Combining Night Vision and Thermal Imaging

We are all familiar with night vision and even thermal imaging, the idea of being able to see (with a green hint) in the dark of night and then see people glowing like yellow dots in the woods, has long been used in both real life and video games. But what would happen if you were to combine both of these systems into one? We may see the results soon thanks to the U.S. Branch of BAE Systems.

Titled ‘Rapid Target Acquisition’ (RTA) technology, it combines the functionality of a night vision headset and a thermal headset into one. Currently in the production and qualifying stages the new system, created in partnership with the U.S. Army’s Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate, could soon be seen for field testing.

Combined with a wireless video interface the new system can stream the weapon sight imagery to the users goggles in real-time allowing them to see exactly where their system is facing, and receive the benefit of the technology at the flick of a switch. With the combinations of the systems, the need for aiming lasers at night are all but removed, allowing the users to avoid shining a bright light on a situation they would rather hide from.

Listed among its benefits are lower power, reduced battery usage and operating costs and the light weight and small size nature of the system.

Image and Information Courtesy of BAE Systems.

BAE: Drones Able to Self-Heal Using 3D Printer Technology to Fly By 2040

BAE Systems thinks 3D printing technology will become extremely powerful, and could be able to print small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) technology by 2040.

The idea of a 3D-printed UAV able to conduct surveillance or rescue missions is a rather futuristic idea that BAE systems is currently considering.  The use of 3D printers, a robotic assembly and an additive layer could be combined to also allow UAVs to self-destruct or better position themselves to be recovered.

Here is what Nick Colosimo, BAE engineering manager for the R&D team noted this:

“Of course we don’t know exactly what sorts of aircraft technologies will be used in 2040 with any certainty, but it’s great to be able to show the public some concepts that might be possible through projecting where today’s technology could get to.  BAE Systems has a rich heritage in research and development, and our team builds on literally decades of previous R&D work by thousands of scientists and engineers.”

Military contractors are pushing UAV technology further, typically for military operations, though could also become more prevalent in commercial airspace.

Meanwhile, 3D printing is still too expensive for most consumers, but is receiving tremendous support from government agencies and military researchers.

Thank you to The Guardian for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Think Defence

BAE Systems ‘Taranis’ Stealth Drone Revealed

BAE Systems have revealed their latest innovation, the Taranis stealth drone which has been named after the Celtic god of thunder. After flying successful test flights in the Australian desert last August, the Teranis is now officially complete and is currently deployed as a technology demonstrator.

1.5 million man hours and $303.3 million went into creating the Taranis, which features a 32 foot wingspan for its 39 feet long body, making it about the same length as a US school bus. The drone is flown remotely by a human operator, but it is technically possible to be flown autonomously.

The new drone is intended to be a deterrent, offering persistent surveillance by flying over an area for hours on end, while recording via a range of cameras and sensors. However, it’s often known that current drones are slow, propeller based and typically fly in areas with no aerial threats such as enemy jets. BAE say the new stealth jet gets around this problem, and it’s clear that it’s designed by be sneakier and a lot faster, but they’re not giving up their secrets on how it will deter enemy aircraft, only going as far as saying that it can.

We don’t bought that this thing packs some interesting surprises, just check out the video below and you’ll see how bad-ass the Taranis actually looks in flight.


Thank you Popsci for providing us with this information.

Royal Air Force To Use 3D Printed Parts For Their Tornado Jets

3D printed things have been the thing since 3D printers came out. There is no limit, except your imagination of course, to what you can make with them. This apparently is also the case for the Royal Air Force (R.A.F.) which started using 3D printed parts for their Tornado jets. And no, this is not a joke.

This move has saved the RAF £300,000 and is said that it could save them million of pounds in the next three years. The parts printed out span from protective covers for cockpit radios to support struts on the air intake door, and even protector guards for Power Take-off shafts. BAE Systems is the responsible for printing out the parts for the RAF.

Up until now, four squadrons of Tornado GR4 aircraft received the 3D upgrade and it is reported that many of the parts cost less than £100 to manufacture, leading to an estimate of £1.2 million in savings by 2017.


“You can manufacture the products at whatever base you want, providing you can get a machine there. If it’s feasible to get machines out on the front line, it also gives improved capability where we wouldn’t traditionally have any manufacturing support.” said Mike Murry, HEad of Airframe Integration at BAE Systems.

Thank you T3 for providing us with this information
Image and video courtesy of T3