Friday, September 21, 2018

Japan to Demonstrate Experiment Return Capsule on Next ISS Resupply Mission

In the mission of HTV7 (“KOUNOTORI 7”), after completing the re-supply mission to ISS, HTV7 will demonstrate the novel technology for recovering experiment samples from ISS, which Japan has not obtained up until now, by taking advantage of the opportunity of re-entry into Earth with the HTV Small Re-entry Capsule (HSRC) that will be loaded on the HTV for the first time ever.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Republic of Korea Marine Corps Wants More Aircraft Carrying Ships

The Marine Corps is considering introducing a large transport ship capable of carrying warplanes, and mobilizing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to enhance its amphibious operations and surveillance capabilities, its chief said Wednesday.

During his keynote speech at a security seminar, Lt. Gen. Jun Jin-goo also expressed his desire to capitalize on robotics and other cutting-edge technologies to enhance the marines' maritime power projection capabilities.

"We are considering building the LPX (large platform experimental)-type ship capable of carrying aircraft in close cooperation with the Navy," Jun said.

He did not specify what aircraft will be carried by the envisioned ship. But observers say that the commander might have in mind the F-35B, a short takeoff and vertical landing variant of the U.S.-made radar-evading fighter.

The Marine Corps appears to want to secure its own LPX ship apart from the 14,000-ton Dokdo amphibious landing ship and the Marado warship, which are currently in operation and under construction, respectively.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Stealth Saga #78

Fifth Generation Targets:

Sierra Nevada is making progress on their 5th gen target for the USAF.  The drone is 40 ft long, 24 ft wing span, has an endurance of 1 1/2 hours, can reach 40k ft, weighs 9,600 lbs, and can takeoff and land from a runway.

China has displayed potential targets at its expos.

Sixth Generation Fighters:

Will the 6th gen fighters be revolutionary?

Will the Tempest 6th gen fighter enhance or detract from the US-UK partnership?  Is the Tempest just a pipe dream?

The Franco-German FCAS will dramatically reduce the number of American parts used to avoid US export rules.

United Technologies will have a functioning F-35 sized advanced engine by 2022 based on the contract they were just awarded by the USAF for the AETD.

Chinese VSTOL:

Could Russia be helping China develop its own VSTOL like the F-35B?


Is the Boeing MQ-25 actually pretty stealthy?


One paper in Russia has stated they do not think the SU-57 (and other '5th gen' platforms) will ever see full rate ("serial") production.

AvWeek claims the Russian gov finally ordered the Su-57 on August 22.


The WS-15 engine might finally be fixed.   This would correct a real problem the J-20 has had (being underpowered).

Japanese Next Gen Fighter:

Will the Northrop YF-23 be the basis for their design for Japan's next gen fighter?

Lockheed is pitching a hybrid of the F-22 and F-35 to the USAF.  It would use the F-35's avionics and new stealth coatings while keeping the F-22's bauplan.  The cost per plane if 140 are ordered is $190M.  Some are stating the 6th gen fighter might take decades as the reason Lockheed is pitching the FrankenRaptor or F-22C.  This is the same aircraft it is offering to Japan.  The weird thing is how that is even remotely possible: the F-22 was banned from export by law.  However, the Secretary of the Air Force just shot the whole thing down.  The USAF is not buying the F-22C or the F-15X.


Tupolev claims the first flight of the PAK-DA will be mid 2020; however, they have stated the modernization program for the Tu-160 White Swan has eaten up too many resources and that is the reason for the delay of the PAK-DA.  The PAK-DA may never get made, but not because of money problems.  Rather it is because of a lack of specially trained personnel  working for Tupolev.

Supposedly, the Russian equivalent of a PDR was completed for the PAK-DA.


The B-2 got a new ejection seat.


An old F-22 that was hangared because it needed costly upgrades, has been repaired and returned to flight status.

Watch F-22s leave Spangenhlem AFB.

F-22s intercepted Russian bombers near Alaska.

And it happened again.  This time the bombers had Russian fighter escorts.


Some really cool F-35 photos from the Chicago air show.

The F-35 has been making significant progress despite setbacks and criticism.

Some still have an axe to grind against the F-35 program.

USMC has deployed F-35Bs off the coast of Africa for training for the first time.  The USMC has redeployed F-35Bs on the USS Essex to the Middle East.  The USMC is ready to use the F-35Bs in combat if necessary.

The US Navy has begun operational testing on the USS Lincoln of the F-35C.  Videos here.

An F-35C has ingested part of the basket on an F/A-18 refueling the F-35.  This caused major damage, but the F-35 made it back to the carrier.

The F-35C will use Lockheed's eCASS system to test its avionics starting in 2020.

The F-35 helmet has an issue that only veteran pilots can do night landings on US Navy aircraft carriers.

The USAF Reserve has its first female F-35 pilot, Colonel Regina "Torch" Sabric.

The Brits have started testing the F-35B with the weapons made in the UK.

The HMS Queen Elizabeth has arrived in Florida for F-35B trials.

European F-35 operators want to drive down the operational costs.

Israel is expressing interest in the F-35B.

Italy sent an F-35 to Belgium.  The F-35 was gently 'pet' despite a warning not to touch the fighter.

South Korea's Marine Corps wants a large ship other than the current 15,000 ton Dokodo class to carry the F-35B so they can move an entire division at once.

It is increasingly likely Turkey will be banned from buying the F-35.

Major Halit Oktay was Turkey's first pilot to fly the F-35.

Lockheed got a $250M contract for the LRIP 11 lot.

Friday, September 14, 2018

The Orion EM-3 Mission Will bring Two Gateway Modules to Lunar Space

NASA says astronauts will haul two pieces of a small space station to lunar orbit in 2024, during the second crewed flight of the Orion spacecraft.

Plans for the station, which is now referred to as the Gateway, have been shaping up since 2017. The Gateway, Space Launch System rocket and Orion crew capsule represent the core of NASA's plans to send humans back to the Moon and on to Mars. The Gateway is designed to host astronauts for short-term stays, serve as a waypoint for crewed surface missions and receive samples robotically collected from both the Moon and Mars.

The first piece of the Gateway is a power and propulsion module, scheduled to launch on a commercial rocket in 2022. The first crewed Orion mission, a lap around the Moon that will not stop in orbit, is scheduled a year later, in 2023. Then, in 2024, another Orion crew will fly to lunar orbit and visit the power and propulsion module, with two more pieces of the Gateway in tow.

"NASA plans to deliver two modules on the third integrated flight of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft, targeted for 2024," said Kathyrn Hambleton, a NASA public affairs officer, in an email.


NASA dropped the RFP for the gateway station 's power and propulsion module already, too.

NASA updated the assembly schedule for the Gateway: note!  Nowhere does it say anything about Russian participation.  The acquisition strategy decision for the airlock Russia was claiming it would build has been delayed until 2020.  I have expect it to be delayed another year, tbh.

Japan wants to participate in the Gateway.

NASA conducted the final parachute test for the Orion capsule.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Terminator Times #49

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones):

The USAF is upgrading its Reapers to a multispectral targeting system made by Raytheon.

A USAF RQ-4 Global Hawk crashed off the coast of Spain last June.

Does the USAF need a Loyal Wingman UCAV?

The US MDA just gave Boeing, General Atomics and Lockheed contracts to improve their lasers intended for mounting on a UAV for missile defense.  The MDA is reportedly aiming for a 500 kw laser by 2021 and a 1 MW laser by 2023.

The US Navy award to Boeing of the MQ-25A is the largest defense contract win for Boeing in more than a decade and may lead to over 150 Stingrays.

US Special Operations Command gave General Atomics an integration contract for MALET.

Some interesting pix were found in Google Earth of Chinese UAVs by an Indian source.  I disagree with their assessment of what they are seeing, but not the images themselves.

The Indian Army selected the SpyLite UAV.

Russia claims to have destroyed a UAV factory in Syria.

Russia is testing its third Altair UAV.

Boeing has released another video related to the MQ-25A.  WiB discussed the MQ-25A history.

UAVOS showed off its latest UAVs.

UMS Skeldar is detailing the development of the next gen V-200.

Unmanned Ground Vehicles (Bolos and Ogres):

The Brits are trialling their T7 UGV before delivery.

Arquus demoed an unmanned 4x4 Dagger vehicle.

Unmanned Surface Vehicles (robo boats):

Russia is building USVs to hunt mines.

Software Bots:

DARPA is investing $2B in AI for the military.


The US Army is talking about 'Fully Autonomous Maneuver' (aka killer robots) as a legitimate concept for the future.  The near future goal though being developed by the Army Research Lab is the 'mobile intelligent entities.' 

Sunday, September 09, 2018

Russia has Started Research on the Nuclear Power Plant for its Nextgen Carrier

The Russian Navy has commenced research on engine designs for Russia’s planned nuclear-powered supercarrier, dubbed Project 23000E Shtorm (Storm), the chief of the Russian Navy’s shipbuilding department, Rear Admiral Vladimir Tryapichnikov, said in a television interview on August 24.

“Today, an engine has been launched [the research work on its creation has been launched] and today we are working precisely on this issue,” Tryapichnikov said on Zvezda TV Channel last Friday. “Some concept will be approved in the near future. Of course, this is expensive but such a ship should be built.”

The principal design work for the new carrier is being undertaken by the St. Petersburg-based Nevskoye Planning and Design bureau, Russia’s primary designer of large surface warships. Tryapichnikov’s comments once more raise the question whether a Russian nuclear-powered aircraft carrier project will ever move beyond the design stage and whether the Russian Navy has a need for a flattop.

Saturday, September 08, 2018

Robopocalypse Report #107


In Africa, autonomous drones will help curb illegal fishing.

Airbus' Zephyr S broke flight records on its maiden flight.

The Amazon Prime Delivery Drone has been inducted into Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

ATLAN Space has developed an AI drone to detect environmental crimes.

AT&T recently trialled medical supply deliveries by drone in Puerto Rico and has now teamed up with Softbox for their effort.

Austin PD will be holding public hearings about whether or not to use drones in traffic accident investigations.

Australian rangers are using drones to monitor and protect an endangered turtle.

Australia has established 10 new 'drone parks' across Brisbane.

Australia is also using drones to check if Koalas are in trees before cutting them down.

Blue Bear Systems and Cranfield University have teamed up for the UK's drone corridor.

Caltech, CAIST and Imperial College have developed an algorithm to herd birds away from airports autonomously using drones.

Cape May County in New Jersey just got a $3M grant to build a drone center.

China's new drone innovation center in Shanghai will help develop new drone tech.

The Choctaw Nation in Oklahoma is using drones to round up feral pigs.

The Chula Vista PD is holding off on the use of drones due to public perception.

Coimbatore uses drones to monitor and herd elephants in India.

The Denver PD has shelved a drone program due to public concerns.

Deveron, a drone company focused on smart farming, has acquired Veritas for its analytics capabilities.

Drake is using drones as part of his tour.

Drones are increasingly being used for crash scene analysis.

Drone swarms are something of an illusion...for now.

Drones are being used to thwart rhino poaching in South Africa.

Drone Dek has patented a solar powered docking station for drones.

Drone Delivery Canada has started a trial to deliver blood to remote areas.

An ambulance drone won a grant.

A drone enthusiast built a functional Lego helicopter drone.

English prisons supposedly had one inmate coordinating smuggling into prisons using drones.

Eversource Energy is using drones for electrical infrastructure inspection.

Flytrex is now testing food delivery in North Dakota.

Ford is using camera drones for inspection of its engine factory in Britain.

The French secret service intercepted a drone near the French President's summer home.

Georgetown police have been using drones, including to IDing and pursuing suspects.

IBM filed a patent for a drone to detect and deliver coffee if you are tired.

India will legalize commercial drones after reversing the UAV ban.

In India, a startup is looking to deliver medical supplies in rural areas.

Intel has unveiled an open standard for remote IDing drones.

Japan is trying to sort out how to deal with heat stroke at the 2020 Olympics using drones.

The Kansas Department of Transportation is about to launch its first flight for its drone integration program.

Korean Post will start trials of drone deliveries in August with an eye to a general roll out in 2021.

Drone company Korec has been hired to survey Ireland's roads.

Lincolnshire Charity uses drones to find homeless people.

Lockheed and the Drone Racing League have a challenge for people to develop a software bot that flies drones better than the pros in races.

MatterNet will begin testing medical supply delivery by drone in North Carolina.

North Dakota's UAV test site has received FAA approval to conduct beyond line of site tests of rones.

Pennsylvania law enforcement use of drones has raised privacy concerns.

Project Wing has demonstrated its first long distance residential delivery.

The Reno Fire Department has been testing a drone to approach and assess a fire before responders arrive.

The Royal Cayman Island Police were using drones as part of a disaster response test.

San Diego and Cape have teamed up.

Smuggling using drones may be happening across the Canadian-North Dakota border.

A solar powered quadcopter can fly for hours.  How big could a solar powered drone be?

In Spain, a life guard drone saved a swimmer's life.

The Spry drone can fly and swim underwater.

The Ukrainian Border Patrol found a tobacco smuggling drone.

Unifly will provide the drone traffic management system for NY's drone corridor.

Self Driving Cars:

Even semi autonomous cars have flaws.

Consumers have become MORE apprehensive of self driving cars than they were before.

Self driving cars are being tested in a massive simulation.

An OpEd against self driving cars and for car ownership.

Self driving cars should look down, not just forward.

Almost all self driving car accidents in California were caused by human drivers, not the self driving ar.

Apple has hired back Tesla's former test engineer.

An Apple self driving car had its first accident.  It was the fault of the safety driver.  Doh.

How Aurora is making self driving cars.

Autonomous pods have been given huge eyes to make eye contact with pedestrians.

AutoX has started testing its autonomous grocery delivery service in California.

Blackmore has a new lidar for self driving cars.

CMU and Yamaha showed how drones can be used for simple cinematography.

Daimler applied for a trademark that strongly implies it is going for AI driven self driving cars. is not just making self driving cars, but making them connected cars as well.

Fiat Chrysler confirmed it invested $300M in self driving car testing grounds.

Ford has outlined its approach to self driving cars.  They have stated they want to get self driving cars right rather than be the first to market.

Hyundai just test drove a self driving semi on South Korean highways.

Kodiak has jumped into the self driving truck business.

Kroger has confirmed Scottsdale, AZ as the site of its self driving delivery vehicle tests.

Lyft and Aptiv have provided more than 5,000 rides in self driving cars in Las Vegas.

Nuro is running their self driving car grocery delivery service beta test in Phoenix.

Olli, a self driving 3d printed shuttle, made its debut at the University of Buffalo.

Scale wants self driving cars to be connected.

Tesla claims its self driving car chip is ready.

Toyota claims there are passenger safety issues with self driving cars.

Uber lost $900M last quarter and is being urged by its investors to dump the self driving division.  Toyota just invested $500M into Uber's self driving division. Uber is not going to dump its self driving car divison.

Volvo unveiled its self driving car concept, the 360c.

Waymo's self driving cars have problem with turning corners and Arizonans absolutely hate the vehicles.

Waymo gave a writer for The Drive a ride in its self driving car.

A new study states truckers are in no danger any time soon from self driving tech.

Yandex has started testing its self driving car tech in Russia.

The CEO of Zoox, a unique self driving car company, has been suddenly fired.

3d Printing:

Could 3d printed stem cells patch spinal cord injuries?

The ArianeGroup wants to 3d print its new turbine blades for the new rocket engines.

GM thinks 3d printing will make cheaper, better cars.

Graphene can now be 3d printed as an aerogel.

Researchers 3d printed an autonomous underwater robot.

A prototype bionic eye was 3d printed.

Despite a court order extending the ban on 3d printed gun plans online, the manufacturer has placed those plans on its website for a pay-what-you-want amount.

The CDC is using HP bio printers to expedite new antibiotic tests.

A 3d printer using metallic glass has been developed.

How economically viable is 3d concrete printing?

Lawrence Livermore National Lab developed a nanoporous gold that can be 3d printed.

Is 3d printing a viable technology for manufacturing  medium altitude long endurance drones?


Robotics has a serious security issue.

Human hands are far superior to robotic ones to date.

Anki's new home robot is cute, but will it be a viable product?

Using autonomous robots can greatly accelerate marine exploration.

An ESA astronaut remotely controlled a robot from the ISS.

The Peacock Spider has inspired a soft robot.

Robots can be used in rehabilitation.

Skin for a robot is more sensitive than human skin.

People react differently to robots, especially if they are...mean.

Children give in to robot "peer" pressure.

UUVs have been studying the Antarctic Sea and found there's a surprising amount of CO2 exhale.

New materials might become the basis for grippers for robots.

A robot IDs electric vehicles and automatically charges them up.

Japan is trialing robots to teach english.

Yale has conducted a study that found robots can help autistic children with social interaction.

Robots can help kids read more, too.

These robotic hands are made of paper.

Brexit has caused a push for robotic strawberry pickers.

Senator Flake is attempting to get funding for 'beerbots' banned from the Pentagon budget.

Developers at the University of Tokyo and Keio Unversity have developed a robot you strap to your back and someone else operates remotely.  That way you have another set of hands and eyes.  Telling your boss to get off your back has a whole new meaning.

Queensland University has developed RangerBot, a UUV intended to monitor and protect the Great Barrier Reef, especially from starfish.

Using robots to help those who are housebound to interact with other people.

A simple, but clever robotic hand as been developed.

Some hospitals will use robot ducks to comfort kids with cancer.

A robot was developed to simulate a VERY uncooperative patient for surgery.

Robat is an autonomous robot that explores its surroundings via echo location.

An MIT grad developed a robot that will swim through pipes looking for leaks.

A robot sailbot autonomously crossed the Atlantic for the first time.


Ford thinks exoskeletons are ready for prime time in the factory.

LG just added an exoskeleton to its line up.

Software Bots:

AI can develop prejudices, too.

Transliteration can help Amazon's Alexa find data across languages.

Baseball players want software bots to replace umpires.

The British are facing an AI brain drain.

Will China overtake the US as the lead in AI development?

Christie's will auction AI generated art for the first time.

Facebook and NYU have banded together to improve MRIs using software bots.

The dangers of Frankenalgorithms.

Google's Assistant can understand two languages at once now.

Google's DeepMind has teamed up with eye doctors to ID eye diseases.

A small team of part time student coders beat Google's software bots on a benchmark.

Google seems to be working on a software bot fitness trainer for smart watches.

Google is using a software bot to control the cooling in its data centers.

Google is letting anyone use its software bot toolkit to find child sex abuse pictures.

IBM's Watson might be flopping.

Machine learning technique reconstructs images passing through a multimode fiber.

Microsoft is using bots to make searchable video transcripts.

Microsoft is enabling testing of Alexa and Cortana to control your XBox One.

MIT thinks it can secure cloud based AI without slowing it down.

MIT also produced a software bot that can tell if you're depressed based on how you walk.  Take your pills, citizen.

An OpenAI software bot steamrolled a pro DOTA2 team.  Apparently, it happened, because its basically cheating.  The latest round, the OpenAI bots just got thrashed.  

A path to AI.

Samsung's Bixby is still rough around the edges.

The dilemma of software bots and drug patents is being debated already.

What happens when software bots teach themselves to cheat?

A software bot uses patient data to make cancer treatments less toxic.

A software bot was taught how to do simulated dribbling.

Software bots were taught to write Shakespearean sonnets.

Software bots can probably learn to ID authors of anonymous code.

Software bots will help improve how your avatar looks and behaves in video games.

Software bots are being used to develop brain cancer treatments.

A new software bot has been connected to big data to discern the potential for disease development in people.

A software bot has been IDing heat resistant coral reefs in Indonesia.

A software bot has been used at Mount Sinai to ID acute neurological disorders.

Software bots might be able to fix the 'bad' lip syncing in the future.

Are software bots running amok on Amazon's Mechanical Turk?

Software bots can now spot cheating at universities.

A software bot is very good at predicting earthquake aftershocks.

A software bot is being developed to diagnose detection of diabetic retinopathy autonomously.

Software bots can even edit video to make it appear you can actually dance.

Software bots as music producers, not artists...

Software bots might be used to help fight elephant poachers.

Are software bots for the consumer doomed?

Software bots can now recognize text.

Startups in Silicon Valley want to use software bots for debt collection.

Supercomputers and machine learning are improving power plants.

Uber says it has a software bot that can distinguish whether a trip taken is for personal use or business.

The World Economic Forum is warning software bots (or AI) could disrupt the financial system.


Amazon Go's checkout free store is coming to NYC.

An Amazon Go competitor has opened to the public in San Francisco.


The robopocalypse ought to benefit even the workers.

Some are wondering why there are so few women involved in AI research.

The Chief Economist of the Bank of England is warning about the robopocalypse.

AI can be a force for good.

It's not the automation taking the jobs...

Is it time to start talking about AI's effects on xenophobia?

Studying universal basic income has turned out tougher than expected.  Whooda thunk something political would be so complicated?

Another anti self driving car rant.