or Extinction
« Reply #450 on: September 10, 2020, 02:46:24 AM »
AI To Fly In Dogfight Tests By 2024: SecDef
https://breakingdefense.com/2020/09/ai-will-dogfight-human-pilots-in-tests-by-2024-secdef/



After an AI beat humans 5-0 in AlphaDogfight simulations this summer, Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced, a future version will be installed in actual airplanes for “a real-world competition.” But military AI will adhere to strict ethical limits, he said.

DARPA plans to hand Air Combat Evolution (ACE) over to the Air Force in 2024, but don’t be surprised if the Navy and Marine Corps now get involved as well.

ACE will hold “live field experiments,” a DARPA spokesperson told us in an email. But they declined to describe the events as a “competition” between humans and AI, instead emphasizing “human-machine teaming” where the organic and the digital work as partners: “The pilots will be given higher cognitive level battle management tasks while their aircraft fly dogfights, and there will be human factors sensors measuring their attention and stress to gauge how well they trust the AI.”

“Full-scale airborne events start in FY23 [fiscal year 2023],” DARPA said. “They will be using tactical fighter-class aircraft with safety pilots in them in case something goes wrong…Current schedule has 1v1 live airborne dogfights in Q2FY23, 2v1 in Q4FY23, and 2v2 in Q1FY24.”

Some flight tests will put human-machine teams against humans without AI assistance; others will pit two AI-human teams against each other.



... As for Russia, “Moscow has announced the development of AI-enabled autonomous systems across ground vehicles, aircraft, nuclear submarines, and command and control,” Esper said. “We expect them to deploy these capabilities in future combat zones.”

---------------------------------------

2020 Department of Defense Artificial Intelligence Symposium and Exposition
https://www.ai.mil/ai2020.html
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

vox_mundi

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3793
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 2225
  • Likes Given: 298
Re: Robots and AI: Our Immortality or Extinction
« Reply #451 on: September 11, 2020, 04:38:54 AM »
Anduril’s New Drone Offers to Inject More AI Into Warfare
https://www.wired.com/story/anduril-new-drone-inject-ai-warfare/
https://www.cnet.com/news/palmer-luckey-ghost-4-military-drones-can-swarm-into-an-ai-surveillance-system/

A swarm of Ghost 4s, controlled by a single person on the ground, can perform reconnaissance missions like searching for enemy weapons or soldiers, [... or tracking protesters & citizens with facial recognition].



Ghost 4 is an autonomous, VTOL, modular sUAS that operates on the Lattice AI platform. Ghost 4 is modular, man-portable, waterproof, and combines long endurance, high payload capacity and a near-silent acoustic signature for a wide variety of mission capabilities. Ghost 4 has a 100-minute flight time and can be autonomously or remotely piloted.

The drones can carry a range of payloads,weighing as much as 35 pounds  including systems capable of jamming enemy communications or an infrared laser to direct weapons at a target. In theory the drone could be fitted with its own weapons. “It would be possible,” ... “But nobody’s done it yet.”

Onboard artificial intelligence algorithms have been tuned to identify and track people, missiles and battlefield equipment. One Ghost 4 drone can join with other Ghost 4 drones to form a data-sharing swarm to relay information back to Lattice, Anduril's situation monitoring AI system.

"One person can manage dozens of Ghosts," Luckey says. They can be programmed ahead of time to fly "dark," monitoring a site or tracking subjects but sending and receiving no data until they return to base, to avoid radio signal detection.

And it can link with its fellow drones into a cooperative swarm.
If one can't communicate with a base station because of wireless jamming, it'll try to shuttle data to a fellow drone that can, Luckey said.

Anduril was founded by Luckey and several veterans of Palantir, which sells analytics software to the intelligence industry. Both Anduril and Palantir are backed by Peter Thiel, a prominent tech investor and Trump adviser. The company,  is also developing a virtual reality platform for patrolling the US border with Mexico.

https://www.wired.com/story/palmer-luckey-anduril-border-wall/

https://www.anduril.com/

Anvil is the kinetic element of Anduril's end-to-end counter-UAS capability. It uses physical speed and onboard guidance to seek and destroy drone threats with positive identification and minimal collateral damage.

Anduril is named after Aragorn's sword, also called the Flame of the West, in J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy
« Last Edit: September 11, 2020, 04:48:58 AM by vox_mundi »
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

vox_mundi

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3793
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 2225
  • Likes Given: 298
Re: Robots and AI: Our Immortality or Extinction
« Reply #452 on: September 12, 2020, 01:50:46 AM »

The news here is that thanks to Clearpath, Spot now works seamlessly with ROS.


Autonomous drone survey took place over two weeks in 2018 on the Greenland ice sheet. Research focused on an area about 80 kilometers east of Kangerlussuaq, where scientists wanted to study the movement of water deep underground to better understand the effects of climate change on the melting ice.


Where Imperial AT-ATs learn to walk

« Last Edit: September 12, 2020, 01:59:39 AM by vox_mundi »
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

vox_mundi

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3793
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 2225
  • Likes Given: 298
Re: Robots and AI: Our Immortality or Extinction
« Reply #453 on: September 13, 2020, 11:08:29 PM »
Replicant Raises $27 Million To Propel Its Voice AI For Customer Service Phone Calls
https://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrickcai/2020/09/10/replicant-series-a-call-center-voice-ai/#6e9e1dca4266



Replicant, named after Blade Runner’s genetically engineering humans, is entering uncharted territory with its AI software that works as a combination between text-based chatbots and real-time AI assistants for customer service reps.

“We don’t pretend to be human, but the experience is pretty similar to speaking with an agent,” says CEO Gadi Shamia of his artificial intelligence. “Think of this as autopilot—the [human] agent is just the exception handler, they don’t have to deal with the entire call flow.”



The San Francisco-based company has created AI that can talk to people over the phone with a conversational and human-like voice. The bot employs deep learning to understand the intricacies of humans’ sentences, and can fully resolve certain customer service inquiries (more complex issues are routed to a human agent). It saves time for people who might otherwise be put on hold, and Shamia says the speedy processing time further allows the bot to cut the length of calls themselves in half. “There’s no um’s and ah’s,” he says. “We don’t have to spend 30 seconds to read the file.”



Call centers, a sector that brings in $15 billion in revenue according to Forrester, have benefitted from innovations in automation and artificial intelligence, notably with text-based chatbots that reroute simple tasks away from customer service agents, and more recently through “augmented intelligence” software that can process conversations and provide suggested responses or relevant resources to the agent in real time. Shamia thinks Replicant’s technology provides a massive leap in productivity by eliminating a large swath of conversations that [human] call center reps have to answer.
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

vox_mundi

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3793
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 2225
  • Likes Given: 298
Re: Robots and AI: Our Immortality or Extinction
« Reply #454 on: September 16, 2020, 03:55:35 PM »
Future Autonomous Machines May Build Trust Through Emotion
https://techxplore.com/news/2020-09-future-autonomous-machines-emotion.html



Army research has extended the state-of-the-art in autonomy by providing a more complete picture of how actions and nonverbal signals contribute to promoting cooperation.

Dr. Celso de Melo, computer scientist with the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command's Army Research Laboratory at CCDC ARL West in Playa Vista, California, in collaboration with Dr. Kazunori Teradafrom Gifu University in Japan, recently published a paper in Scientific Reports where they show that emotion expressions can shape cooperation.

Autonomous machines that act on people's behalf are poised to become pervasive in society, de Melo said; however, for these machines to succeed and be adopted, it is essential that people are able to trust and cooperate with them.

... This research effort, which supports the Next Generation Combat Vehicle Army Modernization Priority and the Army Priority Research Area for Autonomy, aims to apply this insight in the development of intelligent autonomous systems that promote cooperation with soldiers and successfully operate in hybrid teams to accomplish a mission.

"We show that emotion expressions can shape cooperation," de Melo said. "For instance, smiling after mutual cooperation encourages more cooperation; however, smiling after exploiting others—which is the most profitable outcome for the self—hinders cooperation."

For example, when the counterpart acts very competitively, people simply ignore-and even mistrust-the counterpart's emotion displays.

"Our research provides novel insight into the combined effects of strategy and emotion expressions on cooperation," de Melo said. "It has important practical application for the design of autonomous systems, suggesting that a proper combination of action and emotion displays can maximize cooperation from soldiers. Emotion expression in these systems could be implemented in a variety of ways, including via text, voice, and nonverbally through (virtual or robotic) bodies." ...

Celso M. de Melo et al, The interplay of emotion expressions and strategy in promoting cooperation in the iterated prisoner's dilemma, Scientific Reports (2020).
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-71919-6

--------------------------------------


- Terminator Genisys (2015)

Mona Lisa Vito: ... Oh yeah, you blend.
 - My Cousin Vinny (1992)
« Last Edit: September 16, 2020, 09:46:26 PM by vox_mundi »
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

gerontocrat

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 9043
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 3550
  • Likes Given: 26
Re: Robots and AI: Our Immortality or Extinction
« Reply #455 on: September 16, 2020, 06:21:51 PM »
Your caring sharing robots. I suppose it had to come.

But will the military also have the Master Sergeant addressing the latest bunch of recruits version as well? "You 'orrible lot!"
"Para a Causa do Povo a Luta Continua!"
"And that's all I'm going to say about that". Forrest Gump
"Damn, I wanted to see what happened next" (Epitaph)

Sigmetnow

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 17992
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 802
  • Likes Given: 315
Re: Robots and AI: Our Immortality or Extinction
« Reply #456 on: September 16, 2020, 08:55:59 PM »
“The Encyclopedia Galactica defines a robot as a mechanical apparatus designed to do the work of a man. The marketing division of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation defines a robot as ‘Your Plastic Pal Who's Fun to Be With.’"
- The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

vox_mundi

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3793
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 2225
  • Likes Given: 298
Re: Robots and AI: Our Immortality or Extinction
« Reply #457 on: September 16, 2020, 11:58:54 PM »
US Library of Congress Launches AI Tool That Lets You Search 16 Million Old Newspaper Pages for Historical Images
https://thenextweb.com/neural/2020/09/16/us-library-of-congress-launches-ai-tool-that-lets-you-search-16-million-old-newspaper-pages-for-historical-images/

The US Library of Congress has released an AI tool that lets you search through 16 million historical newspaper pages from the Libray’s digitized collection of newspapers published between 1900 and 1963, for images that help explain the stories of the past.

The Newspaper Navigator shows how seminal events and characters, such as wars and presidents, have been depicted in the press.

Navigator: https://news-navigator.labs.loc.gov/search

To use the system, simply enter a keyword in the Newspaper Navigator and the AI will surface matches from a dataset of 1.56 million newspaper photos.  You can also specify a date range and a state in which the newspaper was published.

The AI can detect photographs, illustrations, maps, cartoons, comics, headlines, and advertisements. It also uses Optical Character Recognition to extract a headline and caption from the corresponding article.
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

vox_mundi

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3793
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 2225
  • Likes Given: 298
Re: Robots and AI: Our Immortality or Extinction
« Reply #458 on: September 17, 2020, 12:54:19 AM »
Secretive Pentagon Research Program Looks to Replace Human Hackers With AI
https://news.yahoo.com/secretive-pentagon-research-program-looks-to-replace-human-hackers-with-ai-090032920.html



For six years, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency worked on a program known as Plan X to help commanders plan and conduct cyber operations.

The goal was for leaders to see the cyber environment just as they would the physical world.

Now, the Air Force and the Pentagon’s Strategic Capabilities Office are continuing the program and have renamed it Project IKE.

... If the Joint Operations Center is the physical embodiment of a new era in cyber warfare — the art of using computer code to attack and defend targets ranging from tanks to email servers — IKE is the brains. It tracks every keystroke made by the 200 fighters working on computers below the big screens and churns out predictions about the possibility of success on individual cyber missions. It can automatically run strings of programs and adjusts constantly as it absorbs information.

The hope for cyber warfare is that it won’t merely take control of an enemy’s planes and ships but will disable military operations by commandeering the computers that run the machinery, obviating the need for bloodshed. The concept has evolved since the infamous American and Israeli strike against Iran’s nuclear program with malware known as Stuxnet, which temporarily paralyzed uranium production starting in 2005.

IKE, which started under a different name in 2012 and was rolled out for use in 2018, provides an opportunity to move far faster, replacing humans with artificial intelligence. Computers will be increasingly relied upon to make decisions about how and when the U.S. wages cyber warfare.

This has the potential benefit of radically accelerating attacks and defenses, allowing moves measured in fractions of seconds instead of the comparatively plodding rate of a human hacker.

The problem is that systems like IKE, which rely on a form of artificial intelligence called machine learning, are hard to test, making their moves unpredictable.

In an arena of combat in which stray computer code could accidentally shut down the power at a hospital or disrupt an air traffic control system for commercial planes, even an exceedingly smart computer waging war carries risks.

People knowledgeable about the programs show that the military is rushing ahead with technologies designed to reduce human influence on cyber war, driven by an arms race between nations desperate to make combat faster.

Using the reams of data at its disposal, IKE can look at a potential attack by U.S. forces and determine the odds of success as a specific percentage. If those odds are high, commanders may decide to let the system proceed without further human intervention, a process not yet in use but quite feasible with current technology.

In September 2018, President Trump signed off on National Security Policy Memorandum 13, which supplanted Obama's order. The details of the policy remain classified, but sources familiar with it said it gave the secretary of defense the authority to approve certain types of operations without higher approval once the secretary had coordinated with intelligence officials.

With IKE, commanders will be able to deliver to decision makers one number predicting the likelihood of success and another calculating the risk of collateral damage, such as destroying civilian computer networks that might be connected to a target. Collateral damage.

Other programs in development, such as Harnessing Autonomy for Countering Cyberadversary Systems (HACCS), are designed to give computers the ability to unilaterally shut down cyber threats.

https://www.darpa.mil/program/harnessing-autonomy-for-countering-cyberadversary-systems

All of these programs are bringing cyber warfare closer to the imagined world of the 1983 film “WarGames,” which envisioned an artificial intelligence system waging nuclear war after a glitch makes it unable to decipher the difference between a game and reality.

----------------------------------

Didn't they do this in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machine?



------------------------------------

Project IKE
https://www.twosixlabs.com/product/ike/

IKE is a state-of-the-art platform providing users throughout the entire command chain the ability to plan, prepare, execute and assess cybersecurity operations. Automated processes powered by machine learning reduce manual effort for operators. Advanced battlespace visualizations give cyber commanders precise, real-time insight into networks.

With IKE, standardized military processes are finally brought to the cyber warfare domain. Whether the DoD Cyber Mission Force or other agencies and partners, IKE can identify risks, streamline responses and track the outcome — all in one platform.



------------------------------------
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

vox_mundi

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3793
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 2225
  • Likes Given: 298
Re: Robots and AI: Our Immortality or Extinction
« Reply #459 on: September 17, 2020, 03:40:48 AM »
Project Convergence
https://breakingdefense.com/2020/09/a-slew-to-a-kill-project-convergence/

Instead of a single centralized Skynet trying to mastermind (or micromanage) operations, the Army is looking at a federation of more specialized, less ambitious AIs, each assisting humans in different ways.

WASHINGTON: The Army is actually field-testing artificial intelligence’s ability to find targets and aim weapons for human troops. After decades of debate and R&D, the technology is being used in one of the harshest environments imaginable: the Yuma Desert.

In Army Futures Command’s Project Convergence experiments at Yuma Proving Grounds an artificial intelligence known as Firestorm is warning ground troops of threats, sending them precision targeting data, and in some cases even aiming their vehicles’ weapons at the enemy, the Army’s director of ground vehicle modernization says in an exclusive interview.

... Firestorm takes in data from satellites, drones, and ground-based sensors, Coffman explained. The AI continually processes that data and sends its conclusions over the Army’s tactical wireless network – “Firestorm is the brain,” he said, “the network is the spine” – to command posts, drones, mortar teams, and combat vehicles from Humvees to M109 armored howitzers.

Second, Firestorm’s algorithms can also prioritize among potential targets, calculate which units are best equipped and positioned to engage them, and pass targeting information directly to their weapons’ fire control systems. Those include the artillery’s AFATDS and the computerized Remote Weapons Stations (RWS) installed on many Humvees and MRAPs since 9/11. At Yuma, those readily available and relatively inexpensive 4×4 tactical trucks and their RWS are standing in for future Robotic Combat Vehicles and [B[Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicles[/b] that Coffman’s team is still developing.
https://breakingdefense.com/tag/optionally-manned-fighting-vehicle/



A Remote Weapons Station gives a gunner inside the vehicle screens and a joystick, allowing him to see through external sensors, aim the roof-mounted weapon, and fire without ever having to expose himself in an open hatch. Since weapons installed this way are already aimed by electronic controls and actuators, rather than by human muscles or hydraulics, Firestorm’s digital signals can actually bring the gun to bear on the target without human intervention, a capability called “slew to cue.” ...

------------------------------------

Target Gone In 20 Seconds: Army Sensor-Shooter Test
https://breakingdefense.com/2020/09/target-gone-in-20-seconds-army-sensor-shooter-test/

WASHINGTON: Army experiments have shortened the kill chain remarkably – from the time a satellite or drone detects a target to the time an artillery unit opens fire – to “less than 20 seconds,” the head of Army futures Command said this afternoon.
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

vox_mundi

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3793
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 2225
  • Likes Given: 298
Re: Robots and AI: Our Immortality or Extinction
« Reply #460 on: September 17, 2020, 07:12:56 PM »
GITAI Sending Autonomous Robot to Space Station
https://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/space-robots/gitai-autonomous-robot-iss



... GITAI has been working on a variety of robots for space operations, the most sophisticated of which is a humanoid torso called G1, which is controlled through an immersive telepresence system. What will be launching into space next year is a more task-specific system called the S1, which is an 8-degrees-of-freedom arm with an integrated sensing and computing system that can be wall-mounted and has a 1-meter reach.



GITAI says that “all operations conducted by the S1 GITAI robotic arm will be autonomous, followed by some teleoperations from Nanoracks’ in-house mission control.”

... NanoRacks is schedule to launch the Bishop module on SpaceX CRS-21 in November. The S1 will be launched separately in 2021, and a NASA astronaut will install the robot and then leave it alone to let it start demonstrating how work in space can be made both safer and cheaper once the humans have gotten out of the way.

“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

vox_mundi

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3793
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 2225
  • Likes Given: 298
Re: Robots and AI: Our Immortality or Extinction
« Reply #461 on: September 17, 2020, 11:33:13 PM »
AGI One Step Closer: Human Brain's Memory Abilities Inspire AI Experts in Making Neural Networks Less 'Forgetful'
https://techxplore.com/news/2020-09-brain-memory-abilities-ai-experts.html

Artificial intelligence (AI) experts at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the Baylor College of Medicine report that they have successfully addressed what they call a "major, long-standing obstacle to increasing AI capabilities" by drawing inspiration from a human brain memory mechanism known as "replay."

Catastrophic forgetting in artificial neural networks is a major obstacle to the development of AGI artificial agents that can incrementally learn from their experiences.

First author and postdoctoral researcher Gido van de Ven and principal investigator Andreas Tolias at Baylor, with Hava Siegelmann at UMass Amherst, write in Nature Communications that they have developed a new method to protect—"surprisingly efficiently"—deep neural networks from "catastrophic forgetting;" upon learning new lessons, the networks forget what they had learned before.

... Siegelmann says the team's major insight is in "recognizing that replay in the brain does not store data." Rather, "the brain generates representations of memories at a high, more abstract level with no need to generate detailed memories." Inspired by this, she and colleagues created an artificial brain-like replay, in which no data is stored. Instead, like the brain, the network generates high-level representations of what it has seen before.

The "abstract generative brain replay" proved extremely efficient, and the team showed that replaying just a few generated representations is sufficient to remember older memories while learning new ones. Generative replay not only prevents catastrophic forgetting and provides a new, more streamlined path for system learning, it allows the system to generalize learning from one situation to another, they state.


Brain-inspired modifications enable generative replay to scale to problems with complex inputs.

Gido M. van de Ven et al, Brain-inspired replay for continual learning with artificial neural networks, Nature Communications (2020).
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-17866-2
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

vox_mundi

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3793
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 2225
  • Likes Given: 298
Re: Robots and AI: Our Immortality or Extinction
« Reply #462 on: Today at 02:28:18 AM »

Coordination in bipedal robots
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

vox_mundi

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3793
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 2225
  • Likes Given: 298
Re: Robots and AI: Our Immortality or Extinction
« Reply #463 on: Today at 02:45:43 AM »
Michael T. Klare: US Military Robots on Fast Track to Leadership Role
https://consortiumnews.com/2020/08/27/us-military-robots-on-fast-track-to-leadership-role/

-----------------------------------------

Lockheed Aims For Laser On Fighter By 2025
https://breakingdefense.com/2020/09/lockheed-aims-for-laser-on-fighter-by-2025/


... pew! pew! ...

WASHINGTON: “Lockheed Martin is working to fly a laser on tactical fighters within the next five years,” Lockheed laser expert Mark Stephen told reporters yesterday afternoon. “We’re spending a lot of time to get the beam director right.”

That beam director, which keeps the laser beam on target, is a crucial but easily overlooked component of future laser weapons.

The Air Force Research Lab’s SHiELD program aims to put defensive laser pod on fighters to defend them against incoming anti-aircraft missiles. An offensive laser to shoot down enemy aircraft would have to hit harder and at longer distances, so it’s a more distant goal: Such weapons are envisioned for a future “sixth generation” fighter — like the NGAD prototype now in flight test — to follow the 5th-gen F-35, while the SHiELD pod will go on non-stealthy 4th gen aircraft like the F-16, as in this Lockheed video.

The first unit of IFPC-HEL prototypes, already under construction, will be operational in 2024. That’s a year ahead of Lockheed’s timeline to put a laser on a fighter. IFPC-HEL will produce 300 kilowatts of power; SHIELD’s output is TBD, but it’ll probably be under 100 kW, allowing the fighter to charge the laser without installing a whole new power generation system.

Precision can trump power, up to a point, because the more precisely you can hold the laser beam on the exact same spot, the faster it burns through. Getting the laser precisely on target and keeping it there is the job of the beam director. It has to pull in sensor data on the current locations of both the target and the firing platform. Sophisticated software predicts exactly where the beam needs to go and adjusts specially designed mirrors to bounce the laser light in just the right direction. And the beam director has to keep making those calculations and adjustments many thousands of times a second.

... Lockheed is supremely confident in their laser tech. As another exec, Paul Shattuck, boasted on an earlier occasion: “Our beam control technology enables precision equivalent to shooting a beach ball off the top of the Empire State Building from the San Francisco Bay Bridge.”

-----------------------------------

Air Force to Try In-Flight Software Update
https://www.defenseone.com/technology/2020/09/air-force-try-flight-software-update/168544/

... “We're working on pretty cool announcements coming in the next few weeks with the ability to update the software of a jet while flying,” Nicolas Chaillan, chief software officer for the U.S. Air Force, said during a webinar Tuesday. “So that’s the kind of stuff that will be game changing.”

... what could possibly go wrong?!


... loading
« Last Edit: Today at 09:42:40 AM by vox_mundi »
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late