Monday, August 31, 2009

AF supercomputer named after WWII codebreaker

AF supercomputer named after WWII codebreaker: "DAYTON, Ohio — A new Air Force supercomputer is named in honor of an Ohio man who was instrumental in cracking Nazi codes during World War II.The $2.2 million machine to be used by researchers at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is called the ‘Desch.’ It will turn large amounts of radar surveillance data into three-dimensional video images that can observe an entire city and focus in close — on an individual lighting a cigarette, for example.Joe Desch, who died in 1987, was the designer of a computer that helped the Allies break the Nazis’ Enigma codes. Desch’s daughter, Debbie Anderson, planned to attend Monday’s unveiling of the supercomputer and says it would have fascinated her father, and he would have wanted to know exactly how it worked."

(Via Air Force Times - News.)

KZO UAV in Kunduz

KZO UAV in Kunduz: "

The Bundeswehr, the German armed forces, has been operating the Kleinfluggerät für Zielortung (Small Aircraft for Target Acquisition, abbreviated KZO) UAV in Afghanistan for nearly four weeks. Three KZO systems are currently deployed at the Bundeswehrs provincial reconstruction team (PRT) in Kunduz, northern Afghanistan, and have conducted some 25 missions.


blog post photo
Bundeswehr photo


A KZO system consists of a ground control station, antenna vehicle, launch vehicle, recovery vehicle, and five UAVs. KZO has a greater range and better sensors than the Luna UAV the Bundeswehr has so far been operating in Afghanistan and can also take real-time infrared imagery for faster and better target acquisition day and night, according to the Bundeswehr.

Yesterday, five more KZO systems were delivered to the German army's reconnaissance force in Munster, Germany.


(Via Ares.)

The SecDef Is Coming. Look Busy

The SecDef Is Coming. Look Busy: "

Defense Secretary Bob Gates is at Lockheed Martin's Fort Worth plant today. Bob Cox of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that new acquisition chief Ashton Carter will be there, too.

Colin Clark at DoDBuzz sees the trip - an unusual one for Gates - as a move to defend the jet. According to Clark, a major national newspaper has a critical story in the works. 

Our friend Philippe Grasset at riffs on Clarks theme, arguing that Gates has painted himself into a corner by depicting the F-22 as wasteful and unnecessary. Now, Grasset argues, the idea is taking hold that the F-22 was just the beginning of a war on all high-tech weapons. 

Gates, Grasset writes, 'will have to get people to accept the idea that all the arguments fired at the F-22 have no merit against the F-35, even though the F-35 looks like the F-22's brother in most of its faults, and may be worse in some. On lui souhaite bonne chance,' Grasset concludes. Translation: 'Good luck with that.'

Even independent analyst Loren Thompson is beginning to sound worried.  Its going to be an interesting month, with the engine war still raging and a reconvened Joint Estimating Team reviewing the progress of flight testing and development.

As Bob Cox reports, problems with the secondary power system of BF-1 have kept it grounded - and the goal is now to get BF-1 and BF-2 to Patuxent River during September, after which the careful build-down to vertical landing can start. Four JSF flight-test aircraft that should have flown by now (according to the schedule published in January) are still firmly on the tarmac. I wonder if all of them will be lined up neatly today for Gates and Carter to inspect.


(Via Ares.)


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