Dozens Injured in Bus Crash

Thirty-six people were injured, six critically, in a bus crash in Schuykill County, Penn. this weekend. Reports say the driver lost control of the vehicle as it was exiting Interstate 81. The area is about two hours outside of Philadelphia, Penn. The bus ended up in a wooded area on the side of the road. Investigators were on scene trying to determine the cause.

QinetiQ Wants to Redefine Wheeled Armored Vehicle Mobility

QinetiQ is breaking away from the traditional picture of slow moving heavy tracked armored vehicles to lighter, faster, more agile and highly fuel-efficient platforms that they say are designed to operate at very high tempo, well within the enemy’s decision cycle and with increased survivability through agility, terrain access and tactical maneuverability.

This is the vision being realised as part of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) and its Mounted Combat Systems research project. A key component of that research has been joint activity between Dstl and global integrated defence and security company, QinetiQ. Focused on research and risk reduction the program aims to significantly enhance the mobility of wheeled military vehicles through introduction of a number of innovative technologies and design approaches.

Future armored vehicles will need to operate at a much higher tempo if they are to be effective and survivable on the future battlefield, characterized by deep effects and short ‘sensor to shooter’ links. In this context the advantages of wheeled vehicles over tracks are well known; they provide improved ride, higher speeds, higher reliability and fuel efficiency; however traditionally they have lacked the terrain accessibility of tracked platforms which constrains freedom of movement.

One of the key technologies that enables this approach is electric drive. Dstl and QinetiQ are harnessing this capability, taking advantage of the flexibility it can provide to develop high performance active suspension solutions, which not only have long travel and variable ride height but a geometry that allows the wheel base and track to be altered. In addition the exploitation of individual wheel torque control; provided by QinetiQ’s hub drive technology and all wheel steering strategies further enhance stability and off road performance. The resulting technology solutions can provide vehicles with some enhanced and even unique capabilities, including:

  • Provision of a compact configuration for transportation or operation in urban areas
  • Good stability at high speeds or on side slopes
  • Enhanced step climbing
  • Enhanced gap crossing
  • Improved soft soil mobility, especially when operating in convoys
  • Stable and low vibration crew and weapon platform
  • Ride height that can be optimized for low silhouette or mine stand-off

To demonstrate the potential functionality and capability of novel mobility solutions, Dstl and QinetiQ have built and are progressively upgrading a 1/3 scale 8×8 demonstrator platform – called the Mobility Test Rig (MTR). The aims of building the rig have been to address the key challenges of suspension and drive control software, sensor performance and maximising off road performance. It also provides a low risk route to demonstrating the military customer the capability benefits provided by the technologies.

The MTR in its current build standard will be on display at QinetiQ’s stand at industry trade show, DSEi (stand H7 – 510). It has fully articulating suspension, QinetiQ electric drive, advanced multi-wheel steer and wheel traction control. Following this showcase, the final stage of fitting sensors and implementing the full active suspension capability will take place.

The MTR has been presented to the British Army and the significant impact on the capability of future land platforms is recognised. Plans are being discussed to fully exploit the potential of the technology for near term platforms and in the longer for concepts that are starting to be explored as part of Project Mercury.

“We have been highlighting the importance of Mission-Led Innovation and this is a perfect example of that approach in practice,” explains Mike Sewart, CTO at QinetiQ. “Two years ago we announced this joint research program. Through a highly focused program of innovation, implemented with a clear outcome in mind, in just 24 months we have, alongside a strong ecosystem of partners, designed this demonstrator to showcase how electric drive is a key enabler for future armored wheeled vehicle success in land environments.”

William Suttie, the Dstl technical lead said, “This project is not just about improving the off road mobility of wheeled platforms but has the potential to transform how future armored vehicles are designed and used. The ability to move quickly and safely across all types of terrain and provide a stable platform so the crew can operate effectively on the move will enhance tempo and operational freedoms and contribute significantly to survivability.”

New Report by QinetiQ: Becoming ‘The Hardest Target’ for Adversaries

The nations able to perfect a holistic approach to technological deterrents will make themselves the hardest targets for enemies to strike, according to a new report released by QinetiQ. Superior technologies, deployable with powerful and immediate effect, and exploiting them to their fullest potential is critical for gaining future competitive advantage.

Owning the most advanced technology is not enough to secure a competitive advantage in today’s geopolitical environment. To seize the technological advantage, the way in which the technology is used is just as important as what it does. Effective exploitation of technology is a powerful deterrent in its own right. QinetiQ’s new report, released at DSEI 2021, provides recommendations on how nations can exploit technology more effectively to make themselves the hardest target for adversaries to strike; being superior to the adversary in understanding the threat environment, being more innovative in the application of technology and acting and reacting faster.

The report will address the challenges and look at technologies and other factors that will transform defense over the next decade and beyond to 2040. Download a copy at www.qinetiq.com/insights.

Samsara Selected as Connected Operations Platform for the State of Tennessee

Samsara announced it has been awarded a single-source multi-year contract to supply the State of Tennessee and participating government agency fleets with its Connected Operations Platform. As part of its ongoing commitment to innovation, the State of Tennessee will make Samsara’s technology platform – spanning vehicle telematics, equipment monitoring, and driver safety – available to all state, municipal and county fleets. Collectively, these fleets serve the State of Tennessee’s growing population of nearly seven million people.

Samsara believes it is uniquely positioned to help public sector fleets elevate citizen services, save taxpayer dollars, and keep their employees safe. From public works agencies to sanitation teams to transit authorities, Samsara’s Connected Operations Cloud empowers every department with the real-time data needed to harness actionable insights.

“In the world of government services, the efficient use of assets and resources is a top priority. With Samsara, these organizations gain visibility into operational data that can help them do just that – ultimately reducing maintenance costs, building fuel-efficient infrastructure, and streamlining response times to citizen complaints,” Alexander Stevenson, vice president of product management at Samsara. “We’re thrilled to have signed this agreement with the State of Tennessee and look forward to working together to make an impact on their local communities.”

Utilizing the latest advancements in Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity, artificial intelligence, cloud computing and video imagery, Samsara is driving the digital transformation of physical operations. With Samsara’s IoT sensors and Connected Operations Cloud, organizations can combine data from their fleets, equipment and work sites into one integrated platform. Public sector agencies can seamlessly access, analyze and act upon operational data across all departments to drive smarter decisions, increase efficiency and improve the day-to-day lives of both employees and community members.

With this agreement, the State of Tennessee joins more than 20,000 organizations using Samsara today to improve the efficiency, safety and sustainability of their operations.

New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania Caught Off Guard by Weather, Transportation Flooded

New York City’s subway system flooded in areas as a result of intense rains that first devastated New Orleans, the state of Louisiana and then headed north. Reports says first responders rescued commuters from halted subway trains on Wednesday evening after a two onslaught of rain flooded subway stations. Some riders were left to fend for themselves overnight in subway stations, sleeping on benches while service was suspended. Riders said they had never seen anything like the flooding happening Wednesday evening.

Reports of deaths due to the flooding have steadily increased as reports are arriving from the community and as it stands now 45 people have been reportedly died due to the weather event. There are reports of more than 500 abandoned vehicles on the streets of New York City. In a press conference in the Queens borough of New York, newly sworn in Governor Kathy Hochul said, “We need to foresee these in advance and be prepared.” Some reports say that more than six inches of water fell in two-to-three hours. Central Park recorded 3.15 inches of rain in one hour. First responders were forced to rescue people by boat from the roofs of their cars. Many were evacuated from the trains and subways in the area. Some subway lines were still not operating into late Thursday, September 2.

Philadelphia, Penn. was also severely impacted with flooding and water rescues ensuing. Some reports called damage in that area “vast.”

Truck Drives onto Sidewalk at Library of Congress, Driver Makes Bomb Threat

A man identified as Floyd Ray Roseberry of Grover, North Carolina drove a black pickup truck onto the sidewalk at the Library of Congress in Washington, D. C.  at 9:15 a.m. ET, Thursday, August 19, 2021. He claimed he had a bomb and showed what looked like a detonator to an officer at the scene. Roseberry live-streamed to Facebook from the scene.

He reportedly had a history of supporting former President Donald Trump.  He was also known to have said “all Democrats need to step down.” Several buildings around the Library of Congress were evacuated due to what the authorities called an “active bomb threat investigation,” the US Capitol Police said on Twitter.

In a news release later that day, USCP said no bomb was found in Roseberry’s truck however possible bomb-making material was found. District of Columbia Police “cleared,” the vehicle and that road closures around the area were opened.

Roseberry was arrested Thursday after the standoff.

Bus Crashes Sending 57 to Hospital

All 57 occupants of a tour bus on its way to Niagara Falls were sent to hospital after it crashed Saturday. The driver was also injured. The occupants were sent to local hospitals to be treated for various injuries, according to New York State Police and an area hospital.

The tour bus, traveling west on Interstate 90 in the town of Brutus in Cayuga County, drove off the highway “for an unknown reason and rolled over onto the grassy shoulder,” according to a statement from New York State Police.

Van with 30 Migrants Crashes Killing 10

A van with 30 people onboard crashed near the Texas-Mexico border. The driver and nine others died. The police believe the people were migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. Twenty people were injured, some critically.

The one-vehicle crash occurred on northbound US 281, south of the Falfurrias US Border Patrol Checkpoint, Brooks County, Texas, according to The Texas Department of Public Safety. The Department of Public Safety is working with the Mexican consulate and U.S. Border Patrol to identify the victims.

Libyan Road Reopens Uniting East and West Again

Libyan military commander endorsed resuming traffic along along the Mediterranean Sea linking Libya’s east and west – two areas that have been in conflict. The leader said it would be a significant step toward unifying Libya. Later, The U. N. reported that the highway had reopened. “The Coastal Road in Libya has opened for traffic,” U.N. deputy spokesman, Farhan Haq, said last Friday. The highway links Tripoli, the capital, and Benghazi and has been closed since early 2019.

The U.N. had been calling for the reopening to enable the safe passage of people and goods.

“[This is] another step in strengthening peace, security, and stability in the country, and in the unification of its institutions,” U.N. Special Envoy to Libya, Jan Kubisn, said in a statement.

Railways, Roads Closed Between Addis Ababa and Djibouti

Protesters, upset by a militia attack in the region that killed many, have blocked roads and railways in Ethiopia’s Somali region. Roads and railways between the capital of Addis Ababa to the seaport of Djibouti were blocked according to reports coming out of the region.

Protesters are demanding an end to violent incidents that have happened repeatedly in the past several weeks, that they say were initiated by armed men from the Somali Isa ethnic groups. These incidents killed an undetermined number of people and caused property destruction, the protester say.

Almost all imports into the nation are transported across these blocked routes. The result of the blockage has yet to be felt or seen. The recent militia attack was reportedly over boundary disputes. Area leaders have said that they are working with the protesters to clear the roads and railways.