The Defense Advanced Research Agency (www.darpa.mil) has launched the Optical and Radio Frequency Combined Link Experiment program to develop a prototype system that combines free space optical and RF communications into a single networked system for the military. The program's first phase will set up a prototype system and flight demonstrations, or hybrid free space optical RF air-to-air-to-surface links. Key participants of the program include Lockheed Martin (www.lockheedmartin.com), ITT Industries (www.ittind.com), and L-3 Communications Corp. (www.apcominc.com).
Siemens and Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology have achieved a faster production process based on selective laser melting for speeding up the prototyping of big, complex metal parts in gas turbine engines.
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