Tuesday, May 06, 2008

DARPA - The Real Stark Industries

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Every now and then I like to stop by the DARPA web site to see what my favorite mad scientists are up to. I tell you, Stark Industries doesn't have anything on these guys. They're even working on powered armor (although not nearly as advanced as Ironman's).

They're working on radioactive batteries 10,000 times as efficient as any that exist today; biofuels made from cellulose and algae instead of corn; tiny laser gyroscopes hundreds of times more accurate than the current state-of-the-art.

DARPA doesn't just look to the future. They are also concentrating on near-term solutions to help our troops in the field, especially in urban combat. The Close Combat Lethal Recon system in this DARPA video is but one example.

They are developing a couple of systems which will eventually work together to reduce the risk of ambush. One determines where a sniper shot came from, and the other determines where a sniper shot may come from, before a shot is even fired! If they are successful, someday a soldier will be riding along in his vehicle and it will advise him there is a 93% probability that there is a sniper on the 3rd floor balcony at 3 o'clock, target him, and ask for permission to engage.

DARPA is looking for revolutions in physics, biology, mathmatics, materials, computing and more. If even a few of their many initiatives bear fruit, it will change the world in myriad ways.

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