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Talk given on human enhancement and military nanotechnology at the Nanotechnology and Human Enhancement conference March 28-29, 2009

Talk given on human enhancement and military nanotechnology at the Nanotechnology and Human Enhancement conference March 28-29, 2009

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Be All You Can Be Be All You Can Be Presentation Transcript

  • DANIEL F. MOORE, PH.D. Be All You Can Be: The Meaning of the Nano-enhanced Army
    • GOAL OF THIS TALK
    • FRAMEWORK FOR DISCUSSING NEW TECHNOLOGIES IN MILITARY APPLICATIONS
    • HOW DIFFERENT HUMAN ENHANCEMENT APPLICATIONS OF NANOTECHNOLOGY FIT INTO THIS FRAMEWORK
    Introduction
  • 4 th -3 rd Century B.C. Human Enhancements on a Greek Hoplite
    • In a sense, all technologies are human enhancement
    • Personal-use military technologies in particular
    Body armor Melee Weapon Missile Weapon Shield
  • Medieval knight and Medieval Longbowman
    • Sometimes developments in military technology lead to specialization
    Body armor Melee Weapon Missile Weapon Shield
  • British Soldier in 1742
    • Developments in new types of weapons can lead to the obsolescence of some types of warfare and other military technology
    Missile Weapon Melee Weapon
  • U.S. Soldier wearing Army Combat Uniform
    • Developments in new types of weapons can lead to the obsolescence of some types of warfare and other military technology
    Missile weapon Body armor Enhanced eyesight / communication
  • 21 st Century Human Enhanced Bruce Banner as The Incredible Hulk
    • An extreme in human enhanced military technology
    Body armor Shield / Melee weapon
  • Military Technology
    • Examples of different ways to distinguish military technology
    • Purpose of use
    • Level of use/impact
    • Type of use
    • Amount of control
    • Duration of use and/or impact
    • Locus of use
    Autonomous Human controlled Missile Shock Civilization Individual Offensive Defensive Permanent Temporary Internal External
    • Duration of use/impact
    • Locus of use
    • Tools that enable more permanent effects
    • Tools that are continuous / always on and always available
    • Allows technology to move towards internal use / impact because of size and capabilities
    • Comparatively ubiquitous
    What nanotechnology brings to the table
  • Military “Problems”
    • Technologies are created to solve problems or enhance capabilities
    • Military “Problems”
      • Soldiers need more effective tools to accomplish their goals
      • Soldiers carry a heavy load, averaging just under 100 lbs in combat operations
      • Threats to soldiers can come unexpectedly, suddenly, and can cause injuries that cannot be healed quickly
      • Communication and coordination between autonomous individuals can be difficult
      • Sleep deprivation hurts soldier performance – “The most immediate human performance factor in military effectiveness is degradation of performance under stressful conditions, particularly sleep deprivation.”
  • Military “Problems”
    • Better weapons toolkit
    • Lighter load
    • Healing / Preventing Injuries and Death
    • Battlefield Communication
    • Sleep deprivation and mental states of soldiers
    • None of these is a new challenge
    • Different technologies/cultures solve these challenges to different degrees and with different methods
    • Major advances in these solutions can create major changes battlefield outcomes/situations
  • Nanotech’s approach to solving problems
    • In general, nanotechnology leads us to military technology that enhances humans more permanently and more internally
    • Makes strong inroads into previously difficult to solve problems
      • For example, managing mental states of individuals
    • This applies to personal use military technology as well as societal level military technology
  • Future Warrior - Nanotechnology enabled
    • Future Warrior Concept
    • Communications and information system
    • Combat uniform
    • Weapon system
    • Soldier status monitors
    • Power systems
    • Locus of use
    Image from US Army Natick Soldier Research, Development, & Engineering Body armor Missile Weapon
  • More effective weapons toolkit
    • Nanoscale materials allow for lighter devices/objects that achieve at least the same goal
    • Different scales of weapons can allow for different types of attack
    • Strong, lightweight materials for weaponry
    • Battle-suit exoskeleton can be used to augment soldier abilities
    • Can create different types of attack
      • Such as, unleashing a “swarm” of nanoscale robots programmed to disrupt the electrical / chemical systems in a building (as opposed to just bombing it)
  • Lighter Load / Increased mobility
    • Nanoscale materials allow for lighter devices/objects that achieve at least the same goal
    • Historically, load size has been a severe limiter of army mobility
      • One major boon to armies was when soldier could carry their own load
      • Livy tells us that Hannibal had more than 2000 head of cattle with his army of 30,000 men
    • Simply making devices smaller and lighter can make the soldier more mobile with a smaller footprint
      • Allowing for far greater supply lines
    Legionnaire on the march
  • Lighter Load / Increased mobility
    • Nanoscale materials allow for lighter devices/objects that achieve at least the same goal
    • Reducing size of powering devices is key to reducing current load of the individual soldier
    • Nanotechnology allows for extremely small power generation and storage devices
    • For example, nanogenerators that turn mechanical motion into electrical energy
    ZnO Nanowire Nanogenerator by X. Wang and ZL Wang
  • Injury/death prevention
    • Nanotechnology allows for more direct / immediate prevention, detection, and treatment of injuries
    • Nanoscale materials allow for energy absorbing materials
      • Nanoscale trusses provide the ability to absorb significant energy with light weight designs
      • They can be made out of flexible materials such as polymers as well as nanocomposites
  • Injury/death prevention
    • Nanotechnology allows for more direct / immediate detection and treatment of injuries
    • These electro-rheological materials could also be used as exomuscles to augment a soldier’s physical strength and movement
    • Traditionally, body armor has been the solution to limiting injuries and/or death
    • Accessing nanoscale materials can give some polymers an electrorheological response
    • Mechanical actuators can transform a material from flexible and pliant to nonpliant and armor-like
  • Battlefield communication / information
    • Ubiquitous, highly sensitive, highly selective sensors
    • Fast / Enhanced Communications
    Image from paper by Y. Cui et al, Science
    • Nanoscale materials and arrangements allow for chemical / biological sensors that are highly selective and sensitive
    • Nanodevices can allow these to be placed in otherwise unavailable places
      • For example, in the bloodstream
  • Battlefield communication / information
    • Ubiquitous, highly sensitive, highly selective sensors
    • Fast / Enhanced Communications
    • Nanoscale sensors and miniaturized electronics can allow for constant delivery of information to the soldier
      • Maps, routes, mission data
      • Vital information about health of individual and of team
      • Reactive display – integrated night vision, heat vision, etc.
    • Heightened Awareness
  • Managing Mental States / Performance
    • Sleep loss is a key factor contributing to poor decision making
    • Potentially, automatic injection of chemicals that remove the effects of sleep loss and enhance performance are possible
    • “ The most immediate human performance factor in military effectiveness is degradation of performance under stressful conditions, particularly sleep deprivation. If an opposing force had a significant sleep advantage, this would pose a serious threat.”
    • “ Suppose a human could be engineered who slept for the same amount of time as a giraffe (1.9 hours per night). This would lead to an approximately twofold decrease in the casualty rate.”
    Both quotes from JASON report on Human Performance
  • Managing Mental States / Performance
    • Nanoscale Sensors allow for detection of deteriorating soldier performance
    • Factors such as brain patterns, hormone production, wayward eye movement, etc. can be monitored
    • Nanoscale sensors can help monitor wayward eye movement, hormone production, core / skin temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, stress levels, etc.
    • If needed, care can be triggered automatically
  • Military Nanotechnology
    • Lighter materials and devices
    • Lighter load
    • Healing / Preventing Injuries and Death
    • Battlefield Communication
    • Sleep deprivation and mental states of soldiers
    • In general, nanotechnology leads us to military technology that enhances humans more permanently and more internal
      • Lighter loads and devices allow an individual soldier to increase capabilities without sacrificing mobility
      • Energy absorbing and electromechanical nanomaterials enable ubiquitous, personal body armor and injury treatment
      • Nanoscale sensors allow for permanently connected/networked soldiers and leaders
      • Sensors can monitor mental states, performance, and internal conditions
  • The Nano-Enhanced Army
    • In a sense, military technologies have always been enhancing humans in the same manner
    • New technological paradigms have helped change the military in unique ways
      • Not just a better mousetrap
    • Nanotechnology allows for military enhancement to become more permanent and more internal