defense

Maker Spotlight: Brent Chapman

Maker Spotlight: Brent Chapman

Meet Brent Chapman, cyber warfare researcher for the US Army and prolific maker.

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‘Liquid armor’ based on shear-thickening non-Newtonian fluids

‘Liquid armor’ based on shear-thickening non-Newtonian fluids

Speaking broadly, non-Newtonian fluids are of two types: Either they get thinner under shear, or they get thicker. Shear-thickening fluids, like the common corn flour-water mixture sometimes called “oobleck,” obviously, get thicker when a force is applied. This new and highly secretive non-Newtonian fluid formulation by British defense giant BAE is like oobleck to the power of ten, and can, reportedly, be very effectively combined with Kevlar to improve human body armor performance against bullets. [via Fast Company]

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Real-life “landspeeder” prototype

Real-life “landspeeder” prototype

Noah Shactman just brought Israeli defense contractor Urban Aeronautics’ AirMule VTOL UAV project to my attention. The photo released by Urban Aeronautics, shown above, purports to show the first successful hovering flight of an AirMule prototype, secured against wandering off by guy-wires. Video would’ve been more persuasive. The design goal of the AirMule project is to produce an unmanned vehicle that can be used to ferry supplies into, or wounder soldiers out of, a hostile, closely-packed urban combat environment. [via Danger Room]

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“Bomb-proof” kevlar wallpaper

Very clever idea commercialized as the X-flex Blast Protection System, in which a high-tensile-strength composite film is applied to the inside of a masonry wall to reinforce it against lateral impact. The video embedded above was produced by Popular Science, who included the X-flex system in their 100 best innovations of 2009.

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