Monday, December 10, 2007

Raytheon/Boeing Lasers, CA Mass Evac Drill, Russia vs US +

Police agencies look to Raytheon weapon: 'Burning' beam of directed energy marketed mainly to the military

Dec 09, 2007 (The Arizona Daily Star - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) A recent spate of violence in Los Angeles County jails has Cmdr. Sid Heal looking for a better way to quell disturbances, and a Tucson-made weapon may be just the tool he needs.
Heal, of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, is looking to new "directed-energy" technology from Tucson-based Raytheon Missile Systems as a possible addition to his department's arsenal against unruly inmates.
The weapons, which deliver a beam of energy that feels akin to scalding hot water but leaves no injuries, have been developed for use by the Defense Department as a "force-protection" tool for use on battlefields overseas.
Now, Raytheon says, civilian law enforcement -- and "security organizations" -- may benefit from the technology, which the company calls a "truly non-lethal system" for situations when lethal force "may not be appropriate or warranted." While the final price is unclear, Heal said it cost his department $3 million for Raytheon to build a prototype.
"We have the largest jail in the world, with 20,000 crooks, and they all brought their problems with them," said Heal, who heads the department's Technology Exploration Unit.
Directed energy, specifically Raytheon's Active Denial System, works by emitting a focused beam of energy that penetrates the skin to 1/64th of an inch, which produces an intolerable heat that causes targeted people to flee.
That system, which Raytheon delivered to the U.S. Air Force in September, has been marketed primarily to military contractors, spokesman John B. Patterson said.
But demands from the Los Angeles County sheriff and potential future requests from other agencies or prisons, could change that, especially if directed-energy weapons were to follow the path of Taser weapons(cont…)

Laser Equipped C-130H Prepared for Flight Testing in 2008

Boeing has installed a 12,000 pound high-energy chemical laser module on board a C-130H aircraft, as part of the US Air force Advanced Tactical Laser (ATL) Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (CTD) program. The module was moved into place aboard the aircraft and aligned with the previously-installed beam control system, which will direct the laser beam to its target. The aircraft is being prepared to conduct a series of tests leading up to a planned demonstration flight in 2008. (More...)

Drill to require evacuations in SP (CA)
More than 1,100 people will be instructed to leave their waterfront buildings and then bused to Ports O' Call during the hazardous-material-release exercise coordinated by the Los Angeles Fire Department and other agencies.
Several waterfront buildings in San Pedro will be evacuated Monday morning for an emergency drill.
More than 1,100 people will be instructed to leave their buildings and then bused to Ports O' Call during the hazardous-material-release exercise coordinated by the Los Angeles Fire Department and a host of other agencies.
"This is the largest (mock) evacuation the city of Los Angeles has ever had," said Assistant Fire Chief Lou Roupoli. Earlier exercises have evacuated some 200 to 300 people.
Buildings that will be cleared out include San Pedro City Hall, the Port of Los Angeles Administrative Building, Port of Los Angeles High School, the harbor Boys and Girls Club, the Los Angeles Maritime Museum and Fire Station 112 (cont...)

"I.R. Phone Home"

Mock Disaster Communications Drill

Multi-state emergency responders prepared for the worst Saturday, a loss of communications during an extreme winter storm, in a mock disaster training at WVU-P.
Participants role-played in operation "I.R. Phone Home," that there was no access to interstates and also acts of terrorism that took advantage of the vulnerability in the aftermath from the storm. It was a test run for when voice and data communications fail during an event such as this.
West Virginia and Ohio military along with private and volunteer communications resources on the federal, state, local and regional levels gathered on campus. Aproximately 128 people participated and 20 agencies from outside Wood County. (cont…)

Russian naval ships complete exercise in Northern Atlantic
Russian Mediterranean Naval Build-Up Challenges NATO Sixth Fleet Domination

“Following completion of the program in North Atlantic, the strike group is moving to the Mediterranean where it will join ships of the Black Sea Fleet.
The North Fleet and the Black Sea Fleet are two of the four major territorial divisions of the Russian Navy. The other two are the Baltic and Pacific Fleets”

The Robots Among Us
If robotics technology now stands where computing did in the '70s, what can we expect in the future?
Fremont resident Rakesh Guliani likes to say that a Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner saved his marriage.
Messy floors had been causing friction, says the 41-year-old Guliani (pronounced Goo-liani). His wife, Kavita, 35, was particularly annoyed by the footprints he and their daughters, Ashna, 10, and Rhea, 6, tended to track through the house.
"I am soccer coach to both of them, and when we come in with our dirty cleats, I am more tolerant of that because I am tracking dirt, too," says Guliani, vice president of the job-placement firm Park Computer Systems. He vacuumed several times a week but it never seemed enough to satisfy his wife, a technical writer for Google.
"I was sucking the thread out of the carpet," says Guliani, who bought a Roomba last fall and programmed it to scour the carpets for dust, dirt and grime. Regular cleanings by the Roomba restored household harmony. "It never gets bored and it never complains," he says.
The Guliani family is at the cutting edge of what may be the next technological revolution - the emergence of software and hardware capable of performing tasks once reserved for that race of toolmakers called Homo sapiens.
"Sometime in the next 30, 40, 50 years we will have human-level machine intelligence," predicts Marshall Brain, a computer science teacher turned author and technology forecaster.(cont...)

Military Broadens Use of Virtual Reality

The Virtual Iraq simulation, which runs on desktop pcs using head-mounted displays, recreates the sights, sounds and even smells of the battlefield (registration require)
DHS conditionally accepts SBInet component
The Homeland Security Department is taking conditional acceptance of a radar and communications system designed to bolster 28 miles of the United States’ southern border, DHS also has awarded the project’s prime contractor, Boeing, another $64 million to design a Common Operating Picture (COP) software system for the border, the department announced Dec. 7. (cont...)
Revisiting intelligence reform

The NSA, the NGA, and the NRO are the crown jewels of America’s vast intelligence system and make up the most powerful surveillance and eavesdropping system on the planet.
BAE Systems contracted to develop adaptive software technology for DARPA

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