used these prototypes to test TSS in 16 high-fidelity simulations involving controllers and pilots. The FAA is working
to implement the tool in the next five years, targeting an
initial operating capability around 2018. The initial site has
not yet been determined and implementation will depend
on funding availability.
Nanosensor Pain Detectors
Scientists at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL)
are developing a method to put protein-specific nanosensors on coverslips to help understand wounded warrior
amputee pain. Using a microscope, scientists would watch
as cells change in brightness, an indication that the cells
are putting off proteins into their environment.
Information from the nanosensors could explain to
scientists why bomb blast amputees suffer from pain.
In most improvised explosive device-related injuries,
patients’ bones do not seal off. Rather, they push out
painful growths called heterotopic ossification, says Marc
Raphael, a physicist at the NRL.
Because cells constantly communicate by emitting proteins and antibodies, scientists wanted to be able to “read”
the communications. So they built a grid-like array of
hundreds of gold nanosensors that light up when exposed
to cell-secreted antibodies. The research might answer why
bone cells want to continue to grow, even after limbs no
longer are part of the body.
LLAMA Radio Telescope
In 2017, the Large Latin American Millimeter Array
(LLAMA) observatory will receive a 100-ton, 40-foot, sub-millimeter-wavelength radio telescope antenna designed
to provide scientists from around the world with a high-powered lens to study black holes, the molecular evolution
of interstellar clouds and the structure of the universe. The
new antenna will be similar to the radio telescope antennas
operating at the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter
Array (ALMA) observatory located in the Chilean portion
of the Atacama Desert.
Located 16,000 feet above sea level in the Atacama Desert
in Argentina, the LLAMA radio telescope will operate in the
90 to 700 gigahertz frequency band. Equipped with extremely
sensitive receivers and control and data processing systems,
the antenna will work as an independent telescope. It also will
work in concert with the ALMA observatory. By placing radio
telescope antennas at greater distances from one another, more
scientific information can be collected.
The LLAMA project is a joint venture between Argentina
and Brazil. The radio antennas weigh more than 100 tons, with
manufacturing tolerances measuring half the diameter of a
human hair, say officials with General Dynamics SATCOM
Technologies, which will install the system.
A group led by the U.S. Army Research Labora- tory’s (ARL’s) Computational and Information Sciences Directorate’s Intelligence Optics Team has created and delivered the first-known working adaptive phase coherent fiber laser array system.
The technology will enhance directed-energy weapons
and laser communications systems on the battlefield.
Architecture in the system will enable more efficient,
lethal, mobile and deployable laser weapons systems
so soldiers can use the technology in ground and aerial
platforms. The output beam of the array also has application as a countermeasure system to destroy incoming
missiles and adversary reconnaissance.
The system consists of phase locking and beam combining for multichannel, 7 and 19, fiber laser subaper-ture arrays. With this phase-locking feature and compensation mechanism, physical disturbances such as
system vibration and atmospheric turbulence will not
affect laser beam operation.
The system uses the
internal interference feedback of multi-laser beam
tails instead of using the
conventional beam-split-ter sensors placed on the
output passage of the laser
beams. This allows it to
deliver the same amount of
total energy as a monolithic single-aperture laser, but
the energy density is many
times higher at the center
of the combined beam. It
also boasts reduced size,
weight and cost without
compromising power. Future tests aim to achieve an
ultimate goal of developing a 100-kilowatt-class laser
system in a scalable size, weight and power optical
phased array configuration. This design will be compatible with existing weapon system platforms.
This fiber system took 10 years for a team consisting of ARL, the Defense Advanced Research Projects
Agency (DARPA), Optonicus, MIT Lincoln Laboratory
and other academic partners to develop. Efforts assisted
the recent DARPA development of a 21-element optical
phase array system. An ARL patent and patents related
to the system are pending.
The U.S. Army’s new adaptive phase coherent fiber
laser array system offers
the potential for improved
communications and beam