The Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is looking for ways to make sensitive electronic equipment disappear — like the covert self-destructing audiotape in “Mission Impossible.”
The agency stated in a notice posted on is website Jan. 28 that sophisticated electronics used on the battlefield, from radios to sensors and phones, are needed for war fighting but are impossible to track and recover if lost.
So the agency revealed its “Vanishing Programmable Resources program” that it hopes will result in electronics “capable of dissolving into the environment around them.”
The electronic devices would keep functionality and ruggedness but “when triggered, [would] be able to degrade partially or completely into their surroundings,” the agency said.
“Once triggered to dissolve, these electronics would be useless to any enemy who might come across them.”
The agency “is looking for a way to make electronics that last precisely as long as they are needed,” program manager Alicia Jackson said.
“The breakdown of such devices could be triggered by a signal sent from command or any number of possible environmental conditions, such as temperature.”
The agency is looking for contractors to work on materials, devices, manufacturing and integration processes for a prototype of the device.
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