Spy tech caught in battle


In this World Wide Wrap: Spy tech caught in battle, air force seeks microwave tech, and Air Products up to challenge.

Spy tech caught in battle

A marine in Iraq can scan a screen with images of the streets he will soon patrol. If he spots suspicious movement, he can replay the digital video, just like a TV viewer who has missed a play from a football game, says USA Today.

The cutting-edge surveillance system, called Angel Fire, uses aircraft armed with cameras to monitor the battlefield. It gives troops what US commanders in Iraq have sought for years: a persistent, bird`s-eye view to search roads and neighbourhoods for improvised explosive devices and the insurgents who plant them.

"Angel Fire distributes real-time imagery straight to the war fighter, providing the ability to zoom in and observe an area more closely," John Young, director of Defence Research and Engineering at the Pentagon, told Congress in March.

Air force seeks microwave tech

The US Air Force is surveying industry for high-power microwave (HPM) technologies that could be incorporated into unmanned aerial vehicles, bombs and cruise missiles, says FCW.com.

The Defence Department is experimenting with HPM technologies for a number of applications. Targeted microwaves with sufficient power can disable or destroy electronic systems found in much of today`s military gear.

“High-power microwaves have a potential in command [and] control warfare, in suppressing enemy air defences, and against tactical or unmanned aerial vehicles,” states a 2002 fact sheet on HPM research issued by the Air Force Research Laboratory.

Air Products up to challenge

Air Products mobile hydrogen fueller technology is proving to be up to the challenge in Columbia, where it is participating in a six-location Fuel Cell Lift Truck Demonstration Project in the Greater Columbia Fuel Cell Challenge, reports CNN Money.

Air Products mobile fuelling technology is providing hydrogen for two hydrogen-powered lift trucks that have been equipped with fuel cell power packs and are performing daily use evaluations, concluding in December, at various warehouse facilities in the greater Columbia area.

"This demonstration project highlights the capability of hydrogen as an energy carrier and another diverse application for hydrogen fuel cells," said Tom Joseph, business development manager for Hydrogen Energy Systems at Air Products.