In March, Engineering on the Edge covered Lockheed Martin’s investment into the D-Wave quantum computer. At the time, although Lockheed Martin seemed impressed with the system, the verdict was still out on how much faster (if at all) D-Wave’s machine was compared to conventional computers.
Since then, an independent study has confirmed that the quantum computer is as fast, or faster, than other computers. Google and NASA were intrigued enough by the results to partner in order to start an artificial intelligence (AI) lab at NASA’s Advanced Supercomputing Facility at the Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley. Continue reading
It seems almost a certainty that the next generation of computers will use quantum mechanics for processing power. In place of zeros and ones, quantum mechanics offer zeros that are sometimes zeros, and sometimes ones. A single quantum computer could speed through problems that currently require entire data centers to solve, reducing operating costs by the bucket.
Canadian quantum computing company D-Wave sold this vision of the future to Lockheed Martin in May of 2011, in the form of a single quantum computer. It appears as though Lockheed Martin was impressed with the result. The company has moved to commercialize the system and integrate the computer into business operations. Continue reading
With the main responsibility for near-Earth space missions being delegated to the private sector, competition for contracts becomes important to drive innovation and lower costs. The SpaceX test launch to the International Space Station has been postponed till tomorrow and being aborted at the last second over the weekend. However, other companies are continuing to move forward with their own commercial rocket and/or spacecraft projects. Alliant Techsystems (ATK) is among them.
ATK is building a two-stage rocket, called Liberty, to launch satellites and crew alike into orbit. Rather than starting from zero, the company is working with a design that incorporates the solid fuel boosters from the U.S. space shuttle and the liquid fuel secondary booster from the European Ariane rocket system.
Good old science fiction. So often predicting what is to come in the future. If you’ve seen Aliens you might be familiar with a certain famous movie quote that involves Ripley, an oversized exoskeleton and a nasty looking queen. Attempts at creating real-world exoskeletons have been made before, but they’ve always been a tad cumbersome. Technology has advanced and so has the concept.
Extended missions in the field require lots of gear and all that gear can weigh quite a bit. Soldiers are often expected to carry up to 120 lbs of equipment through rough terrain. Over the course of several days, this can become exhausting and lead to less than optimal performance.