Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Sandia sensor has potential to help U.S. military eliminate 'friendly fire' during combat

3/10/04 Michael Padilla (Sandia press release found and read via EurekAlert!)
"ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - A device to help eliminate friendly fire during military combat has been created by engineers at the National Nuclear Security Administration's Sandia National Laboratories.
Building on more than 10 years of research and development, Sandia engineers have created a radar tag sensor that is mounted on military vehicles and is recognizable to an attack aircraft as a 'friendly.' The device, tracked via aircraft radar, can be used to identify both U.S. and coalition forces during combat to avoid fratricide." Ok, good idea, but... assumes the target/friendly forces tank will be painted by radar prior to being shot at. I'm not sure, but what about laser guided, gps, IR, etc.? The press release goes a step farther and mentions putting this on soldiers... wouldn't it just be cut off POWs and KIAs and redistributed to enemy troops? Also, if each soldier has a radar signature, what will that do for clutter (a large problem already).

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