Wednesday, August 15, 2007

"Medusa" DEW, BAE/FCS, DHS, Drills etc

Are you disillusioned with
and all those other far-fetched weapons that just don't seem to go anywhere? Are you looking for a new ray gun that will blast missiles out of the air? Well, earlier this week I heard from Dr. Robert Adams, CEO Optima Technology Group, which produces the MEDUSA Mobile Energy Device. Dr. Adams is angry because some time back, he wrote to Ionatron offering to cooperate: "Like your company, we own patented DE technology that works. We further feel that your company's position in Directed Energy Weapons as well as your stock price would drastically improve by acquiring and/or taking the exclusive rights through a partnership with our company of our patented technology," he wrote.
Ionatron gave him the brushoff.
What do I think of MEDUSA? One website describes the company's founders as consisting of an "ex-US Navy seal, the man who invented holographic storage, a games software programmer and [sic] a matter/anti-matter ray-gun which, had it been in existence on September 11, might have prevented at least some of the devastation………." Apparently, inspiration for MEDUSA came to its inventor from a combination of crop circles and an article in Aviation Week & Space Technology (which, I swear, is probably where most weapons ideas come from). (cont..)

Teams Practice Anti-Terror Drills

The record heat in Memphis did not deter several National Guard teams from their mission to be prepared to handle a terrorist attack.
The Memphis-Shelby County Emergency Management Agency organized the effort at various locations, including the Shelby Farms Agri Center, Wednesday, August 15, 2007.
Civil Support Teams, specializing in Weapons of Mass Destruction and hazardous materials, from Tennessee and neighboring states took part in the drill. They were given a scenario of a major terrorism event and asked to develop plans to improve communication between teams.

BAE Systems Unveils Hybrid Electric Drive System for Future Combat Systems

SANTA CLARA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--BAE Systems demonstrated the first hybrid electric drive system for ground combat vehicles as part of the U.S. Army’s Future Combat Systems (FCS) program.
Creation of the hybrid electric drive system, led by BAE Systems, is a joint development with General Dynamics Land Systems in partnership with the Army and the FCS Lead Systems Integrator team of Boeing and Science Applications International Corp.
The FCS Manned Ground Vehicles (MGV) family of eight vehicles is the first ever planned operational Army suite of ground combat vehicles to use hybrid electric technology. The first use of the hybrid electric drive technology will be in the Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon (NLOS-C) — the lead FCS ground combat vehicle slated to begin initial production in 2008. The NLOS-C, designed and built by BAE Systems – in partnership with General Dynamics Land Systems -- is a fully automated, 155mm self-propelled howitzer.
FCS is the U.S. Army's principle modernization program, which is made up of a family of manned and unmanned ground and air systems, and sensors connected by a common network.

WASHINGTON - Can technology identify someone thinking about committing a terrorist attack? The Department of Homeland Security is exploring that possibility.Last month, it queried researchers about designing a system that would detect deceptive behavior by flagging physiological and behavioral cues such as heartbeat, respiration and facial expression, using thermal imaging, infrared cameras and audio and eye-tracking, among other techniques. A related program, Project Hostile Intent, is exploring the use of involuntary facial and speech signals captured on video to identify people "involved in possible malicious or deceitful acts" - before they ever commit the crime. (Cont..)

U.S. to ExpandDomestic Use Of Spy Satellites

The U.S.'s top intelligence official has greatly expanded the range of federal and local authorities who can get access to information from the nation's vast network of spy satellites in the U.S.
The decision, made three months ago by Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell, places for the first time some of the U.S.'s most powerful intelligence-gathering tools at the disposal of domestic security officials. The move was authorized in a May 25 memo sent to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff asking his department to facilitate access to the spy network on behalf of civilian agencies and law enforcement
Until now, only a handful of federal civilian agencies, such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the U.S. Geological Survey, have had access to the most basic spy-satellite imagery, and only for the purpose of scientific and environmental study.
According to officials, one of the department's first objectives will be to use the network to enhance border security, determine how best to secure critical infrastructure and help emergency responders after natural disasters. Sometime next year, officials will examine how the satellites can aid federal and local law-enforcement agencies, covering both criminal and civil law. The department is still working on determining how it will engage law enforcement officials and what kind of support it will give them.
Access to the high-tech surveillance tools would, for the first time, allow Homeland Security and law-enforcement officials to see real-time, high-resolution images and data, which would allow them, for example, to identify smuggler staging areas, a gang safehouse, or possibly even a building being used by would-be terrorists to manufacture chemical weapons.
Overseas -- the traditional realm of spy satellites -- the system was used to monitor tank movements during the Cold War. Today, it's used to monitor suspected terrorist hideouts, smuggling routes for weapons in Iraq, nuclear tests and the movement of nuclear materials, as well as to make detailed maps for U.S. soldiers on the ground in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Plans to provide DHS with significantly expanded access have been on the drawing board for over two years. The idea was first talked about as a possibility by the Central Intelligence Agency after 9/11 as a way to help better secure the country. "It is an idea whose time has arrived," says Charles Allen, the DHS's chief intelligence officer, who will be in charge of the new program. DHS officials say the program has been granted a budget by Congress and has the approval of the relevant committees in both chambers.
Wiretap Legislation
Coming on the back of legislation that upgraded the administration's ability to wiretap terrorist suspects without warrants, the development is likely to heat up debate about the balance between civil liberties and national security.

Access to the satellite surveillance will be controlled by a new Homeland Security branch -- the National Applications Office -- which will be up and running in October. Homeland Security officials say the new office will build on the efforts of its predecessor, the Civil Applications Committee. Under the direction of the Geological Survey, the Civil Applications Committee vets requests from civilian agencies wanting spy data for environmental or scientific study. The Geological Survey has been one of the biggest domestic users of spy-satellite information, to make topographic maps

GE's security division awarded large explosives detection systems contract

DARPA does some quietly interesting things. The latest is an autopilot that lets an aircraft perform air-air refueling – one of the most challenging routine flight tasks outside of carrier landings – without pilot intervention. While impressive on its own, such systems have special relevance because they offer the promise of unmanned fighters that can remain aloft far longer than aircraft which require human pilots. The result would be far longer strike reach and persistence, two areas that will be critical to the US Navy's ability to
keep its carrier force relevant and effective
through the next 3 decades. It's no coincidence that the J-UCAS program, which is now the Navy's UCAS-D, was a DARPA initiative as well.

MANCHESTER - It was a disturbing sight Tuesday in Town Hall, a body on the floor of the Manchester Room.
It was a reminder that otherwise healthy individuals could drop at any moment due to a virus that could drown victims as their lungs fill with fluid.This was why officials planned the town and state's first full-scale drill - it did not affect the Police and Fire departments - to open Manchester's emergency operations center and cut the number of town staffers, sending half to training at Manchester Community College. (cont..)

Casey: Army Must Upgrade For 'Decades' Of War


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