We are now in the dawn of the Fourth Industrial Revolution — or “Industry 4.0.”
From mechanization of production in the first industrial revolution to mass production in the second, and automation of production in the third, the concept of digitizing everything forms the basis of how the Fourth Industrial Revolution is influencing and impacting the world.
Machine learning, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IOT), and other advanced technologies are rapidly revolutionizing and reshaping infrastructure, global-local economies and possibilities for future generations.
“The speed of current breakthroughs has no historical precedent. When compared with previous industrial revolutions, the Fourth is evolving at an exponential rather than a linear pace.
Moreover, it is disrupting almost every industry in every country,” writes Professor Klaus Schwab, author of The Fourth Industrial Revolution. Technological innovations and processes are evolving at an extraordinary rate and becoming increasingly interconnected.
Similar to the three industrial revolutions that came before it, ushering in the new industrial era, that at its roots combine the ability to adopt and integrate digital and physical technologies, poses numerous opportunities and challenges.
Source: How the Fourth Industrial Revolution is Shaping the Satellite Industry – Via Satellite –
Engineers’ Guide to Military, Aerospace & Avionics
The U.S. military is testing Perdix drone swarms equipped with cell phone cameras. Perdix swarms can jam radars, confuse enemy air defenses, scout “on point” for foot patrols, recognize faces, and reveal coordinates for missile strikes. Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be used with Perdix to find a person through facial recognition. Perdix will reveal the location of the person that it recognizes (to order a strike), although life-or-death decisions are made only by humans.
Perdix swarms have been launched from F-18 jet fighters flying near the speed of sound for testing in battlefield conditions. Similar testing was performed for the CBS show 60 Minutes last year as a public demonstration of just a tiny portion of the $3 billion that the Pentagon is spending on autonomous systems each year.
Autonomous systems from nano to large-scale are disrupting warfare, replacing high-value “king and queen” pieces with many pawns.Combined with AI, these systems represent a new class of weapons.
Source Drones + AI = Military Might | Embedded Systems Engineering (pdf)
Qualcomm has begun laying off an unspecified number of full-time and temporary workers as part of a cost-cutting plan announced in January.
Qualcomm told investors in January that it would enact a $1 billion cost reduction program. The pledge was made in a letter to investors as the company’s board of directors battled a hostile takeover attempt by Broadcom.
Source: Qualcomm Begins Layoffs | EE Times
For decades, machine-vision system designers have depended on their knowledge and experience of how conventional image sensors capture visual information. Traditional sensors are designed to function at a predetermined frame rate regardless of dynamic scene changes, while each frame conveys information from all pixels, uniformly sampling them at the same time.So, improving the performance of machine vision systems has focused on higher frame rates and higher resolution enabled by new image sensors.
Prophesee believes it’s time to rethink the paradigm.
Source: Event-Driven Vision Comes Aboard | EE Times
The U.S. and Chinese navies have been repositioning warships and establishing naval bases as if they were so many pawns on a geopolitical naval power chessboard.
To some it might seem curious, even quaint, that gunboats and naval bastions, once emblematic of the Victorian age, remain even remotely relevant in our own era of cyber-threats and space warfare.
Source: A new age of sea power? – Military & Aerospace Electronics
A quarter-century later, the United States continues to seek technological superiority. Laser weapons, artificial intelligence, cyber warfare , and unmanned systems — the very stuff of sci-fi movies — are within our grasp. Unfortunately, such advances do not provide the comfort level they previously did.
Unlike the hapless Iraqi Army circa 1991, today’s potential threats and adversaries have the means to respond.
Source: Future cyber warfare: protecting the grid – Military & Aerospace Electronics
“Our big issue is software,” says Will Roper, the Air Force undersecretary for Acquisitions, Technology and Logistics, adding that it wasn’t a problem exclusive to the F-35.
“Almost every software-intensive program is over budget and behind schedule.”
Roper, who has been on the job for less than two months, told Pentagon reporters last week that “the physical pieces of the plane are moving in the right direction,” but the software issues on the F-35 aren’t.
Source: New Air Force acquisitions chief aims to rid F-35 of software glitches – Military & Aerospace Electronics
It was the first time Russian military expenditure fell since 1998 — the year the country defaulted on its debts. Throughout the era of President Vladimir Putin, military spending increased continuously, but it could now stay flat or even decrease further over the next few years.
The Kremlin’s military spending made up 4.3 percent of its gross domestic product last year, and there are plans to cut it below 3 percent within five years, which could either be achieved through (a rather unlikely) economic growth or radical cuts.
Source: Even as fear of Russia is rising, its military spending is actually decreasing – Military & Aerospace Electronics
Pentagon Press Secretary Dana White said the U.S. government made diplomatic protests to the Chinese government over several recent incidents of laser firings near China‘s first overseas military base at Djibouti, Africa.
The number of incidents is “more than two but less than ten” and the laser firings took place in recent weeks, White said, adding that Pentagon officials are confident that Chinese nationals were behind the laser firings but did not elaborate on the intelligence linking Beijing to the incidents.
Source: Pentagon confirms Chinese fired lasers at U.S. military aircraft pilots – Military & Aerospace Electronics
.. first let’s back up. What’s everyone doing in Djibouti, a tiny country in eastern Africa? America has a base in Djibouti because of its proximity to Yemen, a terrorist incubator. The 4,000 U.S. troops stationed there are tasked with conducting counter-terrorism operations in the region.
What about China? Well, that’s a little more opaque. China opened its Djibouti base last August, claiming that its purpose is to help with anti-piracy patrols and other peacekeeping missions. It’s supposedly a logistics base, but here’s the thing: China doesn’t have foreign military bases anywhere in the world — except in Djibouti, eight miles from the U.S. base.
Source: What we know about China’s recent suspected laser attack on U.S. airmen – Military & Aerospace Electronics