Imagine using unattended ground sensors to provide continuous weather reports and surveillance of critical targets in enemy areas. The Defense Department thinks the idea is sound enough to pursue. The agency includes it among nine projects it will fund this fiscal year under its Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD) program. The other projects are: a networked early warning system for biological threats, a method for detecting coordinated attacks on computer networks, a "joint continuous strike environment" using combined suites of weapons on targets, a system for moving weapons and other materiel from ship to shore in heavy seas, an interface between major tactical data links on the ground and in the air, an advanced forward looking infrared system for precise target location and identification, a markedly improved capability for precise counterfire at the battle-theater level, and a line-of-sight system for high-speed destruction of many tanks at once.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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