Engineering Newswire 104: Giant Darts to Probe Mars for Signs of Life
Today on Engineering Newswire, we’re creating the future of armored vehicles, waging robot wars, and throwing giant penetrator probes at Mars. This episode features:
DARPA’s Ground X-Vehicle Tech Program: It makes sense that increased armor would offer more protection. However, weapons ability to penetrate armor has advanced way beyond the armors ability to withstand infiltration. Which has resulted in larger, more expensive vehicles.
So DARPA has created the Ground X-Vehicle Technology program to help make future armored vehicles more mobile, safe, and affordable.
Robots Move Robots During Fully Autonomous Mission: Working in collaboration with TARDEC, Lockheed successfully conducted a fully autonomous resupply, reconnaissance, surveillance, and target-acquisition demonstration using the Squad Mission Support System unmanned ground vehicle, K-MAX unmanned helicopter, and Gyrocam optical sensor.
During the test, K-MAX delivered the unmanned ground vehicle with a sling load to conduct an autonomous resupply mission scenario for soldiers defending a village.
Probing Mars for Life: There is a new Indiegogo campaign, and it’s mission: To find life on Mars. Explore Mars, Inc. believes that in order to find life on mars, we must look deep beneath the surface instead of just scratching it like we have been with rover bots and cameras.
So they reinvented the lawn dart with their ExoLance concept, which leverages a delivery system of small and lightweight penetrator probes. According to Explore Mars, the ExoLance combines the experiments of the 1970s Viking landers and the Curiosity rover with bunker-busting weapons technology, and the system involves a metabolic test that clearly distinguishes non-living chemistry from the chemistry produced by the metabolism of living microorganisms.
For more information on the ExoLance Indiegogo campaign, visit www.indiegogo.com/projects/exolance.
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