Gas-powered boots which can allow wearers to run at up to 25 mph for as long as 25 minutes at a time. In other words, in some terrain or circumstances unsuitable for wheeled vehicles, police, soldiers, or rescue personnel might be able to cover ten miles in a single hour on foot. Working prototypes of these specifications were available in 2000 AD, and point to some of the possibilities of future strength and speed boosting exoskeletons for human beings.
Other uses for such devices of course would be in extreme sports of various kinds.
-- BBC News | SCI/TECH | Petrol-powered boot lifts off ["http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_820000/820398.stm"] 5 July, 2000
(There's also a wealth of 'non-lethal' weapons available at this time-- but those are not usually utilized by 'elite' troops or police units, but rather by more generalized, more civilian riot control or peacekeeper type forces).
Elite troops can operate at high efficiency for several days without sleep or resupply, see better at night than day, find a target via physical location, sound, odor, radar, or thermal signature, and enjoy 'bird's eye views' of the battlefield (via flying sensor platforms and satellites).
Tiny hover-capable remote controlled aircraft can be carried in a soldier or police officer's backpack and used to scout dangerous territory and perform other tasks. Circa 2000 prototypes of such devices 23 cm in diameter, 1.4 kg in weight, and boasting a one hour flight capacity were being tested.
-- Backpack drone that peers behind enemy lines by Kurt Kleiner, From New Scientist magazine, 21 October 2000 [original URL, now broken, was http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns226113]; another related URL may be "http://www.alliedaerospace.com/"
Elite troops possess direct computer interfaces on-person, as well as a wealth of specialized hardware to plug into it.
They also at times utilize personal motorized chariots allowing them convenient high speed all terrain transport, often incorporating hovercraft functionality and highly articulated electronic wheeled suspensions, allowing speeds around 100 mph on paved roads, and even greater speeds over calm seas, lakes, and swamps, while also carrying a substantial quantity of weapons and other gear. Soldiers typically lie prone in such vehicles, on their bellies, due to the low profile of most models and modes of operation.
These compact chariots may also be configured to rapidly dig out substantial trenches and bunkers for their troops.
The chariots may be configured with additional hardware to operate remotely or autonomously, for surveillance or fighting purposes. Boasting their own superb noise-cancellation technologies, the chariots are virtually silent in movement. Imagine a 'smart' machine gun nest and rocket launcher which can stealthily move about a battlefield looking for enemy emplacements, and kill them when found-- without any risk whatsoever to friendly troops. That's one use of autonomous chariots. Such devices are often used to rescue or reinforce troops behind enemy lines, and incorporate highly sophistocated safeguards against unleashing their fire upon 'friendlies', including (but not limited to) continuous, encrypted Global Positioning System coordinates on all known and likely friendlies or neutrals in the vicinity, direct public key encrypted communications, resonance signal responses from special implants to tickle bursts, and other techniques.
These chariots usually incorporate fuzzy logic which will help them err on the side of caution where inflicting casualties upon friendlies or neutrals is concerned. That is, if their information indicates too large a probabilty of it injuring friendlies or neutrals in an operation, the chariot may default to less aggressive tactics on-site, including the use of non-lethal force (if so equipped).
When I speak of Chariots for soldiers, I'm envisioning technology like the iBOT (an all terrain wheelchair) developed by Dean Kamen of DEKA Research & Development in Manchester NH, as an early (albeit non-militarized) prototype. The iBOT (Individual Balancing Optimized Transporter) can actually make a disabled person more mobile and stable than a non-disabled person. In a shoving match between an iBOT equipped disabled person and a non-disabled person, the non-disabled would be the one to hit the ground.
Everyone should see the demonstration video of this machine.
As of early 2001 an iBOT weighed 250 pounds and cost $25,000. Though tech advances and manufacturing economies of scale might reduce both the weight and cost of the consumer version over time, a militarized version would doubtless weigh and cost considerably more than this, even in 2011.
Health care company Johnson and Johnson is planned to be the commercial vendor of iBOTs.
-- BusinessWeek Online:Introducing the All-Terrain Wheelchair; APRIL 11, 2001; ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY By John M. Williams; Edited by Alex Salkever; The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/apr2001/nf20010411_972.htm
-- Monitoring Emerging Military Technologies ["http://www.fas.org/faspir/pir0295.html"], Volume 48. No. 1, Journal of the Federation of American Scientists January/February 1995; apparent author Steven Aftergood
Personal jetpacks are sometimes available to act like earlier jet plane ejection seats, only for infantry-- that is, if a soldier gets into too much trouble he can hit a panic button and the jetpack abruptly rockets him up to a quarter mile away, (into the direction of known friendlies if at all possible) then deploys a special gliding chute, which is propelled by the remainder of the jet's fuel in a lower power mode to allow the soldier a high speed exit out of harm's way. Automatic tracking and location electronics alert comrades whenever a jetpack is deployed and where, to call up help.
The power sources for these jetpacks (where the packs are present) are usually the same as that used for much of the soldier's weaponry, sensor, and communications equipment: namely, an on-person mini-fuel cell capable of converting sunlight and water to compressed hydrogen fuel-- as well as digesting other fuels, such as gasoline, natural gas, etc. Extra electrical power is often stored in advanced semi-conducting carbon composite body armor. A one shot small, directional explosive charge is used to initially launch the jet pack in an extraction, with a small reservoir of compressed hydrogen powering the remainder of the brief trip.
The power output and versatility of the soldier's on-person fuel cell is prodigious, relative to the technologies of the late 20th century. Though most of the soldier's primary weapons remain projectile based at this time, the ammunition is usually more like needles rather than bullets, launched electro-magnetically, and almost never 'sprayed' like a machine gun of the late 20th-- since nowadays virtually each and every 'bullet' may be guaranteed to hit their target-- and the rounds may be configured to explode on impact, thereby offering shock value superior to old fashioned slugs in the 9 mm and 45 caliber size ranges of the previous century (Yes, certain international war conventions stood in the way of exploding rounds as of 2000 AD). The compact size and light weight of needle rounds allows every soldier to easily carry thousands or tens of thousands on his/her person. Their accuracy and dial-up flexibility for damage outcomes also make it very rare for a soldier to ever run short on ammo. One particularly gruesome possibility of this technology is ambulatory needles-- that is, needles which sprout tiny appendages when lodged inside a victim, than begin crawling/clawing/slashing their way in ever expanding loops inside the body, decimating internal organs and inflicting unholy pain, in an agonizingly slow and drawn out death (if lodged in the brain however, victims suffer less pain due to gray matter being largely devoid of the types of nerve cells which signal pain upon injury). Fortunately, most of the developed nations officially ban such ammunition early on. Unfortunately, others do not...and in any case ambulatory needles are more of a terror weapon than strategic or tactical one.
Micromachine gear also helps soldiers climb up or down sheer precipices much like insects, with little risk of falling or injury, or skate rapidly (60 to 70 mph) down reasonably clear city streets, parking lots, or plane runways, with mini-airbags, helmets, neckguards, certain exo-skeletal reinforcements, and tough scuff pads and clothing liners protecting against spills (as well as other harm). The gear even aids in the soldiers' balance and physical coordination.
Heelys, or shoes with built-in rollers or wheels, are becoming popular among consumers in the USA as of 2001-- despite their use being illegal in some locales. One type has a hidden wheel in the heel allowing users to switch from a typical stepping gait to a rolling motion instantly. The wheels can be removed from the footwear when desired.
-- In a spin over heeler-wheelers by Elaine Larkin; THE IRISH TIMES; March 27, 2001; http://www.heelys.com is the URL of one maker
Personal micromachine gear also helps in digging foxholes, by allowing soldiers to quickly 'drill' many holes roughly 6-8 inches in diameter, and a foot and a half deep, which in suitable combination can create a man-sized hole in under five minutes. The same technology is also useful for creating traps for enemy troops (or animals for eating), or concealing equipment which has become a liability (such as a spent jet pack).
DARPA asked for initial five year project proposals for development of electro-mechanical exoskeletons which would "...increase the speed, strength, and endurance of soldiers in combat environments..." to be submitted by April 21, 2000 (full proposals due by June 30, 2000). Other requirements were that the systems be independently powered, and such power last at least 4 to 24 hours.
DARPA wanted the equipment to increase the carrying capacity of soldiers in terms of on-person gear (heavier armor and bigger weapons), as well as extend the distance they could travel in a given period of time. They also wanted the suit to provide added combat protection and lethality to the wearer in short range operations. Extraordinary leaping abilities were another item on the laundry list.
-- EXOSKELETONS FOR HUMAN PERFORMANCE AUGMENTATION ["http://www.darpa.mil/baa/baa00-34.htm"], (EHPA) SOL BAA00-34 DUE 063000 POC Dr. Ephrahim Garcia, Fax (703) 696-3999 EXOSKELETONS FOR HUMAN PERFORMANCE AUGMENTATION (EHPA)PROGRAM; SOL: BAA#00-34; DUE: 30JUN00; POC: Dr. Ephrahim Garcia, DARPA/DSO;FAX: (703) 696-3999; EMAIL: BAA00-34@DARPA.MIL;URL: http://www.darpa.mil/baa/baa00-34.htm; SPONSOR: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Contract Management Directorate (CMD), 3701 N. Fairfax Dr., Arlington, VA 22203-1714 SUBFILE: PSE (U.S. GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENTS, SERVICES) SECTION HEADING: A Research and Development PUBLICATION DATE: March 21, 2000 ISSUE: PSA-2561
Powered armor for future solders is in development by the US DARPA. Goals include adding at minimum two horsepower to an individual soldier's powers of endurance and strength.
An exoskeleton limited to leg supplementation should be in testing by 2003, with a full body suit undergoing tests by 2005. In theory such a suit could even bring an unconscious or incapacitated soldier back to friendly forces on its own.
Such suits could also be useful in the construction industry, for the disabled and elderly, and other purposes.
The energy efficiency of the driving parts and a way to generate or store sufficient energy in such suits remains the biggest obstacle to their development.
Roughly 3% of the world is accessible to wheeled transport, while 85% is accessible to legged mobility.
There could be many different form factors of exoskeletons, including partial suits, full body suits, and chimera type suits like centaur configurations.
-- Future Tech: Really Special Forces By Brad Lemley; DISCOVER Vol. 23 No. 2; February 2002 ; The Walt Disney Company
On-person power generation equipment for individual soldiers incorporating a micro-scale fuel cell and running off readily available types of fuel to produce up to 25 watts of power may be ready for testing by 2003. These types of generators may weigh just two pounds when completed.
-- Small Fuel Processor Powers Light-Weight Soldiers' System ["http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/04/010415223337.htm"]; ScienceDaily Magazine; Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; http://www.pnl.gov/news/2001/01-13.htm; 4/18/2001
By 2009 USAmerican troops in the thick of combat are expected to possess a new weapon which shoots 5.56mm NATO ammo and 20mm calibre grenades. It will possess a built-in fire control computer with laser range finder and night vision capabilities. The grenade can be fused to detonate at a certain range rather than on impact, for greater flexibility in kills. The computer automatically leads moving targets. The new gun is supposed to have twice the effective range and five times the lethality of an M-16, but weighs twice as much in prototype form. It also costs at least around 14 times per gun that of an M16A2, at $8000 (this is an optimistic estimate).
-- JUMPING THE GUN, Beyond2000.com, found on or about 8-25-2000 [original URL, now broken, was http://www.beyond2000.com/news/Aug_00/story_737.html]
Elite troops enjoy electronically and chemically enhanced thinking and senses too, making it very difficult to surprise, elude, or out-think them on-the-fly. It's also becoming harder to scare or intimidate them.
Elite troops are enhanced physically with various accessories, as well as automatically dispensed drugs and electro-chemical brain modifications, in addition to their training, which allows them to be largely invulnerable to most likely bullet hits or stabbing weapons, and fragments from many types of explosions at various ranges. They can still be killed or injured; it's just that it's considerably more difficult now than in the 20th century, as they can take much more punishment than earlier soldiers, and recover much faster as well in some cases.
-- "Be More Than You Can Be; the military is using molecular technology to produce super soldiers"
by Tyler Schnoebelen, villagevoice.com, 7-14-98
An on-person electronic 'fear extinguisher' which defuses fear, stress, and anxiety by 'tuning' the brain electronically via electrodes clipped onto earlobes may prove useful for soldiers in combat, students with test anxiety, fearful air travelers, and insomniacs.
-- Fear fighter 'extinguishes anxiety', BBC News Health, http://www.bbc.co.uk, Tuesday, September 14, 1999
A protein named "downstream regulatory element antagonistic modulator" (DREAM) might be modulated in mammals to increase or reduce the impact of pain on behavior, with little or no other effect on a body's mental or physical capacities. Thus, the technique might be used to either increase a soldier's pain tolerance, or (in evil hands) increase the effectiveness of torture. The finding of cource could also be benefit medical treatments where pain is present.
-- Protein Could Be Used To Raise The Pain Threshhold; UniSci Daily; 11-Jan-2002; Contact: Josef M. Penninger
Elite troops may also sometimes possess the capacity to automatically commit suicide under certain circumstances, as well as self-induce comas as needed for medical reasons or others.
'Living off the land' takes on a new meaning for 2030s soldiers who must do so, as rather than carrying rations they tend to carry compact food and water processors capable of converting a vast array of local materials into essential nourishment. Suitable water purification/generation techniques were old hat decades earlier-- so no big leap there. However, the new food processors truly are a big advance for war technologies. A simple but tough collapsible container is first assembled by personnel on-site. The basic design is very similar to food processors seen in consumer kitchens in 1998-- just ruggedized, miniaturized, and improved in various other ways.
|-- Monitoring Emerging Military Technologies ["http://www.fas.org/faspir/pir0295.html"], Volume 48. No. 1, Journal of the Federation of American Scientists January/February 1995; apparent author Steven Aftergood|
Once assembled, the soldier collects local materials (plants, roots, small animals, birds, or insects, etc.) as specified by his computerized aids, dumping them into the processor after any necessary extra preparation. A brief spin of a motor (or several via backup hand crank), and the results are ready to eat, hot or cold as desired. Consistancy usually is determined by computer instruction, but can be manually set to preference from soup to paste to trail mix (Bigger aggregate sizes are available, but require more manual effort). Only in the harshest or most limited environments will the resulting food taste bad or bland-- usually it will taste surprisingly good to the soldier. Under some circumstances various chemical or electrical aids may also contribute to the soldier's enjoyment of his meal.
Basic tests for digestability and toxicity are also performed by the processor during its work.
A small packet of food supplement pills helps round out the processed rations when necessary (in most scenarios no pills are required).
All the above pertains to long term ration sources; in more temporary time frames soldiers may simply absorb nutrition through special skin patches. This practice reduces the time, attention, and energy required to carry, prepare, and eat foodstuffs for the soldier, while also insuring optimal nutrition for every individual-- making them all more effective in general, in relatively brief stints (one to two days).
The patches may also include stimulants or other drugs under some circumstances. For example, 'sleep patches' might force those soldiers ordered to rest to do so more efficiently, no matter the external conditions.
In 2000 it was expected such systems would be in-use by 2025 or thereabouts.
|-- Hold the lettuce: Nutrition patches in soldiers future, Scripps Howard News Service; [original URL, now broken, was http://www.thedailycamera.com/science/science/20apatc.html]|
Often everything an elite soldier sees, hears, says, or smells is also sensed by his or her remote commanding supervisory organization, for realtime and supplemental analysis and advisories. The transmission also is somewhat two-way-- with the soldier often having access to much of the same 'big picture' information as HQ as well, where desired.
USAmerica's "Land Warrior" program to create electronic super soldiers
-- A Battery That Can Take a Bullet by Chris Oakes, 3.Aug.99, Wired Digital Inc.
An elite trooper's body armor is feather-light but extremely tough. It also often performs additional duties beyond mere physical protection, such as acting as solar cells to maintain on-person batteries, or even providing additional computer processing or memory capacity to the soldier's main onboard computer. The armor can also sometimes offer certain 'stealth' functionality as well, protecting to some degree against radar, sonar, and thermal imaging, as well as camouflage against visual sightings. Some portions of body armor are also 'reactive'-- that is, they may explode outwards to neutralize force from an external explosion or impacting projectile, to minimize subsequent injury to the soldier. Such reactive capacities sometimes also help reduce injuries in great falls-- though the basic form of reactive armor is not considered a suitable replacement for a parachute.
An elite trooper's personal computer interface is highly redundant, in order to maximize its utility under adverse circumstances. There's a transparent heads up display available on a wraparound visor, as well as a peephole backup on a flexible extension, and subvocal and earphone complements. Plain radio/digital phone type functionality is also available, as is heavily encrypted communications via the communications infrastructure of most contested territory (such as a hostile nation's own telephones or power lines).
If a trooper's own computer goes dead, he can still use his intact interfaces to communicate with command by temporary or periodic physical contact with another soldier in his unit, or any friendly unmanned robotic combat or reconnaisance platform he may encounter.
Soldiers of 2025 are expected to be able to share what they see with their fellows in realtime (imagine watching a realtime video feed of yourself and others advancing on an enemy soldier who is line-of-sight hidden from all but one of your group).
Vision and hearing amplification, and 360 degree expansion in both might be included among the warrior's combat uniform specifications.
The soldier's display visor, which offers one of several different interfaces to his onboard computer and remote link to others (including links to miniature robots of various sorts such as microspy planes), may include carbon nanotubes in its composition stronger than steel (for bullet and shrapnel protection) which will also flash to plasma to protect from a blinding laser beam.
Soldiers might also be expected to wear active camouflage-capable clothing (which electronically changes coloring to match background scenery according to known positions of friendlies and enemies; even the physical configuration of the individual wearer in realtime might be considered in the camouflaging pattern; note we're not talking invisibility here-- merely greater difficulty in noticing a soldier's form against a suitable background).
Semi-conducting carbon composite serves as both the outer ballistics layer and inner power conduction and information processing layer of the soldier's body armor (two separate layers). It is very lightweight but tough, highly resistant to penetration by stabbing weapons, small caliber arms, and shrapnel. It possesses highly redundant circuitry, with automatic re-routing, so that it can sustain heavy damage and still function in critical tasks like communications. It can also offer regions conducive to reserve electrical power storage (low power batteries).
A five pound, 100 watt on-person central heat and air conditioning may be present in the system. A network of bodily injury and health sensors embedded in the 'long johns' of the warrior will allow headquarters to monitor a soldier's vital signs, and accelerate the diagnosis and treatment process by medics. Sign language and hand signals from one soldier is automatically converted by glove sensors to recognizable icons or words displayed in the visors of his companions, even if he is out of sight. The sound of incoming personal radio communications travel via bone conduction so only the intended recipient hears it.
The power source for the combat uniform may be a hydrogen-fueled micro-turbine mechanism with the capacity for six days operation without refueling. Reserve power may be available in small, thin, and flexible rechargeable battery gel-packs making up part of the shock-absorbing liner in the helmet, or kept elsewhere on person.
A weapons module mounted on the soldier's forearm might respond to spoken commands and fire bullets or miniature rockets with ranges spanning 300 to 1000 m.
In 2000 the goal was for the above gear and more to make up not more than 15% of the soldier's body weight. Fine customization of all the above to each and every individual soldier would also be performed, in order to maximize efficiency and capability as a whole (not to mention the comfort and potential endurance of the wearer).
-- PopSci.com | Science | Features |Future Soldier By FRANK VIZARD, Popular Science, found about 7-11-2000 [original URL, now broken, was http://www.popsci.com/scitech/features/soldier/index.html], and other sources
In the longer term highly optimized on-person generation of electricity by way of normal bodily movement and excess body heat may be exploited-- wherever it can be done without endangering or discomforting the soldier, or interfering with combat readiness and endurance.
The 'long johns' or body-stocking worn underneath the soldier's uniform, and embedded with sensors may also serve as a line of defense against biochemical agents.
Important breakthrough in detoxifying clothing
Folks, as you read the following, keep in mind that pesticides are closely related to various nerve gas agents developed for war and terrorism. So items and techniques which protect against pesticide exposure may also be applicable to protection against certain biochem weapon agents too.
The vast majority of harmful pesticide absorption occurs through the skin. Now we are on the verge of having clothing which can detoxify such agents before they can enter the body. The protective clothing may also be 'recharged' with simple applications of bleach in the wash.
A compound called hydantoin is embedded in the clothing, and in tests successfully broke down carbamate pesticides into harmless components which could be washed away with bleach later in the laundry-- at which time the hydantoin becomes 'recharged' and ready to do more decontamination. An added bonus is the hydantoin acts as an antibacteriological agent too.
The hydantoin will process up to 99% of such pesticides encountered into harmless byproducts in under 5 minutes.
Any downsides? Yes. There's another major category of pesticides called "organophosphorus" against which the new technique has not yet been tried.
The technology patent for the above is now in the possession of Halosource Corporation in Seattle, Washington. Hopefully we'll see widespread and reasonable cost availability of this clothing within only a few years. This has implications not just for less stressful and more comfortable but better protective garments for agricultural and industrial workers, but soldiers on the battlefield as well.
And as biochem agents are more frequently used in warfare and terrorism in the future, pesticide residue builds up in the environment, and industrial pollution also accumulates, even the clothing worn by average citizens in the streets will eventually incorporate such measures.
-- "Treated Clothing Detoxifies Pesticides", 23 MARCH 1999, 202-872-4445, American Chemical Society
Similar cheap treatment methods for clothing can protect from both bacteria and some viruses too.
-- "Clothes that kill: New cotton additive kills odor-causing and pathogenic bacteria and viruses within minutes", EurekAlert!, 23 AUGUST 1999, Contact: Charmyane Marsh, email@example.com, 202-872-4445, American Chemical Society, http://www.acs.org
-- "Treated cotton clothing looks to kill", Reuters Limited/Yahoo! News Health Headlines, August 23 1999
The synthetic rubber already being used to produce some products like condoms and medical gloves (circa 2000) can also be modified to kill germs which come into contact with it. The new capability comes from altering the rubber's composition rather than adding a coating which may be easily lost.
Adding N-halamine and chlorine to synthetic rubber containing polystyrene is the trick. The killing process requires no longer than 30 minutes. The rubber's store of chlorine does run out eventually, but can be replenished via dipping in regular chlorine bleach. In 2000 it was expected the regulatory process would delay the new material's introduction into the market by perhaps several years.
-- Synthetic rubber kills germs on contact By Karla Harby, Reuters/Yahoo! Health Headlines, Mar 28, 2000
Important breakthrough in minimizing the risks of influenza epidemics
-- Scientists develop lifelong flu vaccine, Health, BBC News, http://www.bbc.co.uk, October 5, 1999
Across-the-board protection against many infectious agents
A wave of cheap and easily mass produced medicines based on monoclonal antibodies (MABs) is coming which will specifically target the body's main avenues of interaction with infectious agents from the physical world-- mucosal surfaces, like the mouth, nose, and vagina. The entire gastrointestinal, respiratory, and urinary tracts could be protected with these substances. The strategy is to kill off pathogens before they can get past these interfaces into the main body itself and begin reproducing.
MABs could be produced, distributed, and applied far more easily and cheaply than vaccines, yet do the same jobs, and often faster.
Sexually transmitted diseases, tooth decay, stomach viruses, colds, and many more afflictions might all be preventable with MABs.
Monoclonal antibodies are also being referred to by some as "plantibodies", as they might be produced in standard agricultural settings for under $1.00 per gram.
-- Antibody Revolution Targets STDs, Stomach Viruses, Common Cold, 29 DECEMBER 1998, Contact: Gary Dorsey firstname.lastname@example.org 410-516-7906 Johns Hopkins University
Un-natural anti-microbial agents
A new man-made beta-peptide molecule may pave the way to a new field of un-natural anti-microbial agents which contagions may have a tough time surviving against, much less developing a resistance to same. Natural peptides are too toxic to human cells (as well as degrade too easily) to use this way. This represents nothing less than a designer anti-biotic. The first experimental molecule seems to break down the protective membrane wall of a bacterium, which essentially spells the end for that bacterium.
-- Nature's Path Leads Scientists To New Antibiotic Strategy ["http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/04/000410090122.htm"], 4/10/2000, Source: University Of Wisconsin-Madison (http://www.wisc.edu/); an alternative URL is http://www.news.wisc.edu/thisweek/view.msql?id=4798
In a worst-case scenario of exposure to some of the known or suspected worst biochemical agents humanity has ever created, the soldier might possess a last resort of decontamination foam which would fill his uniform as well as cover it externally. A moment later his emergency extraction jet-pack might activate, to take him out of the contaminated area and towards friendly forces, while his computer automatically warned his fellows of a possibly contaminated incoming casualty.
Important breakthrough in the containment/clean up of locations/victims suffering exposure to biochemical/biolological terrorism/weapons use: "Decon Foam 100"A neutralizing foam for a wide array of biochemical weapons may make it much easier, faster, and safer to deal with biochemical war and terrorism in the future.
Remarkably, the decon foam is made from materials similar to those found in common household products like hair conditioners (surfactants) and toothpaste (mild oxidizing substance), working to destroy dangerous chemicals like detergent does stains in laundry. Somehow the mixture also kills dormant but usually tough bacterial spores.
The foam is non-toxic, non-corrisive, generally applicable to a wide variety of threats, and cheap to produce ( estimated at "about 15 cents a pound") unlike many present-day remedies for biochem attacks.
The foam will bulk up to a hundred times its fluid volume if deployed through the appropriate dispenser, filling in virtually every cubbyhole available in a given room or other space, automatically eradicating toxins as it goes (including airborne). Within a few hours it breaks down into compact liquid form again, and may be safe to simply wash down the drain like normal cleaning agents.
-- "Sandia Decontamination Foam May Be Tomorrow's Best First Response In A Chem-Bio Attack", 2 MARCH 1999, Contact: john german, email@example.com, 505-844-5199, Sandia National Laboratories
In scenarios still more advanced, a burst of cold plasma might also be available as a decontamination contingency.
Important breakthrough in detoxifying fragile but valuable equipment (and maybe even people too) which have been contaminated by biochemical warfare agents
Up to now making contaminated equipment safe to use again has been problematic, as the cleaning processes themselves often did damage to the articles. Now though a new "cold flame" process may greatly improve our techniques. It uses atomic oxygen (resulting from a mix of helium and oxygen gases subjected to several hundred volts of electricity) to burn contaminants off of surfaces with little or no harmful effect to the surfaces themselves. The atomic oxygen created is highly reactive with biochem agents, thereby essentially turning them into something else when the 'cold flame' washes over such substances.
Surprisingly, the surface being cleaned is subjected to relatively little heat by this process.
In the early tests the heat produced was low enough to be safe for paper, but still too hot to be so for cleansing human skin. Therefore efforts are now underway to reduce the heat to human tolerances/comfort levels, so that 'cold flame' showers might be used by future soldiers for decontamination in biowarfare environments.
-- "Cold Burn Takes Sting Out Of Bioweapons" Author: Jeff Hecht, New Scientist issue 27th March 99, Contact: Claire Bowles, firstname.lastname@example.org, 44-171-331-2751, New Scientist Washington office: email@example.com, 202-452-1178, New Scientist
Star Trek style deflector fields were already in the prototyping stage in 2000 AD. The technical term for them is "cold plasmas", and they could be applied to a wide variety of uses, from cloaking technologies to non-destructive decontamination of objects and food in just minutes, to more efficient lighting for homes and businesses, to deflection or buffering of energies from microwave, laser, or particle beam weapons.
Cold plasmas are low to medium temperature ionized gases. They can be adjusted to fit different requirements by changes in their frequency, which modifies the density of the plasma. However, higher densities require higher energy inputs.
-- Force Fields and 'Plasma' Shields Get Closer to Reality ["http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/technology/cold_plasma_000724.html"] By James Schultz, Special to SPACE.com, 25 July 2000
360 degree vision, delivery of non-lethal intoxicants to target groups and surveillance of same by insect-like robots, and on-person injury and illness sensors for soldiers, are all expected to be online and working in the real world by 2025.
-- CNN - What technological advances can you expect to see in 2025? by FCW staff, January 14, 2000, January 14, 2000, IDG
Elite troops which get the opportunity to 'dig in' are even more formidable, as they possess equipment like automated robotic return fire platforms, which track incoming bullets in realtime and return fire to precisely the spots where the bullets came from, ranging as far away as several hundred yards with deadly accuracy.
Elite troops can usually call in instant and devastating weapons support from satellite and space shuttles as well (with mere unmanned aircraft support almost always present in overt operations).