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Pentagon’s Terrorism Techies Want X-Ray Vision and Batman Armor

© AFP 2023 / STAFF The Pentagon building in Washington, DC
The Pentagon building in Washington, DC - Sputnik International
The Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office (CTTSO) last month released its new broad agency announcement, outlining the various gadgets and technology the office is looking to buy or build.

The following is an outline of CTTOS’ requests, as compiled by Defense One, which says the wish list “reads like a prop list for a Marvel Comics movie – and yet they’re also technologies that could eventually make their way into wider commercial use.”

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A helmet that gives bomb techs Terminator vision

CTTSO wants a voice-activated “bomb suit helmet heads up display.” Basically, it’s a helmet that displays key pieces of information to the wearer in a way that doesn’t get in the way of the task at hand. Those bits could include details of the explosive device, radiological or chemical alerts, even the bomb tech’s heart and respiration rate, gathered from body sensors.

Similarly, the office wants a hands-free “augmented reality” navigation system for driving. Think Google Glass for driving a getaway car.

FitBit for soldiers under fire

CTTSO wants “wireless health monitors” that soundlessly broadcast biophysical information about the wearer to a commander for at least six hours. The office also wants wearable chemical and biological sensors as well.

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FitBit for cars and trucks

“Currently the only status communications come directly from the courier, leaving command center personnel unaware if the courier has been captured or injured and/or the controlled materials compromised,” the announcement reads. The office wants an automatic “vehicle intrusion detection system” that can collect and transmit thermal, motion, and other data.

A portable device that can track a gunshot to its source

“If subjected to incoming small arms fire, security forces gain an advantage when provided timely information regarding the firing source (bearing, elevation, range),” the announcement reads. Gunshot tracking systems already exist, but they’re big and generally immobile. CTTOS wants a system that can fit onto vehicles to give tactical teams an immediate sense of who is shooting at them from where.

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Batman armor

CTTOS wants what they are calling a tactical standalone plate: “a lighter, thinner armor solution would enable greater mobility, lower visible signature, and the opportunity to carry other equipment due to the weight reduction” – but still stop an armor-piercing 7.62 x 51 mm bullet.

Tunnel bots and tunnel threat detection software

CTTOS wants to put tunneling and snake robots to find and scope out underground passages on the US border. In addition, it wants software to analyze the “mechanically-bored tunneling threat,” as well as X-ray scanners to “locate tunnel entrances/exits and other man-made voids … and drug and weapon caches concealed in the floors and walls of buildings and underground municipal infrastructure.”

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A laser vision system that can recognize a person by their chest shape from 200 meters away

“Laser doppler vibrometry,” bounces harmless laser beams off a target to produce a digital picture of the surface. CTTOS wants a laser doppler vibrometer sensitive enough to positively identify a person by his or her upper torso “unique cardiological signature” in 60 seconds from more than a football field away.

A search engine that will tell you if a specific person is breaking the law

CTTOS wants to create a “Foreign Criminal Law Analytical Capability” – a searchable database that compares the behavior of a particular person to “relevant foreign criminal statutes/regulations.” You can also look up how willing a given government might be to enforce those regulations.

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