Bionic soft-bodied robot


A team at Beihang University, together with a foreign company, has
successfully developed a soft-bodied octopus tentacle robot, which will be used in industrial and medical contexts, among others, reported on March 30.

The bionic soft-bodied tentacle is composed of materials similar to the soft tissues in living organisms. Inspiration for the robot was derived from the physiological structure of mollusks.

Unlike traditional rigid robots, which are often inefficient, insecure and prone to damaging their targets, the bionic soft-bodied robot can move quickly and is able to safely and securely grasp objects, thanks to the sucking function of a built-in disc.

The design, manufacturing process, mechanical analysis and control system of the robot were all developed by postgraduate students at the university in collaboration with Associate Professor Wen Li from the Mechanical Engineering and Automation College.

Research done in the process of creating the robot will not only help to advance scientists’ understanding of materials, mechanics and kinematics found in nature, it will also promote the research and development of new materials and robots, according to Yu Junzhi, a researcher at the Institute of Automation under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.


EmDrive: Radical New Space Drive

While some may say that nothing is impossible, that is a word that has been frequently used by experts to describe SPR Ltd’s EmDrive. To some, EmDrive is crazy, junk science that will never amount to anything; however, its inventor Roger Shawyer has stuck by it resolutely and insists that this novel spacecraft propulsion system works.

EmDrive is a highly efficient propellant-less propulsion system that converts microwave energy into thrust inside a sealed chamber. Such a system would be a complete game changer in spaceflight; it could dramatically cut the cost of satellites and space stations, extend the lives of spacecrafts and drive deep-space missions. But there’s a problem- it violates Newtonian laws of physics, in particular the law of conservation of momentum. Critics have therefore claimed that any thrust generated by prototype systems tested so far must be coming from another source.

Despite supposedly being impossible, the work has sparked genuine interest in some. For example, Chinese scientists have independently and repeatedly proven the theory of EmDrive. Just last year in fact, a Chinese team built their own EmDrive and confirmed that it produced 720 mN of thrust, which would be sufficient for a satellite thruster. This system could be powered by solar electricity, negating the need for a bulky propellant. However, the work was largely ignored and scientists were still far from convinced.

Now, the big boys in the field, NASA, have swooped in and tested the viability of a microwave thruster built by US scientist Guido Fetta. The results are in, and it seems Shawyer may have been right after all.

After eight days of work, which involved using a highly sensitive low-thrust torsion pendulum within a stainless steel vacuum chamber, the scientists were able to confirm that around 30-50 micro-Newtons of thrust were produced. Furthermore, they were able to verify that the force was not generated by something other than the test system. While the result may be significantly smaller than those obtained by Chinese scientists, it’s still a positive result, which is impressive to say the least.

For physicists out there to fill their boots, the paper states: “Test results indicate that the RF resonant cavity thruster design, which is unique as an electric propulsion device, is producing a force that is not attributable to any classical electromagnetic phenomenon and therefore is potentially demonstrating an interaction with the quantum vacuum virtual plasma.”

According to Wired, that infers it may work by pushing against a cloud of particles and anti-particles that are continuously being produced and disappearing again. NASA has trodden carefully, however, by not addressing the physics of the system and instead solely focusing on whether it works, and that is what they did.

While Fetta’s underlying theory is very different to that of EmDrive, Shawyer claims that the thrusters operate along similar lines. Like Shawyer, Fetta also had a hard time convincing skeptics that the system is valid.
Working microwave thrusters have the potential to revolutionize spaceflight and while this latest research makes no promises, it’s certainly tantalizing.

August 1, 2014 | by Justine Alford.   [Hat tip: Wired]


EmDrive: Radical new space drive

The prestigious Chinese Academy of Sciences has published a paper by Professor Yang Juan confirming their high power test results. At an input power of 2.5kW, their 2.45GHz EmDrive thruster provides 720mN of thrust. The results have clearly been subject to extensive peer review following the NWPU 2010 paper. The measurements were made on a national standard, thrust measurement device, used for Ion Engine development. Details of the measurement system and calibration data are given in the paper. A professional English translation is given here: Yang Juan 2012 paper

September 2012
A solution to the acceleration limitation of superconducting EmDrive engines has been found. The application of this breakthrough has been described at a recent presentation, where a hybrid spaceplane provides a dramatic reduction in launch cost to geostationary orbit. A reduction factor of 130 compared to Atlas V launch costs is predicted. This will lead to Solar Power Satellites becoming a low cost, baseload, energy source. The presentation can be downloaded here: 2G update

July 2012
An English translation of the 2010 Chinese paper, together with unpublished test results have been obtained. The last line of the paper confirms that experimental thrust measurements have been made at 1kW input power. The unpublished test results show a large number of thrust measurements at input powers up to 2.5kW. The mean specific thrust obtained is close to that measured in the SPR flight thruster tests.

Note that the Chinese thruster, if deployed on the ISS, would easily provide the necessary delta V to compensate for orbital decay, thus eliminating the need for the reboost/refueling missions.
The original 2010 paper, the translation and the unpublished test results are given here:

NWPU 2010 paper
NWPU 2010 paper (English translation)
NWPU 2010 unpublished test results

June 2011
Two papers have been identified, published by Professor Yang Juan of The North Western Polytechnical University, Xi’an, China. These papers provide an independent proof of the theory of EmDrive. Abstracts of these papers are given in Chinese Paper Abstracts.

Amazing Combat Capability of J-28 Sixth-Generation Fighter Jet

New Super Supersonic Aircrafts
New Supersonic Aircrafts, J-28

A Russia media has recently exposed: China is doing research for the development of J-28, its sixth-generation fighter jet.
It is precisely what China has always been doing in developing its weapons: Production and improvement of one generation, research and development for the next generation, preliminary research form a third generation and exploration for a fourth.
China’s Aviation Research Institute No. 611 is now doing the research for J-28, which shall be a sixth-generation multi-function stealth fighter jet. It is said that J-28 is able to conduct accurate conventional hit to counter the nuclear threat from the entire solar system.
The laser weapon a J-28 carries is so strong that it can melt a nuclear missile launched from any planet or satellite in solar system. J-28’s speed is so high that even if it fails to intercept a missile the first time, it can chase the missile to hunt it.
In addition, it is such a wonderful stealth fighter that it cannot be detected by either radar or radio telescope.
The report says as the United States has conducted enough survey to know the Mars, it is expected that the US will establish a nuclear missile base in 2018.
In order to deal with the nuclear threat from solar system, China has begun its development of J-28, its sixth-generation multi-function stealth fighter jet.


6th generation fighter, stealth performance is significantly higher than the 5th  generation fighters in a full range flight, from subsonic, supersonic to hypersonic flight, equipped with sensors fusion and highly sensitive avionics system in full electromagnetic spectrum, both manned to unmanned, carrying various types of directed energy weapons, such as electromagnetic gun and laser weapon.
Under this technological standards, 5th generation fighters like F-22, F-35, T-50, J-20, J-31 will be easily defeated by 6th air combat system.
And China’s 6th generation fighter is not only a combat aircraft, as well as an information platform, or a node of battle-field network. It can transfer enemy targets information to whole C4ISR system in real-time to provide decision-making basis for effectively combat; the other hand, it can also get any necessary information from network to maximizing combat performance. Besides, the 6th generation fighter can complete routine air combat and ground attack missions within the atmosphere, and implement accurate precision strikes on selected remote targets from near space.
From the development speed of SAC’s new drone, 2020 will be the deadline of China’s sixth generation fighter. Beside SAC (Shenyang Aircraft Corporation), CAC (Chengdu Aircraft Corporation) will also develop a sixth-generation fighter. Actually the Chinese 6th generation fighter is a huge family: one heavy fighter, one medium-sized fighter as well as a variety of stealth unmanned combat platforms, such as “dark sword”.

Shenyang Dark Sword

In the development process of China’s 6th generation fighter, there is no shortcut to copy U.S. or Russian existing fighters. China has to acquire a lot of aviation high-techs through its own R & D activities.In recent years, China has provided full support for defense high-tech areas, such as new materials, microelectronics, and propulsion system. And more young people enter Chinese Aviation Industry R & D teams.
Therefore China have the ability and confidence to create a new world record in the field of the sixth-generation fighter.
Source: “Amazing combat capability of China’s sixth-generation J-28 fighter jet: An accurate hunter of nuclear missile from solar system”

Successful Test of JL-3 nuclear SLBM

Yomiuri Shimbun disclosed that a few days ago, a PLA nuclear submarine successfully launched a JL-3 SLBM that is regarded as the strongest strategic missile and hit a target at a desert in Xinjiang.

JL-3 is China’s third-generation submarine launched ICBM with a range exceeding 10,000 km. It can carry one or several warheads and is expected to be deployed in Type 096 nuclear submarines.

JL-3 uses a Changzheng-2F carrier rocket with reduced size. The the rocket has its booster removed but has been installed in addition with warheads and solid fuel.

Its range is 5,000 km longer than JL-2 (can reach 20,000 km to hit the remotest target in the world). It carries 5 to 7 350,000-ton nuclear warheads, each of which can strike a different target.

Analysts of US Navy Times believe that if JL-3s are deployed in China’s new generation of nuclear submarine, the entire United States will be within the range of the missiles no matter where they are.

This enables China to have the capacity of multiple nuclear strikes after being hit by its enemy as long as some of its submarines have survived.

A Russian military expert believes that the launch of a JL-3 SLCM proves that China’s nuclear deterrence has been upgraded from tactic to strategic level. China has integrated the technology of new submarines and new missiles to meet the requirements of actual war.

Type 081 Amphibious Assault Ship

Type 081 Amphibious Assault Ship

The Type 081, called the Xisha class in China, is a family of large amphibious warfare vessels designed to support efforts to create a blue water navy. Upon completion, it will be the largest such vessels operated by an Asian country, larger even than the Korean Dokdo. According to USN hull codes, it is a landing helicopter dock (LHD), placing it in the same class as vessels such as the Mistral and Juan Carlos I.

Essentially a light aircraft carrier masquerading as a helicopter destroyer in Japanese parlance, the Xisha is intended to be a larger and more capable version of the Yuzhao (Type 071) class. While the Yuzhao is limited to four helicopters, and typically only carries two, the Xisha will have the capacity to support eighteen. While the Yuzhao can only carry 20 armored vehicles under ideal conditions, the Xisha will carry at least 40 — and it will carry substantially more unarmored vehicles. It will also carry four Jingsah II class hovercraft, as many as the Type 071, and more than most comparable foreign vessels.

As with the larger LHDs operated by foreign forces, the Xisha will have the capability to deploy VTOL-capable fighters. Additionally, it is expected that any future STOVL aircraft prove compatible with the design. The design, however, is not compatible with STOL aircraft, and would require the addition of a ski jump to function.

In terms of size, the Xisha will be the largest LHD operated outside of the United States. It will possess the same length as the Japanese “helicopter destroyer” while simultaneously being significantly heavier. It will also possess substantially increased payload relative to vessels like the Dokdo, which weigh substantially less.

Specifications ;

  • Displacement: 25,000 tonnes empty, 32,500 tonnes full
  • Length: 250m
  • Beam: 34m
  • Draught: 7m
  • Propulsion: CODAG
  • Speed: 18kt (cruise), 32kt (full), 36kt (flank)
  • Range: 9,000 nautical miles at 18 knots
  • Boats and landing craft carried: 4x Jingsah II class LCAC or 12x Yupen class LCM
  • Capacity: 1,250 embarked infantry with up to 48 amphibious armored vehicles (ie, ZBD-05 family)
  • Complement: 450 (incl. 180 air crew)
  • Armament:
    – 4x Type 1030 CIWS
    – 2x 18-cell FL-3000N (36 ready-to-fire missiles, 108 total)
  • Aircraft carried: 48 helicopter tokens




Type 719 Coast Guard (CCG) Cutter

Type 719 Coast Guard (CCG) Cutter

The Type 719 Cutter is the direct successor to the Type 718 Cutter, a design which has produced a single ship.

It is an attempt to create a modern, cost-effective coast guard vessel for both domestic use and the export market.

The Type 719 Cutter, tentatively dubbed the Xiamen class, is physically similar to the Type 718.

It is slightly larger, a good deal heavier, and boasts substantially increased armament intended to give the ship the ship a better defensive capacity.

The entire vessel has been lengthened by some 8 meters, the engines have been replaced, the armament has been replaced, the helipad has been reinforced to address some structural concerns over the vessel’s operating lifetime, and the inclusion of improved communications and navigation equipment.

The Xiamen class will also feature two high-speed boats and a hangar for its helipad.

Specifications ;

  • Length: 108m
  • Beam: 14m
  • Draft: 4.5m
  • Displacement: 1,750 tonnes
  • Propulsion: CODAG
  • Maximum Range: 7,500nm
  • Cruising Speed: 12kt
  • Maximum Speed: 24kt
  • Typical Crew: 104 (incl. 15 officers), up to 16 embarked marine infantry
  • Armament
    – 1x Type 61 25mm autocannons (2×1)
    – 2x Type 85 14.5mm HMG
    – 2x Type 87 6-tubed ASW mortar
    – MANPADS, small arms
  • Aviation Facilities: Helipad and hangar (one helicopter token)

JL-11 Hengte (Hunter)

The Hengte is an aircraft that has been designed as a multi-mission,all weather, day/night aircraft that is able to operate from roughfield and unprepared sites with a minimum of ground support.

The Hengte is capable of preforming COIN, CAS, and reconnaissance missions and is being targeted for the export market.

The Hengte is a smaller and lighter version of many similar COIN aircraft. The Hengte’s STOL capabilities and short wingspan combined with a powerful Dongan WJ7K or WJ9K engine and six bladed propeller, allow the Hengte to take off or land, from an expedient forward airbase ,in 152m (500 ft.) or less.

Some of the Hengte’s unique characteristics that set it apart from other COIN aircraft are first, The Hengte has both greater range and speed, Secondly, the Hengte’s shortened wingspan allows the aircraft to operate from small clearings that have little lateral clearance. Third, the Hengte’s unique six-bladed composite propellers are shaped to provide additional thrust in the takeoff and low airspeed range while using the current Dongan WJ7K or WJ9K engines. Fourth, the Hengte is equipped with reinforced landing gear and a wide nose wheel tire, so that it is capable of operating from grassy or unimproved dirt airfields.

And last, the Hengte comes equipped with a small Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) that can be used as a source of power to start the aircraft’s engine and power up the avionics and hydraulic systems during rough-field operations when no other source of power may be available.

The Hengte has 2 unique missiles that it can be equipped with. First is the TY-90, The TY-90 was initially developed specifically as an air-to-air anti-helicopter missile when it was discovered that MANPADS missiles that were adapted for use by helicopters and light aircraft preformed inadequately in combat with kill rates of less than 40% in some cases.

The TY-90 has been designed to destroy or disable a helicopter with one shot. The TY-90s heavier warhead and improved guidance system achieves kill rates of 80% or greater.

The second missile is the HJ-10, which comes in 2 versions.The first version is the HJ-10. The HJ-10 version is the ATGM version and comes with two types of warheads,tandem-charge, which is used to defeat reactive armor, and top-attack.

The second version is the AKD-10. The AKD-10 is used to kill soft targets,which represent 70% of the targets on the modern battlefield.Both versions have a range of 10 km+ and have a variety of seeker heads to include ImIR, semi-active laser homing, TV and MMW ARH

Specifications ;
Crew: 2 (tandem cockpit)
Length: 11m (35 ft.)
Wingspan: 9 m (30 ft.)
Height: 3.35 m (11 ft.)
Empty weight: 2721 kg (6,000 lbs.)
Maximum take-off weight: 3855 kg (8,500 lbs)

Power plant: Dongan WJ7K 1,268 (1700 hp)
Maximum speed: 620 km/h (385 mph)
Cruise speed: 520 km/h (323 mph)
Range: 1,610 km (1,000 miles)
Combat radius: 725 km (450 miles) w/952 kg (2100 lbs) of external stores
Endurance/Loiter: 8.5 hrs (10 hr.with auxiliary/drop fuel tanks)
Ferry range: 3,219 km (2,000 miles)
Service ceiling: 10,668 m (35,000 ft.)

Internal: x2 wing mounted 12.7 mm machine guns w/1200 rounds each
External: x1 20 mm cannon (center mount pod (hardpoint 2) below fuselage

TY-90 (1 per wingtip rail or pod of 4 mounted on a hardpoint)
HJ-10 ATGM (4 per pod)
AKD-10 (soft targets) 4 per pod

Rockets: Rocket warheads (all sizes) include HE-Frag, HEAT, Smoke, and Incendiary warheads
57 mm
Tubes per pod: x8, x16, x32
80 mm
Tubes per pod: x7 x20
90 mm
Tubes per pod: x7 x15

Hard Points: x3 (can be used to mount Pods (all) or Auxiliary/Drop fuel tanks (hardpoints 1 and 3 only)
Centerline fuselage: x1 (hardpoint 2)
Wing: x2 (hard points 1, 3) wet plumbed
Hardpoint rating: All hardpoints rated 317 kg (700 lbs)

Wing tip mounts: x2
Missile: x1 TY-90 mounted on a wingtip rail
Tip tank:152 liters (40 US gal) each

Auxiliary/Drop fuel tank 379 liters (100 US gal) can only be mounted to hardpoints 1 and 3
Countermeasures: chaff, flares
FLIR (mounted in nose of aircraft)
Targeting pod

Composite Armour: (cockpit only)
WJ9K 1566 kw (2100 hp) engine (recomennded for aircraft with composite armour)