July 24, 2016

Navy studies Enders Game and Holodecks when looking to make new Navy Battle Lab

General Robert Neller, Marine Commandant, thinks the Navy and Marine training systems we have as far as simulators and simulation are pretty good for individual task/condition/standard, for air crew, for drivers, for even firing individual weapons, gunnery, things like that, but he think the thing that we are looking for is, where’s the equivalent of our Holodeck, where a fleet commander or division commander or air wing commander can go in and get a rep. Right now that almost requires an actual provision of the real stuff, which is really expensive . . . . Where’s our Enders Game battle lab kind of thing where we can not just give our leadership reps, but we can actually find out who the really good leaders are.

Description of Enders Battle Lab by Navy

Everything I Ever Needed to Know about Simulation and Training I Learned from Ender’s Game

Using virtual training environments, the children go head-to-head on an individual level against computers that simulate Formic battle tactics to gain the knowledge and abilities required to defeat the enemy. The children can then compete against one another in the virtual environments to further develop their strategies. The next phase involves live collective training. Divided into armies, the soldiers must learn to function as a single unit to accomplish a mission objective in the battleroom. With enough skill, soldiers can become commanders of their armies and must learn to lead them effectively. By merging these individual and collective training components, the soldiers’ knowledge, skills, and abilities can translate into operational readiness.

While the concept of an Ender’s Game battle lab may seem like pure fantasy to some, the technology to build it may be right around the corner. In order to turn Neller’s vision into reality, several organizational changes must occur.

* The Navy needs to not pay to reinvent what exists. As the current Pokémon Go craze clearly demonstrates, working augmented reality is now widely available to the public at virtually no cost.

* Senior leaders and acquisition professionals need to consider open source software (OSS) services, such as GitHub, as the new norm for software procurement. OSS services allow users to take available code and modify it for a specific use at potentially a much lower cost than developing their own version from scratch or purchasing a commercial software license.

* Another form of technological advancement needing consideration is the rise of machine learning and “bot” technology. Sophisticated software algorithms show great utility in modern computer networks, with their ability to monitor computer systems, offer data access, and to check network activity, while adapting themselves to varying conditions without human direction.

* traditional wargaming is a competition among participants based on a scenario that is conducted in a turn-based manner. They make people think and solve problems. This same process is easily replicated, repeated and expanded by using a virtual environment. Virtual wargaming offers many advantages over traditional simulations

Enders Game Battle School

Enders Game Zero G Training Combat

Newly discovered material property may lead to high temp superconductivity

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Ames Laboratory have discovered an unusual property of purple bronze that may point to new ways to achieve high temperature superconductivity.

While studying purple bronze, a molybdenum oxide, researchers discovered an unconventional charge density wave on its surface.

A charge density wave (CDW) is a state of matter where electrons bunch together in a repeating pattern, like a standing wave of surface of water. Superconductivity and charge density waves share a common origin, often co-exist, and can compete for dominance in certain materials.

Conventional CDWs and superconductivity both arise from electron-phonon interactions, the interaction of electrons with the vibrations of the crystal lattice. Electron-electron interactions are the likely origin of unconventional, high-temperature superconductivity such as found in copper- and iron-based compounds.

Unconventional, electron-electron driven CDW are extremely rare and its discovery here is important, because the material showed an ‘extraordinary’ increase of CDW transition temperature from 130K (-143°C) to 220K (-53 °C) and a huge increase of energy gap at the surface.

Bulk and surface CDW transition. (a) High-energy x-ray diffraction patterns of the reciprocal lattice plane ( H K 0 ). The CDW superstructure peaks are marked by blue arrows (logarithmic color scale). (b) High-resolution diffraction patterns of the ( 92 0 0) CDW peak (linear color scale). (c) Plot of the temperature dependence of the CDW peak (linear color scale). The intensity is obtained by summing up the high-resolution diffraction patterns of the ( 92 0 0) peak along the transverse direction in (b), and is plotted along the longitudinal direction. (d) LEED images. Red arrows point to CDW superstructure peaks.

Summary of the temperature-dependent CDW gap and band structure evolvement. (a) Temperature dependence of the surface (red solid circles) and bulk (blue solid circles) CDW gap. The surface gap is extracted from the back bending point of the surface band and the bulk gap is extracted from the leading edge shift of kF EDCs [Fig. 1]. The gray solid line is a BCS-like temperature dependence with Δ0=12  meV . The integrated intensity of the CDW peak measured by x-ray diffraction [Fig. 2] is shown with yellow solid circles. Black data points represent the intensity of CDW peaks measured by LEED. Dashed line is a guide to the eye. (b) Illustration of the surface (blue line) and bulk (red line) band dispersion. (c) Illustration of surface (red) and bulk (blue) CDW formation in real space. Dashed lines represent a density distribution of conducting electrons.

Bulk and surface CDW gaps: (a) Measured FS at 130 K. Intensity is integrated within EF±10  meV and data are symmetrized with sixfold symmetry. Dashed arrows indicate three nesting vectors, each connecting two quasi-1D FS sheets [51]. The red rectangle is expanded in the left-bottom inset to demonstrate the FS hybridization. (b)–(d) ARPES intensity measured along the cut (red line) shown in (a). (e) Extracted band dispersion from (d). (f) EDCs along the same cut. (g)–(i) ARPES intensity divided by Fermi function close to EF at 130, 75, and 45 K. (j) Temperature dependence of the EDCs at kF showing opening of bulk CDW gap. (k) Same as in (j), but symmetrized about EF .

Physics Review Letters - Discovery of an Unconventional Charge Density Wave at the Surface of K0.9Mo6O17

Russia making new type of universal quantum computer with multilevel quantum qudits instead of qubits

Physicists from MIPT and the Russian Quantum Center have developed a method which is going to make it easier to create a universal quantum computer -- they have discovered a way of using multilevel quantum systems (qudits), each one of which is able to work with multiple "conventional" quantum elements -- qubits.

Professor Vladimir Man'ko, Scientific Supervisor of MIPT's Laboratory of Quantum Information Theory and member of staff at the Lebedev Physical Institute, Aleksey Fedorov, a member of staff at the Russian Quantum Center, and his colleague Evgeny Kiktenko published the results of their studies of multilevel quantum systems in a series of papers in Physical Review A, Physics Letters A, and also Quantum Measurements and Quantum Metrology.

A multi-level quantum system - ququart. CREDIT Image courtesy of the authors of study

Arxiv - Multilevel superconducting circuits as two-qubit systems: Operations, state preparation, and entropic inequalities

Arxiv - Single qudit realization of the Deutsch algorithm using superconducting many-level quantum circuits

Arxiv - Teleportation in an indivisible quantum system

Self-Assembling Protein Nanostructures Created from subunits up to around a total assembled mass of 200,000 carbon atoms and the size of some human cells

A research team at the University of Washington has harnessed complex computational methods to design customized proteins that can self-assemble into 120-subunit “icosahedral” structures inside living cells—the biggest, self-booting, intracellular protein nanocages ever made. The breakthrough offers a potential solution to a pressing scientific challenge: how to safely and efficiently deliver to cells new and emerging biomedical treatments such as DNA vaccines and therapeutic interfering particles.

The work, funded by DARPA in a lead-up to the new INTERfering and Co-Evolving Prevention and Therapy (INTERCEPT) program, “opens the door to a new generation of genetically programmable protein-based molecular machines,” the researchers report in this week’s issue of the journal Science.

The unified atomic mass unit or dalton is the standard unit that is used for indicating mass on an atomic or molecular scale (atomic mass). One unified atomic mass unit is approximately the mass of one nucleon (either a single proton or neutron) and is numerically equivalent to 1 g/mol. It is defined as one twelfth of the mass of an unbound neutral atom of carbon-12 in its nuclear and electronic ground state.

Characterization of the designed protein cages using electron microscopy. All of the raw micrographs are shown to scale relative to the 30-nanometer scale bar in panel H. (Image: University of Washington via Science)

Science - Accurate design of megadalton-scale two-component icosahedral protein complexes

Canada has bionic knee brace that stores and returns energy to help soldiers lift over 100 pounds and is like the Dark Knight Rises Knee Brace made real

Spring Loaded Technology announces that it has completed its initial delivery of 60 UpShot™ bionic knee braces to the Department of National Defence as part of its $1M (CAD) contract awarded under the Build in Canada Innovation Program with the Canadian Army as the testing department. Powerful enough to help lift more than 100 pounds of body weight when worn on both knees, the military-grade braces use a liquid spring technology that absorbs shock and reduces impact on soldiers’ knees. Upon full completion of its contract, Spring Loaded Technology will have provided a total of 190 knee braces to the Canadian military for field testing.

Field testing of the UpShot™ Knee Braces will be supervised by Major Edward Jun from the Directorate of Land Requirement. Major Jun and his team will put the knee braces through rigorous testing to demonstrate UpShot’s™ integration with soldiers’ gear.

“Spring Loaded Technology’s UpShot™ promises to reduce muscle fatigue, enhance strength and performance, and protect against knee injuries—all of which are of great benefit to soldiers required to handle heavy lifting and rugged terrain. Modern militaries around the world are facing similar human factors challenges, in that we’re asking soldiers to carry more equipment in order to achieve greater capabilities during missions. At the same time, technological advances with respect to material sciences has plateaued in reducing the weight of soldier equipment such as helmets, body armour and small arms. Trialing a state-of-the art knee brace technology will help us close the gap between the soldiers’ effectiveness on the battlefield and their ability to bear heavy loads with their own strength,” said Major Jun. “We’re looking forward to testing how it performs in field conditions, and training areas across the country.”

Spring Loaded Technology has also created a commercial version of the military-grade UpShot™, the Levitation™ Knee Brace. Unlike other braces on the market, the Levitation™ Knee Brace improves strength, mobility and endurance by storing energy as the leg bends and returning that energy as the leg straightens. Currently available for pre-order on the Spring Loaded Technology website ($2,380 CAD), shipping to consumers will begin in September 2016.

“While UpShot™ is built to withstand extreme military impact and expedite rehabilitation for injured soldiers, the Levitation™ knee brace will help consumers utilize similar technology in their own day-to-day lives,” said Chris Cowper-Smith, CEO of Spring Loaded Technology. “With power-output similar to that found in $100,000 powered exoskeletons, it’s the first knee brace of its kind that can help average people crouch, walk or jump free from pain.”

Levitation is lightweight (about two pounds or less than the weight of a pair of boots), fits under your clothing, and has quick release strapping so you can easily put your brace on and take it off.

Levitation’s unique bionic hinge stores energy as you bend your leg and returns that energy as you straighten your leg. The result is a product that is carefully designed to augment leg muscle strength, reduce fatigue, prevent injury, and restore mobility

Bruce Wayne Knee Brace from Dark Knight Rises

China likely to beat Russia as second country with volume production of a fifth generation stealth fighter

The Chinese People’s Republic Army Air Force (PLAAF) is believed to have received four low production rate J-20 jets, which have been tested and completed acceptance tests recently. The first front-line regiment is supposed to activate and receive aircraft by June 2017 and is expected to be combat ready by 2019. That milestone could be pushed forward, given the budget priority. The final requirement could be between 500 to 700.

Chengdu’s No.611 Institute developed the plane. This large interceptor made its first flight in 2011. Two Russian-made Saturn AL-31F power the prototypes and first production aircraft accelerating it to a maximum speed of Mach 1.7.

Two lateral bays accommodate highly maneuverable PL-9/PL-10 IR missile. The main weapon bay can carry longer weapons can accommodate four PL-15 medium-range AAMs or the new PL-21 ramjet powered, long Range Air/Air Missiles, similar to the MBDA Meteor. Additionally, large air/ground weapons can be carried in this bay.

In 2015, Russia slowed PAK FA (T-50) production and reduce its initial order to 12 jets due to the nation's deteriorating economy, along with the manufacturer's ability to produce the more complex aircraft.

Russian Air Force Commander-in-Chief Viktor Bondarev, stated that the PAK FA is to enter serial production in 2017, after all trials are complete. Due to the aircraft's complexity and rising costs, the Russian Air Force will retain large fleets of fourth-generation Sukhoi Su-27 and Su-35S fighters.

The United States could build over 2000 F-35 stealth fighters and has built 187 F-22 stealth fighters.

The U.S. and eight partner nations + Israel, Japan, and South Korea have planned to acquire a total of 3,170 F-35s.

The US should build 873 F-35s by 2022.

Advanced 3D printed titanium enables lighter, stronger, complex parts for improved J-20 stealth fighter plane components

China is 3d printing titanium parts for a new fighter aircraft, which would have been impossible to create as a single piece using any subtractive manufacturing technique. In the past, the only method was to reduce the design standards, split it into multiple parts, and then assemble it, affecting the performance of the fighter and shortening its life cycle. Zhang Haiou and his team have used their new technology to 3D print TC4 titanium alloy parts whose tensile strength, yield strength, ductility, and toughness are much better than the traditional forging parts.

Previous 3d printed titanium part

China's new 3d titanium printing are a micro Forging and Casting Sync Composite Device. The technology is smart micro casting and forging.

The technology combines metal casting and forging technology to significantly improve the strength and ductility of metal molds, thereby expanding their service lives and reliability. Combining 3D printing, casting and forging also contributes to stronger parts and added toughness; improved product lifecycles and better reliability, according to the inventors.

The team said its smart micro casting and forging is an innovation will be useful in the aerospace, manufacturing and automotive industries, among others. The technology can also be used to create thin-walled metal components that can be used in jet aircraft.

Russia vs US bomber competition in 2020s will still mainly be upgraded B52 vs upgraded Tu-95 which both first flew in 1952

Russia has 16 remaining original model Tu-160 airframes left, of those perhaps 11 are used for operational missions with about half of those available for operational missions. The remainder of the Russian strategic bomber force is based around 63 surviving Tu-95MS Bear bombers of which perhaps 55 are operational.

The Tupolev Tu-95 is a large, four-engine turboprop-powered strategic bomber and missile platform. First flown in 1952, the Tu-95 entered service with the Soviet Union in 1956 and is expected to serve the Russian Air Force until at least 2040.

Tu-95 MS

Google will try again by developing a new standalone combined VR-AR headset

Google is working on a standalone
Headset with virtual reality and augmented reality features.

Microsoft is currently developing HoloLens, a wearable computer that layers digital elements over the real world. Google has invested in Magic Leap, a startup that has similar aims, creating "mixed reality" images with a dedicated headset. It is not clear if the headset Google is currently developing will complement Magic Leap's technology or if it's an entirely separate project.

While it does have a screen, it will offer features more in line with augmented reality systems than existing VR headsets, which are presently focused on gaming. There is no release date in sight for the headset, but it remains an important part of Google's future plans.

July 23, 2016

Manufacturer of explosives trace detection acquiring Flyboard Air creator which has envisions many flying platforms

The Zapata technology platform is the safest, easiest, lightest, most maneuverable, and least expensive personal aviation system ever created.

Capable of being operated with only 20 hours of flight training, or in fully autonomous mode with GPS guidance, ZAPATA's proprietary balance methodology and algorithms are truly disruptive.

ZAPATA's technology and innovative products will unlock hundreds of applications across multiple industry sectors, from military and rescue to entertainment and recreation.

Implant Sciences Corporation (OTCQB: IMSC), a leading manufacturer of explosives trace detection (ETD) solutions for Department of Homeland Security (DHS) applications, is acquiring Zapata Industries SAS of Marseilles, France. Zapata is a profitable and debt-free company with commercial, defense, and homeland security technology applications.

Zapata Industries (www.zapata-industries.com) is the undisputed leader in developing and manufacturing single user hydro-and jet-powered technologies and products. Zapata’s proprietary methodology, algorithms, and patented designs are currently commercialized and in development within recreation, entertainment, military, medical, and industrial sectors.

Researchers reverse menopause and enable ovaries to release fertile eggs

A team claims to have found a way to rejuvenate post-menopausal ovaries, enabling them to release fertile eggs.

The team says its technique has restarted periods in menopausal women, including one who had not menstruated in five years. If the results hold up to wider scrutiny, the technique may boost declining fertility in older women, allow women with early menopause to get pregnant, and help stave off the detrimental health effects of menopause.

“It offers a window of hope that menopausal women will be able to get pregnant using their own genetic material,” says Konstantinos Sfakianoudis, a gynaecologist at the Greek fertility clinic Genesis Athens.

“It is potentially quite exciting,” says Roger Sturmey at Hull York Medical School in the UK. “But it also opens up ethical questions over what the upper age limit of mothers should be.”

Fifties could be the new forties for older women giving birth with rejuvenated ovaries

Women are thought to be born with all their eggs. Between puberty and the menopause, this number steadily dwindles, with fertility thought to peak in the early 20s. Around the age of 50, which is when menopause normally occurs, the ovaries stop releasing eggs – but most women are already largely infertile by this point, as ovulation becomes more infrequent in the run-up. The menopause comes all-too-soon for many women, says Sfakianoudis

China will expand to eight vertical and eight horizontal high speed rail lines by 2025

China will expand its railway network to 150,000 km (93,200 miles) by 2020, including 30,000 km of high-speed rail, the country's top economic planner said on Wednesday.

The plan will mean a 24 percent increase in the length of China's railway network from 2015 and a 58 percent expansion in high-speed rail.

The government will encourage state-owned China Railway Corp to expand bond issuance to finance its investment, Fei Zhirong, an official at the National Development and Reform Commission, told a new conference.

China aims to invest 800 billion yuan ($119.71 billion) in fixed assets in 2016 as part of the effort to expand the railway network.

China Railway invested 823.8 billion yuan in 2015, building 9,531 km (5,922 miles) of new lines which included 3,306 km of high-speed rail, according to state media.

By 2025, NDRC expects the network to total 175 000 route-km, of which 38 000 km of high speed rail.

NDRC says the rail network should be expanded to serve all cities with a population of more than 2 million, while all those above 5 million would be on the PDL network. The aim is to offer journey times of 1 h to 4 h between the principal conurbations, while trips across major urban areas should be possible in 2 h or less. NDRC also expects all principal ports and bulk commodity production areas to be served by rail.

The plan builds on the previous strategy of developing ‘four horizontal and four vertical’ axes by expanding these to eight in each direction. Most of the initial corridors are now nearing completion, and on some sections additional capacity is already required.

The eight ‘verticals’ (north - south trunk routes) are:

coastal PDL connecting Dalian and Dandong to Tianjin, Shanghai, Fuzhou, Shenzhen and Beihai;
capacity enhancements to the Beijing – Shanghai high speed corridor;
Beijing – Hong Kong PDL and connecting routes to serve intermediate population centres;
Harbin – Hong Kong PDL;
Hohhot – Nanning PDL via Datong, Taiyuan, Zhengzhou, Changde, Yongzhou and Guilin;
Beijing – Kunming PDL via Taiyuan, Xi'an and Chengdu/Chongqing;
Baotou/Yinchuan – Haikou via Yanan, Chongqing and Nanning;
Lanzhou/Xining – Guangzhou via Chengdu/Chongqing and Guiyang.

The eight east–west ‘horizontal’ axes are:

Suifenhe – Manzhouli via Harbin;
Beijing – Lanzhou via Hohhot and Yinchuan;
Qingdao – Yinchuan via Jinan and Taiyuan;
Lianyungang – Urumqi via Xuzhou, Zhengzhou and Xining;
Shanghai – Chengdu via Nanjing, Anqing, Wuhan, Yichang and Chongqing;
Shanghai – Kunming via Nanchang, Changsha and Guiyang;
Xiamen – Chongqing via Longyan, Changsha and Zhangjiajie;
Guangzhou – Kunming via Nanning.
In addition, NDRC has set out plans for construction of a network of new inter-regional corridors to cater for rising demand for short- and medium-distance trips. There is also a focus on using railway development as a tool for regeneration in the poorest regions, with around 12 new lines to be built for this purpose. Emphasising the role of intermodality in both the freight and passenger markets, it envisages a number of new passenger hubs and logistics centres.

The plan calls for expansion of the conventional network by around 20 000 km by 2025, with a focus on linking the Beijing/Tianjin region with the northeast, the Yangtse and Pearl river deltas and the northwest and southwest. Other enhancements would focus on improving links across the country over very long distances.

Finally, NDRC has reiterated the government’s commitment to enhancing international rail links through its ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative. This confirms Chinese investment on various corridors through Central Asia and on enhancing rail links to Vietnam and other southeast Asian countries. Also envisaged is a rail tunnel linking the Chinese mainland to Taiwan.

SOURCES - Railway Gazette, Reuters

New 7 Tesla MRI coil offers higher resolution, shorter scan time

Researchers have developed a high-temperature superconducting coil that allows magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners to produce higher resolution images or acquire images in a shorter time than when using conventional coils.

Wosik, a principal investigator at the Texas Center for Superconductivity at UH, said test results show the new technology can reveal brain structures that aren't easily visualized with conventional MRI coils. He also is a research professor in the UH Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

The cryo-coil works by boosting the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) -- a measure of the strength of signals carrying useful information -- by a factor of two to three, compared with conventional coils. SNR is critical to the successful implementation of high resolution and fast imaging.

Results from preliminary testing of the 7 Tesla MRI Cryo-probe were presented at the International Symposium of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine annual meeting in May. The coil can be optimized for experiments on living animals or brain tissue samples, and researchers said they demonstrated an isotropic resolution of 34 micron in rat brain imaging. In addition to its use in MRI coils, superconductivity lies at the heart of MRI scanning systems, as most high-field magnets are based on superconducting wire

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