There are many advances being made in military technology and some were the basis for electronic and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle pieces of equipment as used by characters in the Starbirth Assignment books. There are so many references on the web to the advances being made in this field it would be impossible to list them all.
Nano-UAVs in the shape of hummingbirds (video)
Associated Press= SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Pentagon is pouring millions of dollars into the development of tiny drones inspired by biology — such as the hummingbird — each equipped with video and audio equipment that can record sights and sounds.
They could be used to spy, but also to locate people inside earthquake-crumpled buildings and detect hazardous chemical leaks.
Evolving role of drones in war
From blimps to bugs, an explosion in aerial drones is transforming the way America fights and thinks about its wars. Predator drones, the Cessna-sized workhorses that have dominated unmanned flight since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, are by now a brand name, known and feared around the world. But far less known is the sheer size, variety and audaciousness of a rapidly expanding drone universe, along with the dilemmas that come with it.
Up to date news about military robots and UAVs
Itzhak Nissan, President and CEO of IAI, said: “The Panther’s intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities, along with its effective use of changing flight dynamics, make it a unique and invaluable asset on the tactical battlefield for the Israel Defense Forces and for foreign customers. We consider the innovative technology used in this system to be ground-breaking. The Panther, which weighs roughly 65 kg (143 lb), is powered by three ultra-quiet electrical motors that allow the craft to loiter for approximately six hours, at an altitude of up to 10,000 feet, with an operational radius of over 60 km (37 miles). The UAV carries IAI’s Mini-POP (Plug-in Optronic Payload), which consists of a day/night stabilized camera with a laser range finder, pointer or laser designator. Meanwhile, the smaller Mini Panther, which weighs up to 12 kg (26 lb), can loiter for approximately two hours and carries IAI’s Micro-POP.
Advanced Tactical Lasers
The Advanced Tactical Laser can place a 10-centimeter-wide beam with the heating power of a blowtorch on distant targets for up to 100 shots. The Advanced Tactical Laser can produce a four-inch-diameter beam of energy that can slice through metal from a distance of 9 miles.
Free Electron Lasers
Operating at the speed of light, the FEL will be able to detect threats. An incoming missile won’t outrun it, out maneuver it or escape it. It will defend the fleet of the future and the Office of Naval Research is supporting the technology to build it right now.
Imagine a Naval gun so powerful it can shoot a 5-inch projectile up to 220 miles, yet requires no explosives to fire.
Rather than using explosives to fire projectiles as do conventional naval weapons, the railgun depends on an electromagnetic system that uses the ship’s onboard electrical power grid to fire the gun. The pulse-forming network is a system that stores up electrical power and then converts it to a pulse that is directed into the gun’s barrel, explained John Cochran, the railgun program manager in Raytheon’s Advanced Technology Group.
Clearing IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) on the battlefield
There are few details available about the highly classified technology, about which the Pentagon is remaining silent. USA Today describes it as a beam which “bypasses the triggering device of an IED and detonates its explosive.” As such, it can not only be used to detonate explosives on the ground, but explosives that are still being built and transported by insurgents.