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Be All You Can Be

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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

  1. 1. DANIEL F. MOORE, PH.D. Be All You Can Be: The Meaning of the Nano-enhanced Army
  2. 2. <ul><li>GOAL OF THIS TALK </li></ul><ul><li>FRAMEWORK FOR DISCUSSING NEW TECHNOLOGIES IN MILITARY APPLICATIONS </li></ul><ul><li>HOW DIFFERENT HUMAN ENHANCEMENT APPLICATIONS OF NANOTECHNOLOGY FIT INTO THIS FRAMEWORK </li></ul>Introduction
  3. 3. 4 th -3 rd Century B.C. Human Enhancements on a Greek Hoplite <ul><li>In a sense, all technologies are human enhancement </li></ul><ul><li>Personal-use military technologies in particular </li></ul>Body armor Melee Weapon Missile Weapon Shield
  4. 4. Medieval knight and Medieval Longbowman <ul><li>Sometimes developments in military technology lead to specialization </li></ul>Body armor Melee Weapon Missile Weapon Shield
  5. 5. British Soldier in 1742 <ul><li>Developments in new types of weapons can lead to the obsolescence of some types of warfare and other military technology </li></ul>Missile Weapon Melee Weapon
  6. 6. U.S. Soldier wearing Army Combat Uniform <ul><li>Developments in new types of weapons can lead to the obsolescence of some types of warfare and other military technology </li></ul>Missile weapon Body armor Enhanced eyesight / communication
  7. 7. 21 st Century Human Enhanced Bruce Banner as The Incredible Hulk <ul><li>An extreme in human enhanced military technology </li></ul>Body armor Shield / Melee weapon
  8. 8. Military Technology <ul><li>Examples of different ways to distinguish military technology </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose of use </li></ul><ul><li>Level of use/impact </li></ul><ul><li>Type of use </li></ul><ul><li>Amount of control </li></ul><ul><li>Duration of use and/or impact </li></ul><ul><li>Locus of use </li></ul>Autonomous Human controlled Missile Shock Civilization Individual Offensive Defensive Permanent Temporary Internal External
  9. 9. <ul><li>Duration of use/impact </li></ul><ul><li>Locus of use </li></ul><ul><li>Tools that enable more permanent effects </li></ul><ul><li>Tools that are continuous / always on and always available </li></ul><ul><li>Allows technology to move towards internal use / impact because of size and capabilities </li></ul><ul><li>Comparatively ubiquitous </li></ul>What nanotechnology brings to the table
  10. 10. Military “Problems” <ul><li>Technologies are created to solve problems or enhance capabilities </li></ul><ul><li>Military “Problems” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Soldiers need more effective tools to accomplish their goals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Soldiers carry a heavy load, averaging just under 100 lbs in combat operations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Threats to soldiers can come unexpectedly, suddenly, and can cause injuries that cannot be healed quickly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communication and coordination between autonomous individuals can be difficult </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sleep deprivation hurts soldier performance – “The most immediate human performance factor in military effectiveness is degradation of performance under stressful conditions, particularly sleep deprivation.” </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Military “Problems” <ul><li>Better weapons toolkit </li></ul><ul><li>Lighter load </li></ul><ul><li>Healing / Preventing Injuries and Death </li></ul><ul><li>Battlefield Communication </li></ul><ul><li>Sleep deprivation and mental states of soldiers </li></ul><ul><li>None of these is a new challenge </li></ul><ul><li>Different technologies/cultures solve these challenges to different degrees and with different methods </li></ul><ul><li>Major advances in these solutions can create major changes battlefield outcomes/situations </li></ul>
  12. 12. Nanotech’s approach to solving problems <ul><li>In general, nanotechnology leads us to military technology that enhances humans more permanently and more internally </li></ul><ul><li>Makes strong inroads into previously difficult to solve problems </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For example, managing mental states of individuals </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This applies to personal use military technology as well as societal level military technology </li></ul>
  13. 13. Future Warrior - Nanotechnology enabled <ul><li>Future Warrior Concept </li></ul><ul><li>Communications and information system </li></ul><ul><li>Combat uniform </li></ul><ul><li>Weapon system </li></ul><ul><li>Soldier status monitors </li></ul><ul><li>Power systems </li></ul><ul><li>Locus of use </li></ul>Image from US Army Natick Soldier Research, Development, & Engineering Body armor Missile Weapon
  14. 14. More effective weapons toolkit <ul><li>Nanoscale materials allow for lighter devices/objects that achieve at least the same goal </li></ul><ul><li>Different scales of weapons can allow for different types of attack </li></ul><ul><li>Strong, lightweight materials for weaponry </li></ul><ul><li>Battle-suit exoskeleton can be used to augment soldier abilities </li></ul><ul><li>Can create different types of attack </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Such as, unleashing a “swarm” of nanoscale robots programmed to disrupt the electrical / chemical systems in a building (as opposed to just bombing it) </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Lighter Load / Increased mobility <ul><li>Nanoscale materials allow for lighter devices/objects that achieve at least the same goal </li></ul><ul><li>Historically, load size has been a severe limiter of army mobility </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One major boon to armies was when soldier could carry their own load </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Livy tells us that Hannibal had more than 2000 head of cattle with his army of 30,000 men </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Simply making devices smaller and lighter can make the soldier more mobile with a smaller footprint </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Allowing for far greater supply lines </li></ul></ul>Legionnaire on the march
  16. 16. Lighter Load / Increased mobility <ul><li>Nanoscale materials allow for lighter devices/objects that achieve at least the same goal </li></ul><ul><li>Reducing size of powering devices is key to reducing current load of the individual soldier </li></ul><ul><li>Nanotechnology allows for extremely small power generation and storage devices </li></ul><ul><li>For example, nanogenerators that turn mechanical motion into electrical energy </li></ul>ZnO Nanowire Nanogenerator by X. Wang and ZL Wang
  17. 17. Injury/death prevention <ul><li>Nanotechnology allows for more direct / immediate prevention, detection, and treatment of injuries </li></ul><ul><li>Nanoscale materials allow for energy absorbing materials </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nanoscale trusses provide the ability to absorb significant energy with light weight designs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They can be made out of flexible materials such as polymers as well as nanocomposites </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Injury/death prevention <ul><li>Nanotechnology allows for more direct / immediate detection and treatment of injuries </li></ul><ul><li>These electro-rheological materials could also be used as exomuscles to augment a soldier’s physical strength and movement </li></ul><ul><li>Traditionally, body armor has been the solution to limiting injuries and/or death </li></ul><ul><li>Accessing nanoscale materials can give some polymers an electrorheological response </li></ul><ul><li>Mechanical actuators can transform a material from flexible and pliant to nonpliant and armor-like </li></ul>
  19. 19. Battlefield communication / information <ul><li>Ubiquitous, highly sensitive, highly selective sensors </li></ul><ul><li>Fast / Enhanced Communications </li></ul>Image from paper by Y. Cui et al, Science <ul><li>Nanoscale materials and arrangements allow for chemical / biological sensors that are highly selective and sensitive </li></ul><ul><li>Nanodevices can allow these to be placed in otherwise unavailable places </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For example, in the bloodstream </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Battlefield communication / information <ul><li>Ubiquitous, highly sensitive, highly selective sensors </li></ul><ul><li>Fast / Enhanced Communications </li></ul><ul><li>Nanoscale sensors and miniaturized electronics can allow for constant delivery of information to the soldier </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Maps, routes, mission data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vital information about health of individual and of team </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reactive display – integrated night vision, heat vision, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Heightened Awareness </li></ul>
  21. 21. Managing Mental States / Performance <ul><li>Sleep loss is a key factor contributing to poor decision making </li></ul><ul><li>Potentially, automatic injection of chemicals that remove the effects of sleep loss and enhance performance are possible </li></ul><ul><li>“ 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.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ 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.” </li></ul>Both quotes from JASON report on Human Performance
  22. 22. Managing Mental States / Performance <ul><li>Nanoscale Sensors allow for detection of deteriorating soldier performance </li></ul><ul><li>Factors such as brain patterns, hormone production, wayward eye movement, etc. can be monitored </li></ul><ul><li>Nanoscale sensors can help monitor wayward eye movement, hormone production, core / skin temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, stress levels, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>If needed, care can be triggered automatically </li></ul>
  23. 23. Military Nanotechnology <ul><li>Lighter materials and devices </li></ul><ul><li>Lighter load </li></ul><ul><li>Healing / Preventing Injuries and Death </li></ul><ul><li>Battlefield Communication </li></ul><ul><li>Sleep deprivation and mental states of soldiers </li></ul><ul><li>In general, nanotechnology leads us to military technology that enhances humans more permanently and more internal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lighter loads and devices allow an individual soldier to increase capabilities without sacrificing mobility </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Energy absorbing and electromechanical nanomaterials enable ubiquitous, personal body armor and injury treatment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nanoscale sensors allow for permanently connected/networked soldiers and leaders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sensors can monitor mental states, performance, and internal conditions </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. The Nano-Enhanced Army <ul><li>In a sense, military technologies have always been enhancing humans in the same manner </li></ul><ul><li>New technological paradigms have helped change the military in unique ways </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not just a better mousetrap </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Nanotechnology allows for military enhancement to become more permanent and more internal </li></ul>

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