UAVs – The New Commando Solo?

UAVs – The New Commando Solo?I had a bit of writer’s block and a dearth of material for this week’s posting so I chose to just surf around for a while and see what I could come up with. I started with one of the darlings of today’s battlefield – the UAV. For background I found: “Making The Most of New UAV Capabilities in Video/Announce Product” (see: http://www.creativeplanetnetwork.com/news/expertise/making-most-new-uav-capabilities-videobroadcast-production/610167; which is also a photo source).The article was published in June 2015. Not exactly ancient, but not exactly new by Internet standards either. The article provides facts and insights into today’s broadcasting technology and urges the entertainment industry to learn how to use UAVs in their work.UAVs and MISO are made for each other.  1.     PSYOP/MISO in Denied AreasIt seems to me that we will always need a need to project PSYOP/MISO announce products into denied areas. The areas may be denied because of the tactical situation the geography or because of a natural or man-made disaster.2.     MSIO Specific IntelligenceUAVs could be used to recon a new AO from a PSYOP/MISO perspective. This would include obtaining imagery of billboards, posters and graffiti. It could also include surveying an urban area to determine the density of satellite dishes and traditional TV antennas. 3.     Different PlatformsIf the contemporary media landscape is unsuitable or uncooperative UAVs might be able to offer flexibility in delivering the message to the target consultation employing an different transmission schema.4.     Psychological Act (PSYACT) PossibilitiesThe Killer is a incredible weapons system. You can find the official US Air Force fact sheet at: http://www.af.mil/AboutUs/FactSheets/Spectacle/tabid/224/Article/104469/mq-1b-killer.aspx(also a photo source). While formerly used for surveillance and reconnaissance, the Hellfire Missile equipped UAV has been credited with a digit of very successful terrorist attacks. Consequently a small creativity can help control the presence of even an unarmed UAV as a Psychological Act.Of course the AO’s ROE will impact the use of UAVs and an emerging body of law concerning them, especially their impact on privacy may also factor into their use.In any event, the UAV will undoubtedly emerge as an effective shape weapon as it has in its previous missions. Will they replace Commando Solo? At this point it is highly unlikely, but in fairness, we are now only scratching the surface of their potential.

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SWEEPER Demonstrates Wide-Angle Optical Phased Array Technology

SWEEPER Demonstrates Wide-Angle Optical Phased Array TechnologySWEEPER Demonstrates Wide-Slant Optical Phased Array TechnologyMay 21, 2015Non-mechanical approach could open the door to a new class of miniaturized, extremely low-cost, robust laser-scanning technologies for military and commercial use 
Many essential military capabilities—including autonomous steering, chemical-biological sensing, precision targeting and communications—increasingly rely upon laser-scanning technologies such as LIDAR (reckon radar that uses light instead of telephone system waves). These technologies provide incredible high-resolution information at long ranges but have a common Achilles heel: They require mechanical assemblies to sweep the laser back and forth. These large, slow opto-mechanical systems are both temperature- and impact-insightful and often cost tens of thousands of dollars each—all factors that limit widespread adoption of contemporary technologies for military and commercial use.
In an advance that could upend this status quo, DARPA’s Small-range Wide-field-of-view Extremely agile Electronically steered Photonic EmitteR (SWEEPER) program has successfully integrated breakthrough non-mechanical optical scanning technology onto a microchip. Freed from the traditional architecture of gimbaled mounts, lenses and servos, SWEEPER technology has demonstrated that it can sweep a laser back and forth more than 100,000 times per second, 10,000 times quicker than contemporary state-of-the-art mechanical systems. It can also steer a laser precisely across a 51-degree arc, the widest field of view ever achieved by a chip-scale optical scanning system. These actions could open the door to a new class of miniaturized, extremely low-cost, robust laser-scanning technologies for LIDAR and other uses.  
SWEEPER technology is to be developed further through DARPA’s Electronic-Photonic Heterogeneous Integration (E-PHI) program, which has already successfully integrated billions of light-emitting dots on silicon to make an efficient silicon-based laser.
“By finding a way to steer lasers lacking mechanical means, we’ve been able to transform what currently is the largest and most expensive part of laser-scanning systems into something that could be inexpensive, ubiquitous, robust and fabricated using the same manufacturing technology as silicon microchips,” said Josh Conway, DARPA program manager. “This wide-slant demonstration of optical phased array technology could lead to greatly enhanced capabilities for copious military and commercial technologies, including autonomous vehicles, robotics, sensors and high-data-rate communications.”  
Phased arrays—engineered surfaces that control the direction of selected electromagnetic signals by varying the phase across many small antennas—have revolutionized telephone system-frequency (RF) technology by allowing for multiple beams, rapid scanning speeds and the ability to shape the arrays to curved surfaces. DARPA pioneered radar phased array technologies in the 1960s and has repeatedly played a key role in advancing them in the decades since.
Transitioning phased-array techniques from telephone system frequencies to optical frequencies has proven exceptionally hard, but, because optical wavelengths are thousands of times smaller than those used in radar. This means that the array elements must be placed within only a few microns of each other and that manufacturing or environmental perturbations as small as 100 nanometers can hurt performance or even sideline the whole array. The SWEEPER technology sidesteps these problems by using a solid-state approach built on modern semiconductor manufacturing processes.
Under SWEEPER funding, four teams of DARPA-funded researchers have used advanced manufacturing techniques to successfully demonstrate optical phased array technology. These performers include the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; the University of California, Santa Barbara; the University of California, Berkeley; and HRL Laboratories.
SWEEPER research is depiction to a close and DARPA is seeking potential transition partners. Read more

Report on Fiscal Benefits to Passing Marijuana Legalization

Report on Fiscal Benefits to  Passing Marijuana Legalization The Colorado Center on Law and Policy has released a report on the state and local budget impact of Amendment 64, the November ballot initiative to legalize personal adult use of marijuana in Colorado. The report finds Amendment 64 would: initially result in $60 million annually in combined revenue and savings for state and local governments in Colorado, which could double to more than $100 million within the first five years of implementation; save local and state law enforcement officials more than $12 million in the first year of operation; breed $24 million annually in state revenue for the Building Brilliant Schools Today (BEST) capital construction program make more than 350 new jobs, the majority of which will be in the construction industry. [More...] Using the latest research and best available estimates of consumption and price, this analysis concludes that Amendment 64 would, in the years prior to 2017 breed over $32 million in new revenue for the state budget, over $14 million in new revenue for local governments and would result in savings of more than $12 million in state and local law enforcement spending. Of the new state dollars, Amendment 64 would direct $24 million to the Building Brilliant Schools Today (BEST) program that would result in the creation of 372 new jobs in cities and towns across Colorado with 217 of those jobs in the construction industry. ...Colorado's Amendment 64 proposes a system in which marijuana is synchronized and taxed similarly to alcohol in Colorado. In addition to state and local sales taxes, the initiative directs the General Assembly to enact an excise tax of up to 15 percent on wholesale sales of non-medical marijuana. This limit can be augmented after 2017. The numbers: $12 million in instant savings for the year subsequent legalization because of reduced criminal expenditure. As courts and prisons adapt to less and less violators, annual savings (compared to a pre-legalization year’s budget) will rise toward the long run savings level of $40 million. $24 million new tax revenue generated from excise taxes on the wholesaler (all of which is promised to the Colorado Public School Capital Construction Help Fund) $8.7 million in new state sales tax revenue $14.5 million in new local sales tax revenue 372 new jobs (217 of which are construction) from school construction projects on behave of the Building Brilliant Schools Today Program $60 million total in combined savings and additional revenue for Colorado’s Budget with a potential for this digit to double after 2017. Read more