Electronic Weapons: Too Precious To Use

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September 27, 2006: The United States is developing a new generation of battlefield sensors for keeping track of what's going on in combat zones. These devices, disguised as rocks, plants or pieces of wood, will be delivered by troops, aircraft, UAVs, rockets, or even artillery shells, to an area that you want to keep tabs on. Inside the "remote sensor" are the microphones, motion detectors, thermometers, cameras or whatever, plus a GPS unit and communications gear. However, a major problem has been discovered with all this. By actually using these remote sensors, some are likely to be captured. That would mean the enemy could discover what technology went into these sensors, and make their own. Worse yet, a careful examination of the remote sensor communications and GPS gear, would provide the enemy with more options to interfere with the workings of these devices.
It's been proposed that the remote sensors be equipped with anti-tampering and self-destruct systems. This, however, would make the remote sensors more expensive, more prone to failure and more dangerous to use. Moreover, many nations have technicians who could get around the anti-tampering and self-destruct systems. Another suggestion has been to just admit that you are going to have some of these things captured by the enemy, as is the case with many other weapons that are used, in large quantities and near where enemy troops are.

 


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