When the United States’ military stealth tech bomber was rumored and then when it made a public debut, it was the first-time advanced stealth technology was a reality instead of something out of a science fiction novel.
Even as the US was working on the tech to hide the profile of the bomber, work was underway on how to detect it. Since unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are now an internal part of the world’s major militaries, stealth tech is integral to these aircraft. Again, the US is leading the pack, but China, France and Great Britain are also making major strides with China closing the gap rapidly.
Where concealment is concerned with military matters the top things that must be hidden are:
- Signals: radio, electrical or laser
Staying as quiet as possible is critical as next generation long-wave infrared search-and-track sensors worries some analysts about the engine and propeller noise. Anyone who’s ever heard a small civilian drone knows the buzz. Helicopter pilots say they do not fly but beat the air into submission and create a lot of noise at the same time. Prop and jet-driven UAVs are sound machines.
The private sector is making strides in killing propellor noise. While the Rowe brothers creation, a shroud around the prop, is designed for drones in the movie industry, the sound-killing tech can easily translate across to UAV applications with a few tweaks. Another company has tweaked the propeller blade to get a noise reduction.
Silencing the jets on UAV may also take a page from the civilian world. Georgia Tech and Lockheed Martin are tackling the jet noise issue on several fronts. NASA is investing heavily into a new generation of supersonic passenger planes that promise “60 to 65 decibels per boom (at least as heard from the ground).” A normal conversation is 60-70 decibels at 3-5 feet.
Heating Things Up in Military Stealth Tech
Combustion is hot. Electrical motors cut way back on the heat produced, but batteries add weight which reduces flight time. One solution being explored by some is a combination UAV. It runs off a fueled engine until it closes in on a target, then switches to battery operation. This cuts the heat signature and the noise when noise-reduction measures are also included. Mission accomplished, it eases away and restarts the engine to either recharge the batteries for another run or the ride home.
It may appear that sacrificing stealth to move is a trade-off that must happen. Not precisely. A UAV must fly, but it the body of the UAV does not have to change shape. In a conventional aircraft, ailerons move. These dictate how a plane turns, climbs and descends by changing the shape of the wind foil (wing or rudder). The blades on a stealth helicopter are often a giveaway.A new military stealth tech drone from BAE Systems in MAGMA in-flight trials has no moving external parts. As Popular Mechanics reports, ‘Control surfaces can also affect an airplane’s carefully shaped stealth profile, as the fin-like device moves upward or downward, momentarily making the aircraft slightly more visible to radar.”A slight advantage is all that’s needed to get a lock and take measures against the incoming craft.
See Me Now
Hiding by color is the oldest form of stealth around; think stripes on a tiger. Mirrors that reflect the surroundings are great for hiding, depending on the surroundings. But cloaking tech vis a vi Harry Potter invisibility cloak or a Klingon cloaking technology may not be as silly as it sounds. It is a step closer to reality. This kind of tech has the possibility of blocking everything but sound; muffling technology will take care of that.
Electrical and Radio
Hiding transmission signals is very difficult to do. Radio waves, even a tight beam, are going to spread. Using code, rapid frequency jumping and burst communications are ways around eavesdropping. Laser communication is the best we can do right now to avoid detection. Since lasers spread very little, intercepting means being in the direct line of transmission, which then becomes easy to detect because of signal degradation or transmission delays.
The arms race does not have a finish line. As soon as a new advancement comes online, someone is hard at work trying to defeat it. The South China Morning Post says the military there has a “T-ray,” terahertz radiation, radar that penetrates anti-detection coatings on manned and UAVs. This is not new tech, but a modification of existing technology. T-rays are used in industrial applications to spot defects in layered metals.As Defence Aviation says, the key to defeating the military stealth tech may be as simple as incorporating a whole suite of detection systems into one array. While a UAV may beat one, two or three of the detection methods, that means it must compromise on something else. “The U.S. Navy and Lockheed are already working in these areas of stealth technology thereby creating the need to develop even more sophisticated sensors that cue radars about the invisible blackbirds that roam our skies,” the website says.Retired USAF officers Maj. Gen. Mark Barrett and Col. Mace Carpenter sought to answer in a report, “Survivability in the Digital Age: The Imperative for Stealth,” produced by the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies. “Over the long run, the U.S. will engage opponents who field increasing numbers of powerful digital multi-band radars,” the authors wrote.
The Future in Military Stealth Tech
To see what tomorrow can bring, look to science fiction. What was pure speculation 50 years ago is now held in your hand, so you can watch funny cat videos downloaded from a server on the other side of the planet. The race for better military stealth tech can be in two camps.
Cloaking technologies which are already underway and anti-gravity. Conspiracy theory websites are full of stories of government work on anti-gravy devices but have little in the way of concrete proof of the claims.
So is anti-gravity going to be a thing? No one knows. But it is being researched. Get past the “how could it work” to “what could it do” and the implications are stunning. We already know gravity can bend light so using the tech to thwart detection systems should be even simpler.
However, making anti-gravity happen is many years off, if ever. Newer military stealth tech aircraft are on the horizon in the USAF B-21 and the Navy’s X-47B UAV.
As demands on the Internet continue to grow, an in-depth look at the future cell site towers needs to be addressed, especially with IoT that sees homes become increasingly “smart” with the demand for transmission equipment continuing to grow. How will this growth happen? Where will transmission towers be located? What are the cost factors and are any innovations likely to come online soon? Are cell towers even going to be needed?
The base for everything on the Internet is power. Something must generate the electricity for transmission, whether through fiber optic lines or radio waves. How much power is not even a question as engineers know exactly how much it takes to send any signal any distance through any medium.
The power needs for individual devices, think smartphone, smart thermostat and such, is tiny. However, the power demands for several of these devices increase. Bump that number to the hundreds and thousands and power demands jump a lot. The future cell site towers is that they are going to need a LOT of power to handle that volume of data traffic.
Simply put, a pocket-sized battery will not deliver the volts and amperage needed to receive and transmit signals from more than 1,000 devices. “Cell towers will become obsolete only when Chevy Suburban’s and Ford F-150’s can drive down the Interstate at 70 MPH fully powered by solar panels made in the USA. The demand for bandwidth is growing faster than the carriers can sell smart phones. Even if they came up with some amazing technology that could replace cell towers, it would easily take 10 years or more to implement.” Some may point to signal boosters to handle the need for more and stronger transmissions.
Signal boosters require more power. That must come from somewhere. The demand on the already-stressed power grid will just get worse. Individually, the power draw may be minuscule. Added together, it becomes a real issue. A straw broke the camel’s back. Battery advances over the past 30 years are huge, but battery output is still directly tied to the size of the battery. You can’t run a golf cart on a dozen D-cell flashlight batteries.
The Federal Communications Commission controls radio wave broadcasts including that done by wireless devices. It regulates signal boosters now. “Malfunctioning, poorly designed, or improperly installed signal boosters can interfere with wireless networks and result in dropped or blocked calls, including emergency and 911 calls,” says an FCC Consumer Guide to signal boosters. As more and more devices go wireless, the chances for interference are going to grow.
Future Cell Site Towers in Aesthetic Landscapes
The demand for towers is not going away. Vertical Consultants tracks cell tower agreements and reports the industry is growing. “So again, if cell towers were about to become obsolete, why would the industry leaders be investing billions of dollars to acquire the rights to your cell tower? The answer to this situation is that technology is nowhere near close to finding an economic and reliable replacement for the future cell site towers, and your individual site lease has value to the acquiring company!” .
However, the look and location of these towers is changing. So, a better description for a cell tower is “transmission hub,” or hub for short. Increasingly municipalities are rejecting the look of giant antenna arrays.
The industry is responding. “Cell tower companies like Crown Castle are installing small cells for carriers’ use on light poles, on top of shopping centers and other places where they fit in with the urban scenery. In 2010, Crown Castle acquired New Path Networks, which built the nine-antenna medical center system. Where and what these smaller hubs are might surprise you. Twisted Sifter has a list of these different types of antenna hubs.
These hubs still require space, which means buying or leasing that space. A smaller footprint likely will translate into smaller lease payments, but more hubs also mean more leases. Savvy negotiators are going to win this one.
Future Cell Site Towers gets Creative
The demands on the wireless networks and high-speed broadband Internet are only going to grow. Consumers have already shown they are willing to pay for the service. Creative thinking will dominate the industry as it moves forward. ISPs must step up their transmission capabilities. The tower manufacturers are already headed in the right direction with smaller hubs that are not eyesores. With the increase in transmission/reception sites, the demand for real estate to plant these hubs is also going to grow.
Future cell site towers are small hubs, more hubs and hidden hubs are the demands. Companies that make these hubs are in the driver’s seat. They determine the power needs and appearance. Location is going to be set by ISPs or cell companies and real estate owners.
A well designed employee recognition program results in higher levels of engagement have proven, repeatedly, higher levels of employee satisfaction, greater increase in productivity, greater company loyalty, higher profits, and better customer satisfaction.
Let’s look at the facts. In 2013, a poll conducted by Gallup found that 87 percent of workers surveyed in countries all over the world were disengaged with their jobs. Only the remaining 13 percent stated that they were satisfied with their jobs and felt deeply engaged with the companies they worked for.
One of the best ways to increase engagement is to make sure that employees feel appreciated and that hard work is suitably rewarded both financially and in some other ways. Having a strategic employee recognition program in place is one of the most effective ways to get results and take advantage of the following three key benefits:
Employee Recognition Program Improves Business Results
It shouldn’t come as any surprise that happy and motivated employees are better equipped to address customer concerns. Staff members need to feel that they have personal stake in selling the brand and its products and services, while also offering impeccable customer support. Around 40 percent of companies that have adopted a peer-to-peer employee recognition program claim to have increased customer satisfaction.
Many senior managers consider them an investment rather than an expense. People want to be rewarded for good work and they’ll be mentally far better equipped to face the monotony of modern corporate culture if they know there’s a good bonus and other rewards waiting for them.
Decreases Employee Turnover Rate
While money is obviously a primary motivator in almost any job, offering a pay raise isn’t the most effective method to hold on to employees. In fact, studies have shown that about half of employees leave within two years after accepting a raise, a statistic that clearly indicates that salaries and job satisfaction don’t always correlate.
Often as important is employee recognition, which has proven to lower turnover rate significantly. Employees who are widely recognized and rewarded for their work are about 30 percent less likely to leave the company. Other benefits of an employee recognition program include increased happiness and productivity and reduced stress and frustration levels. A lower turnover rate also saves money, since a direct replacement cost up to half the previous employee’s annual salary.
Increase Engagement and Productivity
An employee recognition program is all about clear communication, transparency, and having a solid rewards-driven system in place. Such a strategy leads to greater employee engagement, since it makes members of staff feel like they’re a part of something bigger.
An employee who has a personal stake in the direction the company is heading will be genuinely concerned about the day-to-day operations of the business. By contrast, someone who counts themselves in the 87 percent of people who claim to be disengaged with their jobs will be more likely to sleepwalk through each workday while looking forward to nothing more than the paycheck at the end of the month.
Additionally, the Gallup survey showed that two-thirds of employees considered praise from managerial staff to be the top motivator.
Final Words on Employee Recognition Program
There are many ways to implement an employee recognition strategy and most of them don’t require a huge investment. Some of the most popular methods include publishing the company’s greatest achievers in email newsletters, using staff meetings as an opportunity to include praise, or preparing regular status reports. However, a more original and engaging employee recognition program might include an achievement- or score-based system complete with rewards and prizes for top workers.
The line is blurring between information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT). As more industrial robotics equipment is connected to the industrial internet of things (IIoT), the vulnerabilities increase. Among the many devices being added to networks are robotic machines. That’s raising red flags for some experts. And it has many people worried. What are the risks associated with connecting an army of robots? It’s the stuff of science fiction.
Industrial Robotics Cyber Security Concerns on the Rise
The World Robotics Report 2016 gives us some insight into the scope of global automation growth: “The number of industrial robotics deployed worldwide will increase to around 2.6 million units by 2019.” It says that the strongest growth figures are for Central and Eastern Europe. The report cites China as the market for growth, and says that North America is on the path to success. “The USA is currently the fourth largest single market for industrial robots in the world,” according to the report.
TechCrunch contributor Matthew Rendall says “Industrial robotics will replace manufacturing jobs — and that’s a good thing”. He writes that the “productivity growth” behind 85% of job losses is all about machines replacing humans. Luddite and famous poet Lord Byron would not have been pleased. But Rendall is not bothered. He says that “more is getting done” by industrial robotics that are safer and more reliable than human beings. And he believes that this robotics revolution will be beneficial to workers and society in the long run.
All this rush to automation might be the best thing since jelly doughnuts. But one question could make all the difference between abysmal failure and glorious success: Can we keep them secure?
Challenge in Industrial Robotics Cyber Security
We probably don’t need to worry about robots taking over the world any time soon. (Let’s hope, anyway.) What concerns security experts is that our computer-based friends can be hacked. Wired Magazine reports how one group of researchers was able to sabotage an industrial robotics arm without even touching the code. That’s especially worrying when you think that most industrial robotics have a single arm and nothing else. These devices are made to make precise movements. Hackers can change all that.
German designer Clemens Weisshaar addressed the issue in a form at Vienna Design Week in 2014. “Taking robots online is as dangerous as anything you can put on the web,” he said. In a video from the forum, Weisshaar talked about how even his company’s robot demonstration in London had been hacked within 24 hours. They even tried to drive his robots into the ground. “If everything is on the internet,” he said, “then everything is vulnerable to attack.”
Industrial robotics cyber security challenges are only one part of what many are calling Industry 4.0. It’s a trending concept — especially in Germany — and it’s another way of referring to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. To understand what this is about, we should first reach back in the dim recesses of our minds to what we learned in history class in school.
The Industrial Revolution, as it was originally called, took place in the 18th and 19th centuries. It started in Great Britain and involved the harnessing of steam and tremendous advances in production methods – the 1st. Next came the 2nd roughly from 1870 until World War I in the USA. This involved the use of electricity to develop mass production processes. Th 3rd brought us into the digital age. Part four is upon us now.
A video from Deloitte University Press introduces us to the Fourth Industrial Revolution — Industry 4.0. It gives a good summary of the four “revolutions”, and it talks about some of the new technologies that now define our age:
- Internet of Things (IoT)
- Machine Learning
- Augmented Reality
- Mobile and Edge Computing
- 3D Printing
- Big Data Processing
“These technologies,” says the narrator, “will enable the construction of new solutions to some of the oldest and toughest challenges manufacturers face in growing and operating their business.” They also make up the environment in which hackers flourish.
Industrial Robots Cyber Security Challenges for IoT Data and Devices
In this space we have already discussed the security vulnerabilities of IoT devices. We told you how white hat hackers proved that they could commandeer a Jeep Cherokee remotely by rewriting the firmware on an embedded chip. Imagine what hackers with more sinister motives might be planning for the millions of robotic devices taking over the manufacturing shop floor — supposing they are all connected.
Some researchers tackled the issue in a study called “Hacking Robots Before Skynet”. (You will remember from your science fiction watching that Skynet is the global network that linked robots and other computerized devices in the Terminator movie franchise.) The authors had a lot to say about the current state of cybersecurity in the industrial robotics industry. We can borrow directly from the paper’s table of contents to list what they call “Cybersecurity Problems in Today’s Robots”:
- Insecure communications
- Authentication issues
- Missing authorization
- Weak cryptography
- Privacy issues
- Weak default configuration
- Vulnerable Open Source Industrial Robotics cyber security Frameworks and Libraries
Each of these topics could probably merit a full article on its own. The researchers explained further: “We’re already experiencing some of the consequences of substantial cybersecurity problems with Internet of Things (IoT) devices that are impacting the Internet, companies and commerce, and individual consumers alike, Cybersecurity problems for industrial robotics could have a much greater impact.”
What might that impact be? Well, to start with, robots have moving parts. They tell how a robot security guard knocked over a child at a shopping mall. A robot cannon killed nine soldiers and injured 14 in 2007. And robotic surgery has been linked to 144 deaths. It’s not Skynet yet, but connecting robots has its risks.
How we communicate with machines and how they communicate with each other are matters that require significant attention. Arlen Nipper of Cirrus Link Solutions talks about MQTT, which is a protocol for machine-to-machine (M2M) messaging. Manufacturing designers and operators send instructions to one-armed industrial robotics, who work in a variety of industries from automotive to aerospace to agriculture to packing and logistics. All this talking back-and-forth with industrial robotics cyber security has to be regulated. NIST’s Guide to Industrial Control Systems (ICS) Security has a few references to robots. But maybe not enough.
A report on zero rating by the Federal Communications Commission just a week and a half before the inauguration of Donald Trump said that zero rating for broadband and mobile network operators violates net neutrality rules. “Zero-rated” applications do not count toward data caps or usage allowance imposed by internet service providers. Forbes staff writer Parmy Olson called the report “too little too late”.
Zero rating has come under fire from many quarters. “While network capacity could become a problem if zero-rated offerings truly take off,” writes Colin Gibbs in a review of 2016 for Fierce Wireless, “the biggest challenge to the model has been claims that it’s a threat to net neutrality rules.” Last year, Verizon began offering zero rated video streaming though NFL Mobile app.
Keeping the Net Neutral
The idea of net neutrality is that everything on the internet should be treated openly and fairly. Net neutrality prohibits blocking of sites by ISPs. It prohibits throttling: ISPs should not slow down or speed up content for different services. It calls for increased transparency and prohibits paid prioritization of traffic. Before the recent FCC report, sponsored data plans – plans with zero rating – were to be judged by the agency on a case-by-case basis. NextGen’s wireless practice has 22+ years working in these types of telecom market movements and standards.
Zero Rating for Broadband and Mobile Network Services
Facebook offers free internet access to underdeveloped countries with curated content. According to Internet.org, “Free Basics by Facebook provides people with access to basic websites for free – like news, job postings, health and education information, and communication tools like Facebook.” The motto of the service is “Connecting the World”.
A number of mobile network providers have taken up the practice. The first to try zero rating was T-Online with their Music Freedom offering in 2014. They followed that up with a video service called Binge On. Verizon came up with their own mobile video service called Go90. Perhaps the most aggressive has been AT&T’s partnership with DirecTV. Virgin Mobile 4G Plans Now Allow Free Zero Rated Data Use on Twitter.
Presenting the case against zero rating for broadband and mobile network operators services, the young Mike Egan stated articulately in a YouTube video: “Zero rating isn’t about giving online services or online creators a chance. It’s about mobile carriers finding a loophole so that they can keep you even more locked into what easily becomes their new media ecosystem.”
He says that “certain services are privileged over others” and that it is one of the best ways to “kill a free and open internet”.
Egan and others like him are upset, and he talks in terms of “the oppressor” versus “the oppressed”. The Federalist Society takes a different view. In their YouTube video about zero rating, they compare it to getting free samples of ice cream. “This is a way to increase the adoption of the internet,” the spokeswoman says. “All that zero rating is doing is helping to increase the competition and expanding the user choice.”
The Less Regulated Road Ahead
The “too little too late” remark of the Forbes staffer is all about the new political realities in America. Despite the recent pronouncement again zero rating by the FCC, chances are the practice will continue unabated. President Trump has vowed to cut government regulations by 75%, and the new FCC chairman Ajit Pai will likely tamp down any opposition to zero rating for ISPs and mobile network operators.
A blog post from CCS Insight says, “Mr. Pai had opposed government intervention in the telecommunications market and has been an open critic of an FCC report disapproving of zero-rating data, also known as toll-free data….” The blogger goes on to say that there will certainly be a rise in the number of toll-free data offers.
Conclusion on Zero Rating for Broadband and Mobile Services
Many are concerned about the potential loss of internet freedom with zero rating. As Egan put it, “It’s a war for the future of our media landscape.” How that war plays out when deregulation sets in remains to be seen. Neutrality is a hard thing to maintain. What are your ideas on zero rating? Does your network provider bundle any of these services? How do you think it will affect the future of the internet? Please add your comments below.
Nanotechnology has been slowly treading into the field of biomedicine for almost a decade now. Owing to the fact that nanotechnology for biomedical usage is still a relatively newer technology surrounded by many ethical debates, its footsteps are a little slow and careful. So what is nanotechnology? As the name would suggest, it is the putting of nanotechnology to medicinal usage and that is where aI – aka artificial intelligence comes to light.
You can put about a thousand nano-particles side by side in the cross-section of a singular hair and disseminate them into the bloodstream to be in motion with the same fluidity as a red blood cell. Many biomedical scientists and researchers have managed to apply nanotechnology productively. In 2016, a DNA nanorobot was created for targeted drug delivery in cancerous cells. The National Center for Nanoscience and Technology, Beijing, China recently created a bactericidal nanoparticle that carried an antibiotic and successfully suppressed a bacterial infection in mice.
However, the most remarkable innovation in this field was in 2017, when biomedical engineers designed and created small-scale locomotive robots mimicking the structure, mobility, and durability of red-blood cells. These nanobots developed by AI architects exhibit the ability to swim, climb, roll, walk, jump over and crawl in between the liquid or solid terrains inside the human body. Scientists expect that with the creation of these nanobots, they will be able to freely circulate around the body, diagnose malfunctions, deliver drugs to the disease, and report back by lighting up while performing their drug delivery.
As amazing as that may sound, many find it equally as invasive; hence the ethical debates surrounding nanomedicine. However, taking a completely neutral stance, we will try to give the readers a brief overview of what Ai in nanotechnology for biomedical usage is all about, what strides it has made and where it stands currently.
Ai in NanoTechnology for Biomedical Usage Methods
Owing to these characteristics, nano-particles have found their effective uses in the medicinal field. Some of these Ai in nanotechnology for biomedical usage methods include the following:
- Targeted drug delivery and consequentially minimal side-effects of treatments.
- Tissue regeneration and replacement, for example, implanting coatings, regenerating tissue scaffolds, repairing bones via structural implantation
- Implanting diagnostic and assessment devices, nano-imaging, nano-pores, artificial binding sites, quantum dots etc.
- Implanting aid like retina or cochlear implants
- Non-invasive surgical nano-bots
This involves nano-particles that are constructed of immune-system-friendly materials, implanted with drugs and sent to the targeted areas of the body. Owing to their small size, they can effectively target only the areas that are disease-ridden; dysfunctional parts of the cells as opposed to the entire cells, or whole organs.
This essentially means minimal side-effects because it lowers healthy cell damage. This can be demonstrated by the example of NCNST creating nano-robots that carried a blood-coagulating enzyme called Thrombin.
These thrombin-carrying nano-particles were then sent to tumor cells, essentially cutting off tumor blood supply. Another example of drug delivery using nanoparticles is of CytImmune, a leading diagnostic company that used nanotechnology for precision-based delivery of chemotherapy drugs – it published the results of their first clinical trials, while the second one is underway. Many such methods of drug delivery are being used for cancer, heart diseases, mental diseases and even aging.
Regenerative Ai in NanoTechnology for Biomedical
As per the National Institutes of Health, the procedure encompassing regenerative involves “creating live, practicable tissues to repair or replace tissues or organ functions lost because of a slew of reasons, which may be chronic disease, increasing age or congenital defects.”
Just as nano-bots mimic the structure of red blood cells, they can mimic the function of auto-immune cells and antibodies in order to aid the natural healing process. Because the natural cellular interaction takes place at a micro-scale level, nanotechnology can make its uses known in multiple different ways. Some of these include regeneration of bone, skin, teeth, eye-tissue, nerve cells and cartilages. Ai is able to collect and direct and modify regenerations.
You can read about the Ai in nanotechnology for biomedical usage based cell repair by in the following article; The Ideal Gene Delivery Vector: Chromalloytes, Cell Repair Nanorobots for Chromosome Repair Therapy. While such a powerful and innovative technology has its innumerable advantages in the medical field, it must be used within certain ethical perimeters for long-term applicability. Nano-technology brings with it many risks that need to be kept in mind by researchers. If you need help to identify and recruit senior executives or functional leaders in artificial intelligence technology, consider the experienced team at NextGen Global Executive Search.