The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), is always looking for new ways to help their soldiers on the frontline. But as of late, they have been cranking out new gadgets left and right. In addition to a wave of new technologies rolling out, DARPA is updating older projects which are garnering intrigue all over the web.
Arizona is so interested in the Agency’s technology, that as of May, they have been testing modified versions of a military technology that is already in place in conflicts all over the globe. The technology in question is the military’s Persistent Close Air Support (or PCAS) program. This program allows troops to track their fellow soldiers so there will not be any chance of friendly fire, nor will any man be left behind. The reason Arizona is so interested is because the rolling Forest Fires that ravaged the state last year took the lives of many fire fighters with them. The updated PCAS system will be nicknamed FLASH (Fire Line Advanced Situational awareness for Handhelds) for use by the Arizona Fire Department, and will hopefully save the lives of many brave men and women dedicated to saving many more lives.
A similar project DARPA is working on is called only by the name “Plan X.” Plan X is a program designed to map out cyberspace in a way that allows soldiers to analyze the space around them to see if there are any cyber threats in their vicinity. Paired with Plan X is hologram technology designed to help generals map out strategies before hand. The cyber mapping will also work closely with Oculus Rift to help soldiers identify threats in the field.
Another technology designed to help those who protect the worlds’ citizens sounds like it is more on the mad scientist side of the spectrum: brain implants. SUBNETS (Systems Based Neurotechnology for Emerging Therapies) is a program under Obama’s BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) initiative that will first work to map out the brain, and then implant microchips to help alleviate issues in many psychological diseases. Many will argue that it crosses an ethical line, saying that having that much influence over a person’s brain is impeding their own free will. Others will say that it is no different from any other mind altering drug or therapy. The indisputable point is that there are already, non-military research, that appear to be making huge strides in treating diseases such as Parkinson’s, why not use those same technologies to treat Veterans with PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). As long as the implants are closed-circuit without risk of tampering, there should be no chance of DARPA creating a technologically brainwashed race of updated humans.
Though the latest technology that the Agency has unveiled may have people calling American Soldiers superhuman spider men. The technology is based off of nature’s best climbers, geckos. By reverse engineering the reptiles, scientist have found a way to scale walls without the need of ladders or ropes, but instead using van der Waals forces. Though DARPA is showing huge promise in this technology, there will need to be numerous updates before releasing it on a mass scale.
By Eddie Mejia