Nanotechnology in the Army

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  • Topic: Soldier, Nanotechnology, Nanomaterials
  • Pages : 5 (1399 words )
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  • Published : May 29, 2012
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Nanotechnology in the Army
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Nanotechnology in the Army Nanomaterials can be designed at the atomic level, lending more control over their properties, and making them better suited to their desired purpose. Most nanomaterials derive their enhanced abilities from the large increase in surface area that results when individual particle-size decreases. The first military stride teat came about inferential of this technology was the development of military uniform, using nanoscale materials to integrate electronics, computer devices and power supply. In addition to ballistic protection. For instance, today if you want to stop a .45 caliber bullet you need about 10 to 20 pounds per square foot. Where we are headed with nanoscience and technology is the ability to stop a bullet with as much as two or three orders of magnitude less in pounds, something as thin and light as a piece of paper stopping a .45 caliber bullet. That's the potential. If we could drop this under one pound per square foot we've made dramatic progress. So, our mark on the wall is more than a factor of 10 drop in that ballistic protection. Also, we hope to get technologies into the marketplace so volumes will grow and prices will drop. Electronic active-camouflage provides the element of stealth. Metamaterial-based optical/EM invisibility suits & vehicle cloaks are close to reality. Artificial muscles using deforming or contracting molecules provide organic movement in applications such as full-body robotic exoskeleton suits. Nanostructured materials can make lighter armor, and extremely strong building materials. Nanofiber based duds offer enhanced protection against projectiles. Much of the ~60Kg load of a 21st century soldier comes from the many electronic devices needed for communications, etc. One main goal of military research into nanomaterials is to reduce this load to 20Kg via the development of lighter, higher Gravimetric Energy Density (Wh/kg) batteries. Nanotechnology offers a long list of potential alternatives for efficient, economical and sustainable power generation and storage. Lithium-air (Li-air) is one next-gen rechargeable battery technology with the potential to replace the current tech standards, Lithium-ion (Li-ion), Nickel Metal-Hydride (NiMh) and non-rechargeable Lithium-Manganese Dioxide (LiMnO2). Engineered nanomaterials and metamaterials that are stronger, lighter, have enhanced properties, are more heat-resistant and more compact are becoming possible. Carbon nanotube/fullerene based materials offer a much higher strength-to-weight ratio than those currently employed. Conversely, engineers are developing nanomaterials that will be part of the future soldier’s uniform, helmet, and gloves. Some scientists are studying new molecular architectures for ultra strong energy-absorbing polymers, while others study nanostructured materials for ballistic and blast protection. As such, they are seeking ways by which to detect and respond to chemical and biological threats. Their projects include microbicidal, antiviral, and antisporal fabrics; infrared detection systems for optical sensing; nanoparticle assemblies as chemical toxin deactivation coatings; and fluorescent sensing technologies for selective detection of chemical warfare agents. Nanotechnology is a quintessential technological stride, especially so from a military perspective. Per se, an array of applications presents themselves owing to this technological advancement, encompassing areas the likes of Fabrics and military material, whereby with nanotechnology, it has now become possible to develop armor that can with stand an extremist of conditions. Similarly, the technology touches on areas like robotics ad security. In terms of weapons, better devices with superior capabilities in detection, defenses as well as development have come up as well. Conversely, nanotechnology...
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