When I first got the call that the chief scientist of the Air Force – Dr. Mark T. Maybury – was interested in speaking with me, I was equal parts excited and intimidated.
After some grueling and extensive research (and by that I mean I Googled him), the nervousness increased. I mean this man has a laundry list of credentials in science and technology that are so impressive Tony Stark would give him a high five. Come on, a PhD in Artificial Intelligence? That is the stuff dreams (and often superheroes) are made of, friends.
Don’t let the nice normal scientist look fool you. This man is one radioactive accident away from a superhero suit and a heroic catch phrase.
So it got me thinking. What do I ask that will allow me and my readers to get a glimpse into the real life of the Air Force’s top super scientist?
Naturally I took the most adult and professional route with this.
So if you were a mad scientist, what one thing or device would you create?
The X-51A Waverider is designed to ride on its own shockwave and accelerate to about Mach 6. (Air Force)
The Air Force currently plans to fly its second X-51A Waverider hypersonic flight test demonstrator as early as March 22, program officials said March 15.
“We are proud of the first flight results, and at the same time we understand the inherent risk in a high-technology demonstrator like the X-51A. We can’t wait to get this second vehicle in the air and show what we can do,” said Curtis Berger, Director, Hypersonics Programs, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, which built the X-51A’s fuel-cooled supersonic combustion ramjet, or scramjet engine.
Four X-51As were built for the Air Force by Boeing and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne. The X-51A made history on its inaugural hypersonic flight test on May 26, 2010 when it was launched from Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. tucked under the wing of a B-52, released, and ultimately accelerated to Mach 5 under scramjet power. It was about 10 times longer than any previous hypersonic scramjet flight and “80 to 90 percent” of flight test objectives were achieved, program officials said.
Listen to the full Bloggers Roundtable, or read the transcript.
Lt. Gen. Vane, Deputy Commanding General, Futures and Director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center.
It’s not written in stone that every Soldier will get an Android phone or an iPhone — but signs are pointing to it.
During a DODLive Bloggers Roundtable Feb. 24, Lt. Gen. Michael Vane, director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center, discussed the latest developments in how the Army is evaluating smartphone technologies and software applications to provide Soldiers the ability to learn anytime and anywhere.
Listen to the full interview.
Assistant Deputy Secretary of Defense for Energy Tom Hicks told reporters the Navy’s bullish on biofuels. (Photo: DOD)
Matthew Mientka works at the Defense Media Activity’s Emerging Media Directorate.
A senior Navy official yesterday criticized a major “think tank” for its outlook on the development of alternative fuel technologies and markets.
Tom Hicks, deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for energy, said in a “DOD Live” Bloggers Roundtable that a report from the nonprofit Rand Corp. to Congress this week contained “misrepresentations and some factual errors,” particularly with regard to Navy development of new fuels.
The Rand Corp. failed to consult the Navy and with industry, Hicks said, and “based on [our] active engagement with industry, we have come to some far different conclusions.”
Listen to the full discussion or read the transcript.
This RSS feed icon inexplicably wearing headphones represents the fusion of the Internets and radio.
Dr. John Ohab is a new technology strategist at the Department of Defense Public Web Program.
Way back in 2009 – before Defense Fellows were redesigning Barbie, blood was being delivered to Soldiers from the sky, and researchers were developing The Science of Cyberspace – the Defense Media Activity launched a weekly podcast, “Armed with Science: Research and Applications for the Modern Military.”
The podcasts featured live interviews with Defense Department subject matter experts, who discussed the critical role that science and technology play in helping our servicemembers operate more safely and efficiently. In the course of 64 episodes, the show covered a wide variety of scientific disciplines, including science policy, education, and history, and brought together collaborators from across the federal government.
Having had the opportunity to host many of those discussions, I thought it would be fun to revisit the 10 most popular podcasts of the year. I’ve arranged them below according to the number of listens. Stay tuned for our top videos and blog posts…
Which podcast episode is your favorite? Leave a comment, and let me know!
||The Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) is awesome. Joan Fuller, a program director, and Air Force Maj. Michelle Ewy, a program manager, at AFOSR’s Aerospace, Chemical, and Material Science Directorate are no exception. They joined the podcast for Women’s History Month to talk about how AFOSR is pushing the boundaries of science and technology and providing exciting career opportunities for women.
||Who ensures that Marines can conduct the full gamut of military operations on land, in the air and on the sea? Geoscientists, of course! In this podcast, Marine Corps Master Sgt. Kari Hubler, a 17-year veteran of the Marine Corps’ meteorology and oceanography community, explains how all forecasting is based on gathering data, analyzing the environment to determine what physical processes are affecting it, and then forecasting how those variables will change over time.
Mitch Kowalski, contractor from Ryan Electric in Rome, N.Y, runs power cables used to power Playstation 3 consoles used for research. (Photo: USAF/Master Sgt. Jack Braden)
By Ian Graham
Emerging Media, Defense Media Activity
Video games have advanced by leaps and bounds in the past few years. What once was a big black box with a bad video version of ping-pong is now a sleek, motion-capturing, high-resolution computer system capable of networking around the world.
Mark Barnell, director of high-performance computing and the Condor Cluster project at the Air Force Research Laboratory, has used that technology to create a new supercomputer.
The Condor Cluster, a heterogeneous supercomputer built from off-the-shelf commercial components — including 1,716 Sony PlayStation 3 game consoles — could change the supercomputing landscape, Barnell said yesterday in a DODLive Bloggers Roundtable.
Listen to the roundtable or read the transcript.
Dr. Wayman Wendell Cheatham. (Photo: U.S. Navy)
By Christen N. McCluney
Emerging Media, Defense Media Activity
Navy researchers are supporting today’s warfighter with new advances in biomedical research and development.
“Medical research and development activity provides the inspiration for discovery and further development of new ideas, new concepts, new drugs or surgical interventions,” Dr. Wayman Cheatham, special assistant for medical research to the Navy surgeon general and director of the Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery’s Navy Medicine Research and Development Center, said during a DoD Live Bloggers Roundtable yesterday.
Cheatham said Navy Surgeon General Vice Adm. (Dr.) Adam M. Robinson Jr. has established five areas of priority in terms of strategic research to support the Defense Department as a whole as well as those under the care of Navy Health. Those priorities are traumatic brain injury and psychological health, medical system support for maritime and expeditionary operations, wound and injury management throughout the continuum of care, hearing restoration and protection and undersea medicine.
You can listen to the interview, or read the transcript. Both options are easy, fun, and informative!