The future of war includes balloons – POLITICO

With the help of Derek Robertson

We wrote a little bit in DFD about long process The US military requires the adoption of new technologies. Now one piece of next-generation technology is finally getting closer to reality: AI-powered balloons floating in the outer edges of Earth’s atmosphere.

As mentioned in Today’s storythe Department of Defense has handed over the surveillance balloon project to certain service branches, such as the Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy or Space Force — a move that usually means they can start using new technology.

Pentagon plan? Activation of the stratosphere. The Department of Defense 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 between 60,000 and 90,000 feet above the ground. They navigate wind currents using machine learning algorithms and recharge using solar panels, according to manufacturer Raven Aerostar.

One aspect that might speed up adoption in this case: The new technology is much cheaper than anything the military now uses for high-altitude surveillance. Surveillance planes have flown at these altitudes Since the fiftiesbut can only fly for hours at a time, rather than months.

These balloons can hang around for weeks or months at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars to operate, while obtaining similar information using aircraft or satellites can cost millions or tens of millions of dollars.

Like the drones that are now so essential to modern warfare, balloons allow the people who operate them to remain safely on the ground.

anyway long time The airships were A lesson for decades along with Drones at high altitudes can fly for weeks Each time, the current project has only been in development for three years. The Pentagon began the new program (called The Covert Long-Dwell Stratospheric Architecture, or COLD STAR) in fiscal year 2019. Some tests have been conducted on these balloons. I mentioned in 2019 – back then with the idea of ​​using it to find and track drug smugglers. (And yes, some serious questions have been raised about the data these balloons will collect on Americans.)

But these may also have a future in the war itself. The Pentagon is conducting demonstrations to assess how to incorporate high-altitude balloons and commercial satellites into the attacks. This means that they could play a role in helping not only identify hypersonic weapons, but shoot them.

The social, economic and even political potential of metaviruses has received great scrutiny Where Mark Zuckerberg set his vision for it Last summer amid a high-profile Facebook rebranding. But what about its manufacturing capacity?

European manufacturing giant Siemens last week announced a partnership with graphics company Nvidia to make digital factory models that would enable experimentation, using Nvidia. Omniverse platform. Given the high level of hype around the potential uses of virtual reality for gaming, shopping, and social media, this kind of behind-the-scenes apps might be more useful right away. (For example, Siemens is touting a utility plant’s “direct digital twin” to analyze its heat distribution – best for optimizing the placement of cooling and ventilation towers.)

Companies that make significant investments in virtual reality technology seem to realize this. XRA, an industry advertising group founded by Google, Microsoft, Oculus, and others, has successfully lobbied for the language in (Now at risk) a USICA technology funding bill that would promote the use of “immersive technology” as a research tool. Representative Yvette Clark (D.-NY), a member of “Reality Caucus” that focuses on virtual reality, has introduced bills that will encourage the use of VR in Federal workforce training. – Derek Robertson

More news from the other side of the pond: As the EU moves to formalize a comprehensive reform already exists Technology regulations, the European Commission is planning the next wave of technological disruption.

Peter Hayek of Politico reports that the commission has come up with 25 “action points” to advance what it calls “deep technology,” a magnet for technological innovation derived from advances in basic sciences in everything from artificial intelligence to quantum computing. The committee’s “Innovation Agenda” addresses issues including “access to finance, talent recruitment, the innovation gap between West and East, and the lack of space for experimentation and supportive policy tools.

The Commission’s report also places the initiative squarely in the context of the ambition of the European Union climate plansas well as aiming to close the insignificant Funding and Research Gap The European Union with the United States and China (even while the United States deals with the countries of the European Union own inner struggles on financing technology and innovation).

The report states that the EU hopes to attract 45 billion euros (about $46 billion) of private capital if all its goals are achieved over the next three years. – Derek Robertson

Stay in touch with the whole team: Ben Shrekinger ([email protected]); Derek Robertson ([email protected]); Konstantin Kakays ([email protected]); and Heidi Vogt ([email protected]). Follow us on Twitter Tweet embed.

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