DARPA

The DARPA “One Shot” program at the Pentagon was originally aimed to give snipers the power to hit a target from 2000 meters away in winds as high as 40 miles per hour. In the first phases of the 3-year-old program, shooters used prototype rifles dressed with lasers and fancy computer hardware to do damage from 1,100 meters away in 18-mile-an-hour winds. The scope-mounted lasers can “see” wind turbulence in the path of the bullet and feed the data to computers, enabling real-time calculation of — and compensation for — the wind-blown trajectory. The agency is looking for 15 ultra precise sniper scopes to put in shooters’ hands by next year.

Full Story – Wired

More info at DARPA – HERE

I wonder when this will be coming to the consumer market? :P  On second thought, hitting the target every time with no effort would completely take the fun out of shooting.

The article in Wired mentions the cost at $7 million…. that seems like a steal of a deal if they can actually get this type of system to work for that amount of money.  A lot of lives potentially will be saved.

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DARPA_weather_balloon

On December 4th I blogged that DARPA was holding a competition (On Dec. 5th) where you could win $40000 in prize money.

My Predictions:

My guess is the correct answer is submitted in less than 30 minutes, on behalf of some sort of tightly knit organization.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

I wonder if anyone is planning on playing dirty and attaching a bunch of fake decoy balloons at various locations throughout the U.S. … If that is the case then maybe my prediction of 30 minutes isn’t realistic.

The Winner:

The Red Balloon Team of M.I.T. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

I find it unsurprising that M.I.T. won, considering the people that go there are obviously very intelligent.

What I do find surprising though is the lack of information released by M.I.T. or DARPA about the details on the network that was established that led to the win.

There is a useless PDF that the DARPA site links to – HERE and all it says it it took “less than 9 hours”.

The FAQ of the M.I.T. Red Balloon Team offers some insight into the process, but still doesn’t give any details about how many people ended up signing up and how they eventually won.

Kind of anti-climatic considering I thought there would be a lot of fake balloons launched, and other random hi-jinx.  Well maybe there was, but who knows, because like I mentioned earlier there seems to be absoultely no information about the progression of the contest.

Here is the map from DARPA on where they placed the 10 Balloons.  I wonder what their problem was with the central U.S.?

DarpaBalloonMap

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DARPA_weather_balloon

DARPA Network Challenge

The competition kicks off Dec. 5 at 10 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, when DARPA ( Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency ) will display 10 8-foot, red weather balloons at undisclosed, publicly accessible sites around the continental United States. The balloons will remain at their locations throughout the day, until sunset.

The first person to identify the precise latitudes and longitudes of all 10 balloons will win the prize money.

Norman Whitaker, deputy director of DARPA’s transformational convergence technology office, conceded that it would be nearly impossible for any one person to pinpoint every balloon within the designated timeframe. But if the competitors worked together as teams – using social networking forums made possible through the Internet – it is possible, he said.

My guess is the correct answer is submitted in less than 30 minutes, on behalf of some sort of tightly knit organization.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

I wonder if anyone is planning on playing dirty and attaching a bunch of fake decoy balloons at various locations throughout the U.S. … If that is the case then maybe my prediction of 30 minutes isn’t realistic.

Good luck to everyone that is participating.

More information on the contest – HERE

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