Military Spy RocksUS military ‘rocks’ spy world
By Jeremy Grant in Chicago
Published: May 26 2005 20:59 | Last updated: May 26 2005 20:59
The US military is developing miniature electronic sensors disguised as rocks that can be dropped from an aircraft and used to help detect the sound of approaching enemy combatants.
The devices, which would be no larger than a golf ball, could be ready for use in about 18 months. They use tiny silicon chips and radio frequency identification (RFID) technology that is so sensitive that it can detect the sound of a human footfall at 20ft to 30ft. The project is being carried out by scientists at North Dakota State University, which has licensed nano-technology processes from Alien Technology, a California-based commercial manufacturer of RFID tags for supermarkets.
Greg McCarthy, associate vice president at the university's Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering, said: "The military wants better sensing capability. People are being killed because someone's sneaking up on a tent and blowing them up."
FT.com / US - US military ‘rocks’ spy world