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November 16, 2006

Air Force Wants To Start Fighting... Underground

So much silliness comes out the military when they start brainstorming. I find all of this pretty daffy, but I guess it's fun:

Throughout the ages, bad guys have loved bunkers, whether they're in Nazi Germany or Jihadist Iran. With good reason: the suckers are hard to find, and even tougher to blow up. Even the most bleeding-edge, experimental bunker-busters can penetrate, at most, 10 meters down.

Which is why the Air Force is considering a new approach: teams of foot-long "subterranean vehicles" with new-fangled ways to dig.

A subterranean vehicle could engage these types of targets in an effective manner, avoiding both collateral damage and unnecessary risks to our troops. It could be deployed a safe distance from the target and autonomously navigate itself to the target while detecting, identifying, and then avoiding buried obstacles such as pipes, wires, boulders and even other buildings. This vehicle would be able to penetrate the surface either through deployable techniques or on its own.

But "conventional digging techniques" will not get the job done, the Air Force warms. "Itís more likely that a revolutionary approach to digging, involving biologically inspired and/or unconventional physical and chemical approaches, would provide better results."

Less Goofy: Also via DefenseTech, a bit about computerized flexible mirrors that automatically deform to adjust for atmospheric "twinkling."

Gotta figure there's a military application here.


When adaptive optics makes the jump to aiming weapons-grade lasers, whether on the ground or in the air, jitter control will mean the difference between shooting a shotgun or a rifle.

Definitely a Military Application Here: Brits' new badass rapid-fire grenade launcher deploys to Afghanistan.

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posted by Ace at 04:12 PM

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