AI News, Wanted: In-flight Drone Charging, Itty-Bitty Spy Cams, and More

Wanted: In-flight Drone Charging, Itty-Bitty Spy Cams, and More

Among the items described are a wireless recharging station for drones in flight, a low-power mini-spy camera that can be worn on the body, and a portable scanner that can find tunnel entrances under a floor or behind walls.

“When you read them the first time, it's kind of, 'Oh my, my.'” As a whole, the list speaks to the tech priorities of a U.S. military faced with new demands in both its counterterrorism and counterinsurgency efforts, says Dylan Lee Lehrke, senior analyst with IHS Jane’s.

“Technology can act as a force multiplier, providing information that enables a limited number of forces to maintain situational awareness in large complex environments and allows them to act with precision,” he says.

It must run from a silent generator operated from the back of an SUV, and be capable of automatically shutting itself off within 1 to 10 milliseconds if a foreign object passes in front of it while it’s transmitting.

Of course, there are many places where drones simply can’t fly, so the military is also requesting high-tech tools that will help agents gather information on the ground, or stay in touch with soldiers.

These tools include a low-cost sensor that can send an email or text to a central command center whenever it’s moved, and a wearable health monitor for first responders.

A representative from the agency could not be reached for comment.) Despite its small size, the wearable device must be able to transmit information including live video across a distance of at least 500 meters at microwavefrequencies within the S Band (2.2 GHz to 2.29 GHz) or C Band (4.4 GHz to 4.8 GHz).

For those elements that can’t be easily integrated, such as capacitors and resistors, Titus says embedding components withinmulti-layered circuit boards can help to conserve space.Unfortunately, that approach adds manufacturing costs and causes heat to become trapped in the middle of the boards.

However, such frequencies are limited in performance by various physical factors, so a device that handled them would almost certainly require an antenna array or some form of advanced signal processing to boost those signals—which could wind up taking up even more room than a slightly larger microwave antenna.

The greatest challenge in creating a mini wearable spy camera as described in the BAA, Jornet says, will be finding a way to integrate all of the components that the device would need to process video, encrypt information, and generate signals, without causing it to overheat.

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