Navy Showcases R&D Lab to Business Community and High Tech Execs

4/9/09

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use by the Navy. They include:

—Biochemical sensors. Gordon says SPAWAR is developing extremely sensitive and very small devices capable of detecting hundreds of different dangerous agents, such as anthrax. These MEMs (Micro-Electro Mechanical Systems’) sensors would cost under $100 apiece. “Chem-bio is big now in the counterterrorism world,” Gordon says. What we are proposing is to replace all the various (agent identifying) systems, which are fairly large and require batteries and a person having to be there.”

—DANTE, for Directional Ad Hoc Networking Technology. Gordon says Navy labs are developing high-gain, low-cost directional antennas. He says the signal beam is guided through special mirrors “instead of broadcasting a wide signal to a whole area.”

—Hybrid architecture. Gordon talked about hybrid architecture like small computers inside leeches. He showed an amazing short video depicting a mouse’s view of when it was looking for cheese in a maze. The data for the video came from the mouse’s neuron impulses. “There’s no software. Just neurons,” he says. “I think we well be amazed of where all this is leading us.”

—Cold Fusion. A team of SPAWAR researchers recently reported they had found new evidence of cold fusion, a scientific process for generating energy that was quickly debunked when it was first announced 20 years ago. Gordon said yesterday that cold fusion should be reconsidered. “Its potential is enormous, but we don’t know where it’s going. I’m excited about it, but we are not there yet. We have to understand the physics behind it,” Gordon told me.

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