Entertainment · July 6, 2022

The future of war involves balloons – POLITICAL

With the help of Derek Robertson

We wrote a lot about it in DFD lengthy process The US military must adopt new technologies. Now there’s next-gen technology that’s finally getting close to reality: AI-powered balloons floating in the outer edges of Earth’s atmosphere.

How I signed up a story out todayThe Department of Defense has turned the surveillance balloon project over to specific branches of service, such as the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy or Space Force — a move that usually means they can begin using a new technology.

The Pentagon’s plan? Operationalize the stratosphere. The Defense Department wants to use these balloons to track hypersonic missiles or other long-range munitions that could be launched from China, Iran, North Korea or Russia.

The teardrop-shaped balloons fly about 60,000 to 90,000 feet above the ground. According to manufacturer Raven Aerostar, they navigate through wind currents using machine learning algorithms and charge themselves with solar panels.

One aspect that could speed adoption in this case: the new technology is significantly cheaper than anything the military is currently using for high-altitude surveillance. Surveillance planes have flown at these altitudes since the 1950sbut can only fly for hours instead of months.

These balloons can hang around for weeks or months and cost as little as hundreds of thousands of dollars, while obtaining similar information with planes or satellites can cost millions or tens of millions of dollars.

Like the drones that have become so essential to modern warfare today, the balloons allow the people who operate them to stay safely on the ground.

Even though long time became airships studied for decades along with High-altitude drones that can fly for weeks The current project has been in development for just three years at a time. The Pentagon launched the new program (dubbed The Covert Long-Dwell Stratospheric Architecture, or COLD STAR) in FY2019. Some testing of these balloons has been conducted reported in 2019 – back then with the idea of ​​using it to find and pursue drug dealers. (And yes, some serious questions were raised about what data these balloons would collect on Americans.)

But even these could have a future in warfare itself. The Pentagon is conducting demonstrations to evaluate how to include high-altitude balloons and commercial satellites in attacks. That means they could play a role in not only identifying hypersonic weapons, but also launching them.

The social, economic, and even political potential of the metaverse has been scrutinized since Mark Zuckerberg set out his vision for it last summer amid Facebook’s high-profile rebranding. But what about its potential for manufacturing?

Last week, European manufacturing giant Siemens announced a partnership with graphics company Nvidia to create digital models of factories that would enable experimentation with Nvidia Omniverse Platform. As loud as the hype is about the potential uses of VR for gaming, shopping, and social media, this type of behind-the-scenes application could be more immediately useful. (As an example, Siemens cites the potential for a “live digital twin” of a utility facility to be analyzed for its thermal distribution – to better optimize cooling tower and ventilation placement.)

Companies making large investments in VR technology seem to understand this. XRA, an industry advocacy group founded by Google, Microsoft, Oculus and others, has successfully advocated for language in the (now endangered) USICA Technology Funding Bill that would encourage the use of “immersive technology” as a research tool. VR-focused Reality Caucus member Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY) has introduced bills that would encourage the use of VR federal vocational training. – Derek Robertson

More news from across the pond: As the EU moves to formalize a massive overhaul of already existing Tech regulations is what the European Commission is planning for the next wave of technological disruption.

POLITICO’s Pieter Haeck reports that the commission has developed 25 “action points” to encourage what it calls “deep tech,” a collective term for technological innovations resulting from advances in basic research in everything from artificial intelligence to quantum computing result. The Commission’s “Innovation Agenda” addresses issues such as “access to finance, talent recruitment, the West-East innovation divide, lack of space for experimentation and support for policy instruments.

“The Commission’s report also places the initiative squarely in the context of the EU’s ambitious goals climate plansas well as an effort to close the not-inessential Funding and research gap the EU has with the US and China (even like the US with theirs own internal conflicts around technology and innovation funding).

According to the report, the EU hopes to attract 45 billion euros (around US$46 billion) in private capital if all of its targets are met over the next three years. – Derek Robertson

Keep in touch with the whole team: Ben Schreckinger ([email protected]); Derek Robertson ([email protected]); Konstantin Kakaes ([email protected]); and Heidi Vogt ([email protected]). Follow us on Twitter @DigitalFuture.

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