Among spin-offs from research sponsored by the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization(BMDO)are two very powerful, but different, microscopes. One is an infrared device that uses a focal plane array to obtain both spectral images and signatures of biological and materials. A group of researchers at the National Institutes of Health developed the microscope based on work by BMDO's Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle program. Essex Corp. (Columbia, MD) invented the other microscope, parlaying BMDO-sponsored development of a wideband-range Doppler imager for ground-based radar. The Essex microscope can produce high-resolution holographic images in a few seconds.
Some of our culture's most enduring robots appeared in the 80s. The Aliens series produced another evil android, and we saw light robot fare in the form of Short Circuit. Two of the great robots of all time also showed up: The Terminator and RoboCop.
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