Rapid Fire August 7, 2012: MDA Management
- The White House picked Rear Admiral James Syring to replace Army Lieutenant General Patrick O’Reilly as the head of the Missile Defense Agency. A few weeks ago a report from the Pentagon’s inspector general described O’Reilly as an irascible manager, to put it mildly. Syring is currently Program Executive Officer for Integrated Warfare Systems and will be the first sailor to head MDA, pending Senate approval.
- A laboratory at the Australian Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) is starting research to use electrochromic materials for better vehicle camouflage. The US Army Research Office worked on [PDF] a similar topic a decade ago, though their aim at the time was limited to blending in under infrared light. BAE also showcased their Adaptiv camouflage in September last year. The challenge is to provide multi-spectral camouflage (i.e. not just under infrared or regular daylight) at a low voltage.
- Boeing’s work with the Johns Hopkins University on “swarm” technology for UAVs has led to successful tests back in June. Though the term suggests overwhelming quantity, recent tests were done with a modest 2 UAVs, but what they are trying to accomplish is increased coordination between the vehicles so that they are more autonomous and thus depend less on ground control.