April 09, 2016

Two Bigelow BA 330 modules planned by 2020 which combined would have 72% of the volume of the ISS

Spacex and NASA just launched the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module.

As a precursor to larger space habitat systems, Bigelow said BEAM (Bigelow Expandable Activity Module) could "change the entire dynamic for human habitation" in space. He hopes to have a pair of private space BA330 stations ready for launch by 2020.

Companies- even countries - are clamoring to put their own experiments inside the empty BEAM, Bigelow said in an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday. If everything goes well, that next commercial step could happen in perhaps six months.

Compared to their volume-mass ratio, expandable modules offer more living space than traditional rigid modules. For example, the pressurised volume of a 20-ton BA 330 module is 330 cubic meters, compared to 106 cubic meters of the 15 ton ISS Destiny module. Thus BA 330 offers 210% more habitable space, with an increase in mass of only 33%.

Bigelow also claims that the module provides radiation protection equivalent to, and ballistic protection superior to, the International Space Station.

The exterior of the craft is intended to be 13.7 meters (45 ft) long by 6.7 meters (22 ft) in diameter and the module will weigh between 20,000 kilograms (45,000 lb) and 23,000 kilograms (50,000 lb)

The BA 330 lease rate will be US$25 million for one-third of the station—110 cubic meters (3,900 cu ft)—for a 60-day lease and a round-trip taxi-seat to the BA 330 in low Earth orbit (LEO) on a SpaceX Dragon V2 will cost US$26.5 million per seat.

Bigelow announced notional designs for two enhanced BA 330s, but has explicitly stated that it would need to secure an anchor customer to go forward with building and launching any systems beyond low Earth orbit (BLEO).

BA 330-DS for deep space missions to Earth/Moon Lagrange points or for Lunar orbital destinations.

BA 330-MDS for use on the surface of the Moon or other inner solar system bodies

The International space station has a pressurized volume of 916 cubic meters. It took about 40 launches to bring up all of the modules for assembly.

Two BA330 modules would have 72% of the pressurized volume of the international space station.

The outer layers of the expandable habitat spread out and absorb energy from impacts and break up any penetrating bits of space junk. In the 1990s when NASA had Transhab technology the layers were a combination of Nextel, Kevlar, foam and other fabric formed the multilayer shield.

NASA paid Bigelow Aerospace $17.8 million for the BEAM test flight. This makes BEAM the most affordable module ever launched to the space station, said Michael Gold, director of operations and business growth for Bigelow Aerospace.

Expandable habitats like BEAM need to be just as strong - or stronger - than the standard metal cylinders that make up the current space station. BEAM has proven to be equal or better against space debris than metal, said NASA project manager Rajib Dasgupta.

The collapsed BEAM measures about 7 feet long (2 meters) and 8 feet (2½ meters) in diameter. Inflated, it will be about 13 feet long (4 meters) and 10½ feet (3 meters) in diameter, and provide 565 cubic feet (16 cubic meters) of space, about the size of a small bedroom.

Bigelow Aerospace has plans for a much larger expandable habitat B330, providing 11,654 cubic feet (330 cubic meters) of internal space, the size of a couple of buses. The company hopes to launch two of the B330s around 2020, providing opportunities for companies, schools, countries outside the space mainstream, and NASA, too, if it likes

Bigelow will likely make modules that fit the available launch vehicles. A BA1150 could be modified to fit a Falcon heavy.

Spacex reusable stages, drone ship technology and the Spacex Heavy

Initially SpaceX plans to reduce the cost of a Falcon 9 rocket with a reused booster to $43 million per flight, a savings of 30 percent.

SpaceX will try to return the booster that was just landed on the drone ship back to Cape Canaveral, in Florida, by Sunday. After running a series of tests on the Falcon, the company plans to fire its engines 10 times in a row on the ground. “If things look good it will be qualified for reuse,” Musk said. “We’re hoping to relaunch it on an orbital mission, let's say by June.”

SpaceX plans to have its first manned flight by the end of 2017 with the second generation of the Dragon capsule. Spacex will have an unmanned test of the new Dragon capsule first.

Spacex Drone Ships

Spacex droneships are modified Marmac barges. The autonomous drone ships are outfitted with four diesel-powered azimuth thruster engines which can pivot horizontally, removing the need for a ship rudder and offering better maneuverability with a complete 360 degree range of motion for the ship controls. The engines are supplied by marine equipment manufacturer Thrustmaster.

The materials on the surface of the ship aren’t entirely known, but is likely a thick sheet of steel which prominently features the SpaceX logo.

The drone ships are capable of maneuvering autonomously, using GPS information for precision positioning, but they can also be remotely controlled by an accompanying support ship with a crew of technicians standing by.

A wide array of sensors are used in tandem with the GPS information to manage the “attitude and placement” of the drone ship and communicate with the incoming rocket and the onlooking teams to control and coordinate the complicated precise landings.

Following each landing attempt the crews of the support ship board the drone ship. If the landing is successful, the standing rocket is welded to the deck of the ship and reinforced until it arrives back in port. If the landing was a failure, whatever is salvageable is secured and returned to port.

Half or more of the launches will not have enough fuel for a landing back onto land. Initially it will be half land landings. As they increase rocket performance they will be able to reduce ocean landings to one third or one quarter. The next ocean landing will be 3 months away. The third mission from now will be land landing.

Everything on the stage should be good for 10-20 re-uses and with minor refurbishment up to 100 reuses.

Elon Musk in the post launch interview indicated that the drone ship held position to within one meter.

They have landing shoes that go over the landing gear and the shows are welded to the deck.

Elon again talked about Spacex launching once every two weeks

Spacex Heavy will launch later this year. The Falcon Heavy configuration consists of a standard Falcon 9 with two additional Falcon 9 first stages acting as liquid strap-on boosters, which is conceptually similar to EELV Delta IV Heavy launcher and proposals for the Atlas V HLV and Russian Angara. Falcon Heavy will be more capable than any other operational rocket, with a payload to low earth orbit of 53,000 kilograms (117,000 lb) and 12-13 tons to Mars.

The Spacex Heavy launch will try to land three first stages.

Reusability can reduce marginal costs by one hundred times.

Several new sodium iodine detectors will become active in the next few years to test dark matter detection

For more than a decade the DAMA collaboration has claimed to have detected dark matter. Four instruments will use the same type of detector for Dark Matter. The first of the new detectors to go online, in South Korea, is due to start taking data in a few weeks. The others will follow over the next few years in Spain, Australia and, again, Gran Sasso. All will use sodium iodide crystals to detect dark matter, which no full-scale experiment apart from DAMA’s has done previously.

Scientists have substantial evidence that dark matter exists and is at least five times as abundant as ordinary matter. But its nature remains a mystery. The leading hypothesis is that at least some of its mass is composed of weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs), which on Earth should occasionally bump into an atomic nucleus.

DAMA’s sodium iodide crystals should produce a flash of light if this happens in the detector. And although natural radioactivity also produces such flashes, DAMA’s claim to have detected WIMPs, first made in 1998, rests on the fact that the number of flashes produced per day has varied with the seasons.

This, they say, is exactly what is expected if the signal is produced by WIMPs that rain down on Earth as the Solar System moves through the Milky Way’s dark-matter halo. In this scenario, the number of particles crossing Earth should peak when the planet’s orbital motion lines up with that of the Sun, in early June, and should hit a low when its motion works against the Sun’s, in early December.

There is one big problem. “If it’s really dark matter, many other experiments should have seen it already,” says Thomas Schwetz-Mangold, a theoretical physicist at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany — and none has. But at the same time, all attempts to find weaknesses in the DAMA experiment, such as environmental effects that the researchers had not taken into account, have failed. “The modulation signal is there,” says Kaixuan Ni at the University of California, San Diego, who works on a dark-matter experiment called XENON1T. “But how to interpret that signal — whether it’s from dark matter or something else — is not clear.”

April 08, 2016

Rossi 1 Megawatt Energy Catalyzer is a failure after 3 years of testing by Industrial Heat

A lawsuit has been filed by Andrea Rossi and Leonardo Corporation against Industrial Heat. Industrial Heat rejects the claims in the suit. They are without merit and we are prepared to vigorously defend ourselves against this action. Industrial Heat has worked for over three years to substantiate the results claimed by Mr. Rossi from the E-Cat technology – all without success.

Leonardo Corporation and Mr. Rossi also have repeatedly breached their agreements. At the conclusion of these proceedings we are confident that the claims of Mr. Rossi and Leonardo Corporation will be rejected.

Although there does seem to be solid evidence of low levels of excess heat from cold fusion, the larger claims of commercial levels of energy seem to clearly be fraudulent.

Rossi is suingRaleigh investors Thomas Darden and JT Vaughn, along with their companies, investment firm Cherokee Investment Partners and clean-tech startup Industrial Heat., Rossi alleges both the venture and its investors owe him $89 million for a cold-fusion invention he insists he's validated.

At the heart of the suit is a controversial invention Rossi calls the “Energy Catalyzer” or “E-Cat," a black box he claims generates a low energy nuclear reaction – cold fusion. If it works, it’s a cheaper, greener way to generate a huge amount of energy, no coal plant required.

In the suit filed Tuesday, Rossi claims Darden and Vaughn contacted him in 2012 about licensing his science for $100.5 million.

According to the complaint, the sum of $1.5 million was to be paid upon the execution of the license agreement, with $10 million to be paid upon successful completion of a 24-hour validation test. Rossi further claims that the remaining $89 million would be paid after a 350-day test period, with both tests to be performed by independent experts. Darden and Vaughn created a company to research the technology, Raleigh-based Industrial Heat.

Both the licensing payment and the first test fee were paid and in 2013 an E-Cat Unit was delivered to a Raleigh facility to prepare for the final test, the suit alleges. That’s where Rossi says the deal started to sour, with Industrial Heat’s alleged “inability or failure to secure an adequate facility” where the test could be completed, preventing him from completing that final milestone in accordance with the initial agreement.

In late 2015, Industrial Heat is expanding its operations into a 20,000-square-foot lab space in Cary, North Carolina

China building up South China Sea Scarborough Shoal 140 miles from Philippine capital of Manila

Evidence is mounting that China aims to build another island atop the Scarborough Shoal, an atoll just 140 miles off the coast of the Philippines’ capital of Manila and well within the Philippines' 200-mile economic exclusion zone, that would extend China's claims. Chinese missile batteries and air-search radars there would put U.S. forces in the Philippines at risk in a crisis.

"When it comes to the South China Sea, I think the largest military concern for [U.S.] Pacific Command is what operational situation will be left to the next commander or the commander after that," said a Senate staffer familiar with the issues in the South China Sea. "The status quo is clearly being changed. Militarization at Scarborough Shoal would give [China's People's Liberation Army-Navy] the ability to hold Subic Bay, Manila Bay, and the Luzon Strait at risk with coastal defense cruise missiles or track aviation assets moving in or out of the northern Philippines."

Capt. Sean Liedman, a naval flight officer serving as a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, called for the U.S. to take a hard line.

“Failing to prevent the destruction and Chinese occupation of Scarborough Shoal would generate further irreversible environmental damage in the South China Sea — and more importantly, further irreversible damage to the principles of international law,” Liedman wrote in a late March blog post. “It would further consolidate the Chinese annexation and occupation of the maritime features in the South China Sea, which would be essentially irreversible in any scenario short of a major regional conflict.”

Liedman said the Navy should consider taking military actions like disabling Chinese dredging boats to steps to impair the land-reclamation effort.

US Army plans for modernizing and upgradeing defences, sensors and weapons of armored vehicles and tanks

The US Army is considering upgrading the lethality of the entire M1126 Stryker armored vehicle fleet. Army may “up-gun” the Stryker fleet. In addition to the 30 mm cannon, the Army is reportedly considering adding Javelin anti-tank guided missile (ATGM)-capable remote weapons stations to selected Stryker vehicles to enhance their anti-armor capabilities. Both the 30 mm cannon (developed as part of the Army’s cancelled Future Combat System (FCS) program) and Javelin are considered “mature” technologies by the Army and their integration on the Stryker vehicle could prove to be quicker and perhaps less costly than if these weapons had to be custom-designed. In addition, if the Army does upgrade the entire Stryker fleet, it could drive down the modernization cost per vehicle.

The Army contends it would cost $3.8 million per Stryker including both the 30 millimeter cannon as well as other selected improvements such as a new suspension

The Army intends to begin testing Active Protective Systems (APS) on a number of its combat vehicles, including the Abrams, Bradleys, and Strykers, before FY2019. The Army’s program, designated the Modular Active Protection Systems (MAPS), will initially focus on “soft- kill” technologies such as vehicle obscurants and electronic defeat systems and then progress to “hard-kill” technologies like the ability to shoot down missiles fired at vehicles. As part of developing MAPS, the Army is looking at existing, non-developmental APS technologies both domestically and foreign-produced, such as Israel’s Trophy APS currently in use with Israeli forces. As part of the Army’s FY2017 budget proposal, the Army reportedly will experiment with commercially available APS systems as part of Abrams, Bradley, and Stryker survivability enhancements.

In March 2006, Pentagon testers at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren tested Trophy. An official involved with the tests told NBC that Trophy “worked in every case. The only anomaly was that in one test, the Trophy round hit the RPG’s tail instead of its head. But according to our test criteria, the system was 30 for 30.

The Russian rocket-propelled grenade RPG-30 is designed to overcome these tank defense systems. RPG-30 first fires a decoy for the active protection and then the real rocket grenade.

In response to concerns that the RPG-30 had fallen into the hands of Hezbollah fighters, Israel Defense reported that the Rafael weapons development authority developed a defense system called the "Trench Coat" that can counteract the RPG-30, by utilizing a 360-degree radar to detect all threats and, in the case of one, launch 17 projectiles, one of which should strike the incoming missiles.

Upgrades to the Ambrams Tanks

More than 1,600 M1 Abrams tanks and 2,500 M2/M3 Bradley infantry combat vehicles would be overhauled over the next decade.

The work will be done in stages. Each phase, called an “engineering change proposal,” or ECP, will tackle different parts of the vehicle that need to be modernized, including engines, transmissions, electrical power systems, communications networks, sensors and weapons.

Beginning in FY2017, Abrams Tank improvements include network compatibility, mass memory upgrade, power generation and distribution. Upgrades to the tank's electronic architecture and power distribution system enable integration of the Army's future battle command and communication systems. Protection improvements include armor upgrade and integration of counterradio-controlled IED electronic jammers. A new auxiliary power unit and advanced on-board diagnostics will improve sustainability by reducing the fuel usage and the cost of spare parts.

In 2024, Abrams upgrades will improve the tank's lethality through enhancements in sights and sensors that are centered on the integration of the next generation of forward looking infrared (FLIR) technology, a color camera and a laser range finder.

Army plans call for an upgraded M-1A3 Abrams and an upgraded Stryker vehicle. The Army, however, is planning for a successor to the Bradley—the Future Fighting Vehicle (FFV).

Limb regeneration activation genes found in mammals and regeneration of heart tissue and paws activitated in mice

If you trace our evolutionary tree way back to its roots -- long before the shedding of gills or the development of opposable thumbs -- you will likely find a common ancestor with the amazing ability to regenerate lost body parts.

Researchers have built a running list of the genes that enable regenerating animals to grow back a severed tail or repair damaged tissues. Surprisingly, they have found that genes important for regeneration in these creatures also have counterparts in humans. The key difference might not lie in the genes themselves but in the sequences that regulate how those genes are activated during injury.

A Duke study appearing April 6 in the journal Nature has discovered the presence of these regulatory sequences in zebrafish, a favored model of regeneration research. Called “tissue regeneration enhancer elements” or TREEs, these sequences can turn on genes in injury sites and even be engineered to change the ability of animals to regenerate.

Kang discovered that the element could be separated into two distinct parts: one that activates genes in an injured heart, and, next to it, another that activates genes in an injured fin. He fused these sequences to two regeneration genes, fibroblast growth factor and neuregulin 1, to create transgenic zebrafish whose fins and hearts had superior regenerative responses after injury.

They tested whether these “tissue regeneration enhancer elements” or TREEs could have a similar effect in mammalian systems like mice. Collaborator Brian L. Black, PhD, of the University of California, San Francisco attached one TREE to a gene called lacZ that produces a blue color wherever it is turned on. Remarkably, he found that borrowing these elements from the genome of zebrafish could activate gene expression in the injured paws and hearts of transgenic mice.

“We are just at the beginning of this work, but now we have an encouraging proof of concept that these elements possess all the sequences necessary to work with mammalian machinery after an injury,” said Poss. He suspects there may be many different types of TREEs: those that turn on genes in all tissues; those that turn on genes only in one tissue like the heart; and those that are active in the embryo as it develops and then are reactivated in the adult as it regenerates.

Eventually, Poss thinks that genetic elements like these could be combined with genome-editing technologies to improve the ability of mammals, even humans, to repair and regrow damaged or missing body parts.

LEN activity in neonatal mice.

The green signal in these images of an injured zebrafish heart and a fin indicate the activity of a gene that enhances tissue regeneration. (Image: Junsu Kang, Duke University.)

Nature - Modulation of tissue repair by regeneration enhancer elements

Better understanding of superconductivity will enable 12 Tesla trapped field magnets and engines 4-10 times smaller

University of Houston physicists report finding major theoretical flaws in the generally accepted understanding of how a superconductor traps and holds a magnetic field. More than 50 years ago, C.P. Bean, a scientist at General Electric, developed a theoretical explanation known as the "Bean Model" or "Critical State Model."

The basic property of superconductors is that they represent zero "resistance" to electrical circuits. In a way, they are the opposite of toasters, which resist electrical currents and thereby convert energy into heat. Superconductors consume zero energy and can store it for a long period of time. Those that store magnetic energy --known as "trapped field magnets" or TFMs -- can behave like a magnet.

  • 12 Tesla trapped field magnet
  • ability to replace a $100,000 low-temperature superconducting magnet in a research X-ray machine with a $300 TFM
  • replace a motor with one that is a quarter of the size of an existing one
  • energy-efficient ore separator
  • noncontact magnetic gears that will not wear or require repair
  • a red blood separator with 50 percent improved yield
  • an automated docking system for spacecraft.

Research background

In the Journal of Applied Physics, from AIP Publishing, the researchers describe experiments whose results exhibited "significant deviations" from those of the Critical State Model. They revealed unexpected new behavior favorable to practical applications, including the possibility of using TFMs in myriad new ways.

Much of modern technology is already based on magnets. "Without magnets, we'd lack generators [electric lights and toasters], motors [municipal water supplies, ship engines], magnetrons [microwave ovens], and much more," said Roy Weinstein, lead author of the study, and professor of physics emeritus and research professor at the University of Houston.

Generally, the performance of a device based on magnets improves as the strength of the magnet increases, up to the square of the increase. In other words, if a magnet is 25 times stronger, the device's performance can range from 25 to 625 times better.

Journal of Applied Physics - Anomalous results observed in magnetization of bulk high temperature superconductors—A windfall for applications

Spacex has a good landing on the drone ship

Spacex had a good landing on the drone ship

Spacex Dragon is on its way to the International Space Station.

This is the second time SpaceX has successfully landed one of its rocket stages. In December, 2015, Spacex landed Falcon 9 rocket at a ground-based landing site in Cape Canaveral

Elon Musk, SpaceX’s CEO, said drone ship landings are “needed for high-velocity missions.” Musk added that altitude and distance don’t mean much for orbit—speed does.

“Ship landings are not needed for flexibility or to save fuel costs,” Musk explained. “Just not physically possible to return to return to launch site.”

US Navy plans for $81.4 billion to buy 38 warships over the next 5 years

The U.S. Navy will seek $81.4 billion to buy 38 warships, submarines and support vessels in the next five years, according to new budget figures from the service.

The plan calls for spending about $14.7 billion on seven vessels next year, $16.8 billion on eight in fiscal 2018, $16.2 billion on seven in 2019, $16.9 billion on eight in 2020 and $16.8 billion on eight vessels in 2021.

The first new Gerald Ford aircraft carrier will be commissioned this year and the second should be commissioned in 2020. The third new carrier is scheduled for a 2025 commissioning.

The new Navy plan proposes bankrolling one new frigate each in fiscal 2019 and 2020 and two in 2021, for a total of $3 billion. These are the first of as many as eight better-armored and more survivable versions of the Littoral Combat Ship that Defense Secretary Ash Carter and his predecessor Chuck Hagel directed to be built.

The Navy plans to hold a competition for the frigate program, selecting between Lockheed and Austal, which both currently build versions of the Littoral Combat Ship.

The five-year plan also updates funds earmarked to start work on replacing the Ohio-class nuclear missile submarine. The service plans to spend $9.25 billion through fiscal 2021, up from the $5.7 billion it planned to spend through 2020 in last year's plan. The boost comes from $3.6 billion earmarked in 2021 to begin construction. The Navy last week announced that General Dynamics will be the prime contractor, with Huntington Ingalls the subcontractor.

The Littoral Combat Ship will be optimized for lethality and survivability.

The program is transition to a multimission frigate. The 40-knot sprint speed requirement will go away to allow for more armor, more weapons, an over-the-horizon missile and full-time anti-torpedo protection

13 million ghost children getting official recognition and documents

Birth controls still exist in China: The one-child policy was replaced by a two-child policy. Authorities in Beijing quietly began to give undocumented 2nd and third children legal status without first paying fines. Hukou registration is being provided which is like an internal passport and provides access to government services. It allows registration in school.

In 2010, China estimated that 13 million people had not been properly registered.

The words “family planning” went unmentioned in China’s state-of-the-union-style work report this year, for the first time since the advent of the one-child policy. Some observers see that as an indication that population control will soon vanish. In China, political leaders in some regions have already proposed tax and maternity-leave incentives for parents of second children.

Liang Zhongtang, a demographer from the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences. He has called for the complete abolition of birth controls.

Parents are seeing signs that the once-formidable family-planning regime is collapsing

Star Wars Rogue One Trailer

Star Wars Rogue one trailer.

This is Disney’s first attempt at creating a standalone movie that exists inside the Star Wars universe.

Action looks good. Effects look good.

It is set just before a Star Wars IV A New Hope.

April 07, 2016

Friday could see the successful launch of the NASA Bigelow Expandable space station module and a good Spacex reusable drone ship landing

SpaceX will try yet again to land its Falcon 9 rocket on a robotic ship in the Atlantic Ocean Friday (April 8).

The landing attempt will come during the launch of SpaceX's robotic Dragon cargo capsule to the International Space Station (ISS) for NASA, which is scheduled to take place at 4:43 p.m. EDT (2043 GMT) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

They will be launching the BEAM module. The Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) is an experimental expandable space station module being developed by Bigelow Aerospace, under contract to NASA, for use as a temporary module on the International Space Station (ISS) from 2016 to 2017. Bigelow has plans to build a second BEAM module as an airlock for the Bigelow Commercial Space Station.

The BEAM is an experimental program in an effort to test and validate expandable habitat technology. If BEAM performs favorably, it could lead to development of expandable habitation structures for future crews traveling in deep space. The two-year demonstration period will:
  • Demonstrate launch and deployment of a commercial inflatable. Implement folding and packaging techniques for inflatable. Implement a venting system for inflatable shell during ascent to ISS.
  • Determine radiation protection capability of inflatable structures.
  • Demonstrate design performance of commercial inflatable structure like thermal, structural, mechanical durability, long term leak performance, etc.
  • Demonstrate safe deployment and operation of an inflatable structure in a flight mission.

Mission success could see reusable rockets lowering launch costs by 3 to twenty and giant expandable space stations

Co-evolving Antivirals to rapidly defeat new viruses

Zika. Ebola. Dengue. Influenza. Chikungunya. These are but a few among the growing cadre of viruses that today pose serious health threats to U.S. troops, as well as to civilian populations in the United States and around the world. Vaccines exist for but a few of these infectious diseases. And since these viruses have an uncanny ability to mutate and morph as they reproduce inside their hosts, those few vaccines that do exist are quickly outdated, providing little protection against the latest viral strains. That’s why flu vaccine manufacturers, for example, must produce new versions annually, at enormous expense and with variable year-to-year efficacy.

Ideally, to outpace evolving pathogens, a therapy or a vaccine would adapt in real time, shape-shifting as fast as its targets do. To pursue that radical approach, DARPA today launched its INTERfering and Co-Evolving Prevention and Therapy (INTERCEPT) program.

“We need a new paradigm to stay ahead of these moving targets,” said Jim Gimlett, DARPA program manager. “With INTERCEPT, the goal is to develop viral therapies that are effective against a broad spectrum of viral strains, and that can co-evolve and outpace new strains.”

Viruses are among the simplest infectious entities known. All consist of two main parts: genetic material (DNA or RNA) surrounded by a protein shell. To reproduce, the virus attaches itself to, and then enters, a cell within a host organism and releases its genetic material into that cell. The viral genes then hijack the host cell’s biological machinery, forcing the cell to generate new copies of the viral genome and shell proteins. While still inside the host cell, those freshly minted viral genomes and protein shells assemble into new viruses, which eventually burst from the cell and disperse to infect others.

The goal of the INTERCEPT program is to develop viral therapies that are effective against a broad spectrum of viral strains, and that can co-evolve and outpace new strains.

DARPA XS-1 Spaceplane Program to Ease Access to Space

DARPA has announced Phase 2 of the XS-1 program, which seeks to design and fabricate an experimental unmanned spaceplane using state-of-the-art technologies and streamlined processes, and fly the vehicle ten times in ten days. The reusable XS-1 would demonstrate the potential for low-cost and “aircraft-like” high-ops-tempo space flight, enabling a host of critical national security options while helping to launch a new and potentially fruitful commercial sector.

XS-1 envisions that a fully reusable unmanned booster vehicle would fly to high speeds at a suborbital altitude. At that point, one or more expendable upper stages would separate, boost and deploy a satellite into low Earth orbit (LEO). The reusable first stage would then return to earth, land and be prepared for the next flight. Although relatively small by conventional aircraft standards, the XS-1 flight booster size—akin to a business jet—would be sufficient to validate credible scaling to larger reusable launch systems. Moreover, demonstration of on-demand and routine access to space, akin to aircraft, is important for next-generation DoD needs.

XS-1 has four primary technical goals:
  • Fly 10 times in a 10-day period (not including weather, range and emergency delays) to demonstrate aircraft-like access to space and eliminate concerns about the cost-effectiveness and reliability of reusable launch.
  • Achieve flight velocity sufficiently high to enable use of a small (and therefore low-cost) expendable upper stage.
  • Launch a 900- to 1,500-pound representative payload to demonstrate an immediate responsive launch capability able to support both DoD and commercial missions. The same XS-1 vehicle could eventually also launch future 3,000+- pound payloads by using a larger expendable upper stage.
  • Reduce the cost of access to space for 3,000+-pound payloads, with a goal of approximately $5 million per flight for the operational system, which would include a reusable booster and expendable upper stage(s).

Successful design would require integrating state-of-the-art technologies, processes and system approaches to deliver routine aircraft-like operability, reliability and cost efficiency. In particular, incorporation of autonomous technology and operations promises to significantly decrease the logistical footprint and enable rapid turnaround between flights. Structures made of advanced materials, cryogenic tanks, durable thermal protection, and modular subsystems would make possible a vehicle able to launch, fly to high speeds and then land in a condition amenable to rapid turnaround and launch with the next payload. Reusable, reliable propulsion would also be essential for a low-cost and recurring flight capability.

Model 3 batteries with 10% silicon anodes for higher energy density and lower cost

Sanford C. Bernstein’s Mark Newman wrote to his clients on March 31 describing a significant advance in battery technology that would make the Model 3’s batteries far more energetic and cheaper than anything else on the market.

Telsa's Model 3 batteries, made by Panasonic, start with a negative electrode—an anode—made up of 10% silicon

A large part of the battery research field has been focused on creating a working silicon anode because the resulting battery would be significantly more powerful. Graphite anodes, the current standard, store one lithium atom for every six carbon atoms (lithium being the energy in a battery). The more lithium, the more energy. But silicon anodes can store up to 4.4 lithium atoms for every silicon atom.

Fortune discussed the usage of more silicon in the battery anode earlier in 2015.

The 10% silicon provides a 30% boost in energy density.

The trouble with it, though, has always been swelling. When you use silicon, and start charging and discharging, the anode swells, eventually causing the battery to self-destruct.

The Model 3 battery will achieve energy density of 300 watt hours per kilogram, and cost $200 per kilowatt-hour.

The Telsa model 3 has 325000 pre-orders in its first week. That is $14 billion in implied future sales.

One inch of composite metal foam can stop high caliber bullets and can be used for light weight radiation shielding

Composite metal foams (CMFs) are tough enough to turn an armor-piercing bullet into dust on impact. Given that these foams are also lighter than metal plating, the material has obvious implications for creating new types of body and vehicle armor – and that’s just the beginning of its potential uses.

“We could stop the bullet at a total thickness of less than an inch, while the indentation on the back was less than 8 millimeters,” Rabiei says. “To put that in context, the NIJ standard allows up to 44 millimeters indentation in the back of an armor.” The results of that study were published in 2015.

But there are many applications that require a material to be more than just incredibly light and strong. For example, applications from space exploration to shipping nuclear waste require a material to be not only light and strong, but also capable of withstanding extremely high temperatures and blocking radiation.

Last year, with support from the Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy, Rabiei showed that CMFs are very effective at shielding X-rays, gamma rays and neutron radiation. And earlier this year, Rabiei published work demonstrating that these metal foams handle fire and heat twice as well as the plain metals they are made of.

Composite Structures - Ballistic performance of composite metal foams

Israel will heavily modify their F35 fighters and could adapt stealth and other F15 Silent Eagle modification to all of its older F15 fighters

Israel is working with Lockheed Martin and the F-35 Joint Program Office to maximize autonomy of its planned stealth fighter force, including its own command, control, communications and computing (C4) system, indigenous weaponry and the ability to perform heavy maintenance in country rather than at predetermined regional overhaul facilities.

Once the first F-35Is arrive here in December, state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) will begin installing a tailor-made C4 system on top of the central avionics embedded in the joint strike fighter.

“It’s open architecture, which sits on the F-35’s central system, much like an application on your iPhone. So it doesn’t change anything in the aircraft itself, but it gives the Israel Air Force (IAF) the most advanced and adaptable processing capabilities with relative independence of the aircraft manufacturer,” said Benni Cohen, general manager of IAI’s Lahav Division.

In an interview Monday, Cohen said IAI is already producing the C4 system for installation in the first planes due here in December. “It introduces a new level of freedom for the IAF, as it paves the way for additional advanced capabilities to be embedded in the F-35I in the future,” he said.

As for weaponry, the Israel Air Force and state-owned Rafael Advanced Systems Ltd. have been working with Lockheed Martin to adapt the Israeli Spice 1000 electro-optic standoff precision strike system for internal carriage on the F-35.

Sacrificing stealth for more range and other options

Similarly, Lockheed Martin is engaged with Cyclone Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Elbit Systems, on external fuel tanks to augment range beyond the 18,500 pounds of fuel carried internally by the F-35. At a later phase, Israeli defense and industry sources say they hope to develop with Lockheed Martin — and with the consent of JSF partner nations — conformal fuel tanks to significantly extend the range while in stealth mode.

Israel has many enemies with different levels of air defense capability.

It can be more important for Israel to be able to hit enemies that are farther away than to have maximum stealth in all situations.

Israel has a history of heavily modifying their F15 and F16 planes.

Stealth may only last another 5-10 years against countries with advanced defenses

In 2012 Aviation Week article indicated that low radar cross section is a niche capability [aka stealth], and new sensor technology advances can make it less important. China, India and Russia are already finding weaknesses in stealth as they develop it for their own advanced strike aircraft. A senior Israeli Air Force official as saying (of the F-35) "We think the stealth protection will be good for 5–10 years, but the aircraft will be in service for 30–40 years."

In terms of technology programs, five to 10 years is more or less an appropriate length of time to develop a new, medium-to-high complexity system based on well-understood physics.

Something that degrades stealth capability somewhat won't mean that the stealthiness is completely going to disappear.

Lockheed 2 foot long missiles for protecting a battalion from rocket, artillery and mortars

Lockheed Martin-built Miniature Hit-to-Kill (MHTK) interceptor was successfully launched from a Multi-Mission Launcher (MML) in an engineering demonstration on April 4 at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

The launch demonstrated the agility and aerodynamic capability of the MHTK missile, which is designed to defeat rocket, artillery and mortar (RAM) targets at ranges greatly exceeding those of current and interim systems. Today’s launch advances the program, increasing the level of MHTK integration maturity with the MML.

“Today’s global security environment demands agile, close-range solutions that protect soldiers and citizens from enemy rockets, artillery and mortars,” said Hal Stuart, Lockheed Martin’s MHTK Program Manager. “This test is a critical milestone demonstrating the interceptor’s maturity, and we look forward to continuing to build on this success using key data gathered from today’s launch.”

The MHTK interceptor was designed to be small in size while retaining the range, lethality and reliability of other Hit-to-Kill interceptors. MHTK is just over two feet (61 cm) in length and weighs five pounds (2.2 kg) at launch. The compact footprint of the MHTK allows multiple rounds to be packaged in a single MML tube.

The MML is a key component of the Army’s Indirect Fire Protection Capability Increment 2 – Intercept program. The program is designed to provide Army forces protection from cruise missiles, unmanned aircraft systems and RAM threats. The MML is designed to carry and launch a variety of missiles from a single launcher.

MHTK's effective range [for a single-shot kill] against RAM will be 3 km or more
  • Miniature Hit-to-Kill Interceptor Delivers Unequalled Capability 
  • Operational effectiveness against all threats 
  • Lethality tests confirm robust capability 
  • Range and velocity support operationally significant defended area 
  • Defeat of saturation attacks 
  • Compact interceptor enables deep magazine High lethality minimizes rounds fired to achieve a kill
  • Low ammunition cost
  • Affordability considered in all design trades
  • Design for Affordability/Design for Manufacture used early
  • $16K or less per kill
  • Minimal/low potential for collateral damage 
  • Single round fired per target Hit-to-Kill results in destruction of interceptor and threat 
  • Minimal force structure impact

April 06, 2016

Stronger metals will make lighter and better harmonic gears for improved robotic arms and drives for demanding applications light space vehicles

Several new series of Low Weight Harmonic Drive gear units have been introduced, using lightweight housing materials and an optimized design. These gear units, based upon existing product lines, maintain the same torque capacity with up to 30% lower weight. Additionally, a new small Harmonic Drive hollow shaft actuator has been developed, expanding the size range of the SHA Series of brushless actuators.

New stronger metallic glass steel (three times higher elastic limit than tungsten carbide) should enable even stronger and lighter and higher performing harmonic drive gear units.

Unlike other gear technologies, harmonic gears have the same size, weight, and form factor regardless of gear ratio. This feature allows design flexibility or revisions without the need to redesign the entire mechanism. Reduction ratios of 30:1 through 160:1 are commonly available.

The torque density of Harmonic Drive products is exceptionally high. This is a significant benefit when the gears are used on a robotic arm. The low weight of the gear reduces both the mass and inertia of the arm, allowing faster positioning and/or higher payloads. This benefit has a cascading effect when moving from the sixth axis back toward the first axis, reducing the torque required merely to support or accelerate the mass of the gearing.

Finally, because of the operating principle that virtually eliminates tooth wear, Harmonic Drive gears provide zero backlash for life and have a long, maintenance-free life, reducing costly downtime.

Stronger and lighter robotic arms

Articulated robots are frequently used for welding, manufacturing, and packaging. Harmonic Drive gears reduce inertia of the robot arm to improve dynamic performance through faster acceleration and faster settling time. They also increase payload capacity and reduce power requirements.

Mobile robots have the capability to move around in their environment and are not fixed to one physical location. Because they are powered by a battery, compact size and light weight are often the primary design considerations for any component used in them. When used in the arm of a mobile robot, such as for an explosive ordinance disposal (EOD) robot, harmonic gearing allows the payload capacity of the arm to be increased.

The low weight of the Harmonic Drive LLC gears enables the overall weight of the prosthetic limb to be similar to that of a human limb. This is critical for the comfort, usability, and battery life of the prosthetic.

Lightgears for space rovers and solid lubricants for vastly reduced consumable lubrication

There has been work to apply solid lubricants to Harmonic Drive® gears. Based on these trials it was found that the gears can be operated even at -269°C. Although being used in various cryogenic applications, the reachable lifetime is comparably short. So as to improve the achievable endurance an essential development was necessary. Hence the EU – funded project HarmLES was executed in order to significantly increase the accessible lifetime. Following an integrated approach covering gear design, materials and coating, the prototype of a new Harmonic Drive® gear type was developed.

Harmonic Drive® gears are used for more than four decades for space applications. In fact, this gear principle was originally developed for space applications. This does cover both planetary exploration and satellites. Based on the application, a large variety of configurations has been developed over time, following as well the product improvements achieved. Today, gears from size 5 (12.7 mm pitch circle diameter, PCD) to size 100 (254 mm PCD) are available in gear ratios ranging from 30:1 to 320:1 and in different types such as cup type, flat type, large hollow shaft type and lightweight versions.

the HarmLES project developed new the geometry for the Harmonic - Drive® gear. It is optimized towards solid lubrication for space applications. This resulted in a new gear type called ZirconLine of size 20 with ratio 100. Throughout the project, measures were step – by step introduced to the gear, decreasing as well the contact stresses and the sliding path especially within the toothing. Finally the prototype of a gear size 20 ratio 100 with a new tooth profile was developed.

Besides the re-design also a new coating could be developed by TECNALIA. This is a composite coating based on a WC-interlayer plus a solid lubricant top-layer being a reinforced MoS2. During development on basis of simple discs, an optimum variant could be achieved, which showed superior lifetime compared to standard MoS2 coatings on the steels being relevant to the Harmonic - Drive® gear. The coating process was adopted to gear components (toothing and WG-bearing). Finally, several gear sets were coated and tested. For the final gears, the characteristics of the gear were in line with the above mentioned requirements. This result could be approved by the visual appearance and microscopic investigation by SEM. No wear was visible, therefore the test could be evaluated to be passed.

HarmLES enabled within its duration to increase the achievable endurance of the gears, whereas the characteristics of the prototypes were in line with the above mentioned requirements:
• at 4Nm lifetimes of even up to 20.000 output revolutions were achieved in vacuum testing (partly without failure at end of test, compared to a few hundreds at begin of the project).
• in contrast to grease lubricated HDs, the efficiency course of the gear during the vacuum endurance test was almost stable throughout the whole test

The HarmLES project has been successful.

One major part in satellite costs are the costs for launch. Typical price range is 10.000 to 15.000 €/kg. That’s why mass decrease is one of the main design drivers in space. Using Harmonic Drive® gears instead of planetary gears enable mass decreases by factors of 2 to 3. Assuming a medium harmonic gear box with a mass of 1 kg, the cost reduction is already in a range of 10.000€ to 20.000€ per unit. Consider new planetary exploration missions with a rover for low temperatures (jovian moons) or high temperatures (mercury). A rover similar to the mars rover would use 9 Harmonic Drive® gears, this would save in total 9kg, i.e. more than 90.000€ launch costs.

New Metallic glass Steel composite three times more resistant to impacts than Tungsten Carbide

University of California San Diego researchers have a made new steel that has nearly three times the elastic limit of tungsten carbide. Tungsten carbide (a high-strength ceramic used in military armor) has an elastic limit of 4.5 giga-Pascals while SAM2X5-630 has a 12.5 gigapascal limit.

The new steel alloy could be used in a wide range of applications, from drill bits, to body armor for soldiers, to meteor-resistant casings for satellites.

Metallic glass steel properties can be customized for high strength applications.

SAM2X5-630 has the highest recorded elastic limit for any steel alloy, according to the researchers—essentially the highest threshold at which the material can withstand an impact without deforming permanently. The alloy can withstand pressure and stress of up to 12.5 giga-Pascals or about 125,000 atmospheres without undergoing permanent deformations.

Researchers at USC tested how the alloy responds to shock without undergoing permanent deformations by hitting samples of the material with copper plates fired from a gas gun at 500 to 1300 meters per second. The material did deform on impact, but not permanently.

Transmission electron microscopy image showing different levels of crystallinity embedded in the amorphous matrix of the alloy.

The Hugoniot Elastic Limit (the maximum shock a material can take without irreversibly deforming) of a 1.5-1.8 mm-thick piece of SAM2X5-630 was measured at 11.76 ± 1.26 giga-Pascals.

Stainless steel has an elastic limit of 0.2 giga-Pascals. Diamonds top out at a whopping 60 giga-Pascals— they’re just not practical for many real-world applications. “The fact that the new materials performed so well under shock loading was very encouraging and should lead to plenty of future research opportunities,” said Eliasson.
The primary focus of future research efforts on these alloys is increasing the weight of the materials to make them more resistant to impacts.

The primary focus of future research efforts on these alloys is increasing the weight of the materials to make them more resistant to impacts.

Nature Scientific Reports - Shock Wave Response of Iron-based In Situ Metallic Glass Matrix Composites

With takeover of Sharp Foxconn will be able to produce nearly 1 gigawatt of solar cells per year

Foxconn is boosting its energy business—both in supplying clean energy for its own operations and developing solar projects overseas.

Last year SBJ Cleantech, the joint venture between Foxconn, Japan’s SoftBank, and Indian conglomerate Bharti Enterprises signed an agreement to build two gigawatts of solar power capacity in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The three companies also recently announced plans to invest $20 billion in India’s renewable energy market, primarily solar projects.

Foxconn’s acquisition of Sharp boosts its capabilities to produce solar power and high end smartphone displays.

Foxconn is also joining with its number-one customer, Apple, to develop renewable sources for the energy its factories use in China. By 2018, Foxconn plans to install 400 megawatts of solar power capacity in China,

Video game Technology in 2016

Several new video games push the leading edge in graphics, AI and gameplay. Here some information about Mirror's Edge Catalyst and Quantum break.

Mirror's Edge Catalyst is a first-person action-adventure game in which players take control of Faith Connors as she progresses through a futuristic city called Glass. It uses the Frostbite game engine. Frostbite is a game engine developed by EA Digital Illusions CE, the creators of the Battlefield series. The engine currently is designed for use on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One platforms and is adapted for a range of video game genres. The engine was first used by DICE to create first-person shooters, but it has been expanded to include various other genres such as racing, role playing games and real-time strategy and is employed by a number of EA studios

Frostbite 3 is the most recent iteration of Frostbite. The workflows and runtimes are highly configurable and cover all aspects of development including audio, animation, cinematics, scripting, artificial intelligence, physics, destruction, rendering, and visual effects. Frostbite 3 introduces new features such as new weathering systems, physically based rendering (PBR) and photogrammetry. The game engine has had several upgrades including improved tessellation technology. It also features Destruction 4.0, which enhances the in-game destruction over its predecessors.

Quantum Break is an action-adventure third-person shooter video game developed by Remedy Entertainment and published by Microsoft Studios, released for Microsoft Windows and Xbox One. The game features digital episodes that interact with the game based on the player's choices. Players play as Jack Joyce, a person with time manipulation powers in a world where time stutters, making everything freeze except Joyce. Players can use a variety of firearms, as well as their time-manipulating powers to defeat enemies in the game. Joyce can stop time temporarily, allowing him to escape from attacks or freeze enemies, unleash a "Time Blast", which is an offensive projectile, and reverse the direction of bullets. He can also interact with the environments, creating environmental effects that would harm hostile characters. He can also utilize his "Time Rush" ability, which allows him to spawn right next to an enemy to perform an immediate melee takedown. Alternatively, he can speed up the time as well and swap between covers to diversify attention from unaware enemies. As for defensive abilities, Joyce can protect himself from attacks by deploying a "Time Shield", which can deflect bullets, performing "Time Dodge", which allows him to dash quickly to evade from attacks or simply hiding behind cover

DARPA will demonstrate robotic in orbit satellite repair and servicing by 2021

Hundreds of military, government and commercial satellites reside today in geosynchronous Earth orbit (GEO) some 22,000 miles (36,000 kilometers) above the Earth—a perch ideal for providing communications, meteorology and national security services, but one so remote as to preclude inspection and diagnosis of malfunctioning components, much less upgrades or repairs. Even fully functional satellites sometimes find their working lives cut short simply because they carry obsolete payloads—a frustrating situation for owners of assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars. With no prospects for assistance once in orbit, satellites destined for GEO today are loaded with backup systems and as much fuel as can be accommodated, adding to their complexity, weight and cost.

Servicing vehicle jointly developed with a commercial partner would leverage DARPA’s successes in space robotics and accelerate revolutionary capabilities for working with satellites currently beyond reach.

DARPA plans to demonstrate GEO satellite servicing technologies on orbit within the next five years.

Under the RSGS vision, a DARPA-developed modular toolkit, including hardware and software, would be joined to a privately developed spacecraft to create a commercially owned and operated robotic servicing vehicle (RSV) that could make house calls in space. DARPA would contribute the robotics technology, expertise, and a Government-provided launch. The commercial partner would contribute the satellite to carry the robotic payload, integration of the payload onto it, and the mission operations center and staff. If successful, the joint effort could radically lower the risk and cost of operating in GEO.

“The ability to safely and cooperatively service satellites in GEO would vastly expand public and private opportunities in space. It could enable entirely new spacecraft designs and operations, including on-orbit assembly and maintenance, which could dramatically lower construction and deployment costs while extending satellite utility, resilience and reliability,” said RSGS program manager Gordon Roesler. “Commercial and government space operators have sought this capability for decades. By investing together, we can achieve a capability that would be extremely challenging to do individually.”

DARPA drone automatically avoids mid-air collisions in flight tests to advance drone safety and autonomy

Flight tests demonstrate optical sense-and-avoid capability that detects and tracks nearby aircraft, setting the stage for future manned and unmanned aircraft to autonomously steer clear of them.

A research effort associated with DARPA’s Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System (ALIAS) program recently conducted the first successful flight tests of a shoebox-sized, plug-and-play system designed to enable manned and unmanned aircraft to automatically detect nearby aircraft and avoid potential mid-air collisions. An unmanned air vehicle (UAV) repeatedly used the technology demonstration system to detect and track in real time a Cessna 172G aircraft approaching from various vertical and horizontal distances.

The integrated sense-and-avoid (SAA) system includes a single optical camera that provides imagery for detection and tracking. The system also incorporates passive ranging features that assess the likelihood of an incoming aircraft intersecting the flight path of its host aircraft, and collision-avoidance capabilities to determine the best way to steer the host aircraft out of harm’s way. The work is part of a DARPA effort to create a low-cost, easily installed system to detect oncoming or crossing aircraft and determine the best avoidance strategy compliant with standard rules that set minimum vertical and lateral distances between aircraft during flight.

A research effort associated with DARPA’s Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System (ALIAS) program recently conducted the first successful flight tests of a shoebox-sized, plug-and-play system designed to enable manned and unmanned aircraft to automatically detect and avoid potential mid-air collisions. An unmanned air vehicle (UAV) repeatedly used the technology demonstration system to detect and track in real time a Cessna 172G aircraft approaching from various vertical and horizontal distances.

12 DGX-1 Nvidia P100 powered servers could deliver 2 petaflops of performance for $1.6 million and each boost deep learning by 75 times over an Intel Xeon

The Nvidia Tesla P100 is the first full-size Nvidia GPU based on the TSMC 16nm FinFET manufacturing process—like AMD, Nvidia has been stuck using an older 28nm process since 2012—and the first to feature the second generation of High Bandwidth Memory (HBM2).

The Nvidia Tesla P100, with 15 billion transistors for deep-learning computing. It’s the biggest chip ever made, Nvidia CEO Huang said.

The chip has 15 billion transistors, or three times as much as many processors or graphics chips on the market. It takes up 600 square millimeters. The chip can run at 21.2 teraflops

The P100 reaches 21.2 teraflops of half-precision (FP16) floating point performance, 10.6 teraflops of single precision (FP32), and 5.3 teraflops (1/2 rate) of double precision. By comparison, the Titan X and Tesla M40 offer just 7 teraflops of single precision floating point performance.

Nvidia has also built a 170-teraflop DGX-1 supercomputer using the Tesla P100 chip.

Memory bandwidth more than doubles over the Titan X to 720GB/s thanks to the wider 4096-bit memory bus, while capacity goes up to 16GB. Interestingly, the Tesla P100 isn't even a fully-enabled version of Pascal; it's based on the company's new GP100 GPU, with 56 of its 60 streaming multiprocessors (SM) enabled. The GP100 die, with a surface area of 610 square millimetres, is roughly the same size as the GM200 Titan X. Rather than shrink down the die thanks to the smaller 16nm process, Nvidia has instead chosen to simply fill the same space up with a lot more transistors—15.3 billion of them to be precise—almost doubling that of the top-end GM200 Maxwell chip.

The NVIDIA® DGX-1™ is the world’s first purpose-built system for deep learning with fully integrated hardware and software that can be deployed quickly and easily. Its revolutionary performance significantly accelerates training time, making the NVIDIA DGX-1 the world’s first deep learning supercomputer in a box.

OEM Tesla P100-equipped systems not set to ship until Q1 of 2017, for the next couple of quarters the DGX-1 will be the only way for customers to get their hands on a P100. The systems will be production quality, but they are nonetheless initially targeted at early adopters who want/need P100 access as soon as possible, with a price tag to match: $129,000.

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