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I like this idea, only I think it should be run by the government.

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sensor seeding

Micro sensor/transponders are dropped from a plane
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This would involve a mass deployment of a ground central satellite-communications "hub" and hundreds or thousands of "seeds" dropped from an airplane onto sensitive areas that need constant close-range monitoring that cannot be detected by satellite.

Each seed would be about the size of a golfball, with enough battery power to last up to 90 days or more. They would be colored to "blend in with the territory. Each seed would contain acoustic, motion, light, full-spectrum radio frequency sensors, and GPS to determine their exact location when they land. An on-board program would look for patterns that indicate human activity - i.e. voices, gunfire, flashes, radio communications, etc..

When a seed is "triggered" by a recognizable pattern, it opens up a digital TCP/IP RF network with nearby seeds to determine the size and scope of the detection. The network would link back to the central hub, which would collect data from all the seeds and report back to the operations control of the detection.

This would enable reliable intelligence gathering of the movements of enemies without relying on long-distance communications or risky reconnaisance manouvers. A large geographic area could be "surveyed" simply by dropping seeds all along the perimiter.

Seeds could even be deployed along a wire so that miles of seed could be used as a "fence" to detect individual "foot tripping" of borders and secured zones.

imagicsp, Oct 03 2001

Baked - Unattended Ground Sensors http://www.newscien...s.jsp?id=ns99991588
US scattering heat and vibration sensors over Afghanistan. "The UGSs can be buried by ground forces or camouflaged and dropped from the air. They lie in wait for the enemy and report any activity using a combination of seismic, acoustic, infra-red, optical and magnetic technologies." [pottedstu, Dec 07 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Smartdust http://www.wired.co...,1282,44101,00.html
Wired article [omegatron, Aug 15 2005]

[link]






       Also combine the sensors with land mines for maximum effectiveness (and evil).
pottedstu, Oct 03 2001
  

       I can hardly wait for these sensory golf balls to trickle down to the civilian sector. They'd be the best thing since webcams.
LoriZ, Oct 04 2001
  

       And a golf club would make an ideal delivery mechanism, if the sensors were strong enough to withstand the blow. The only problem would be ensuring they didn't land lens-down (less of a problem in water, where things can right themselves easily).
pottedstu, Oct 05 2001
  

       We've got some "Bluetooth syndrome" here with the TCP/IP reference.   

       Ad-hoc sensor networks built by spraying "bugs" over an area are frequently discussed, though I'm not sure how much has actually been developed.
egnor, Oct 06 2001
  

       "Each seed would be about the size of a golfball, with enough battery power to last up to 90 days or more. They would be colored to "blend in with the territory. Each seed would contain acoustic, motion, light, full-spectrum radio frequency sensors, and GPS to determine their exact location when they land. An on-board program would look for patterns that indicate human activity - i.e. voices, gunfire, flashes, radio communications, etc.."   

       So the idea is to cram a camera, acoustic and seismic sensors, a 'full spectrum' radio receiver, a GPS system and it's antenna, AND a battery capable of running this monstrosity for three months...into a golf ball?   

       Egnor, I think the 'bluetooth syndrome' is the LEAST of the problems.   

       I suggest you go look at the individual sizes of the equipment you're wantonly jamming together and their battery demands, and think again. One D battery equivalent isn't going to be able to power any of this, let alone all of it; and every bit of the electronic equipment is going to interfere with the radio detector, especially with it being stuffed together like that.   

       Sure, some of it can share circuitry, which will lower the overall size, and the antenna can be used for transmitting and receiving, but most of it is so blatantly different that one would need cyberpunk's polymorphic circuitry, capable of rebuilding itself on the fly.   

       Try middlin' large rocks. Start with real rocks and they'll blend in. But if you could fit all of this into a rock the size of a boom-box, I think you'd be doing pretty well.
StarChaser, Oct 06 2001
  

       Actually, I have no doubt that you could fit most of this into an object not much larger than a golf ball. You can get very small GPS units these days, and even smaller cameras and short-range RF transponders. I personally own devices that can do most of this and which are much, much smaller than a boom-box.   

       Power consumption is an issue, though.
egnor, Oct 08 2001
  

       And one single D battery would take up all of the space. That's why I said 'all of this'.
StarChaser, Oct 08 2001
  

       One solution is to make them with a spiked weighted shaft long enough to contain most of the electronics. Drop them from a plane, they fall spike first, ram themselves into the ground, leaving just the visual sensor portion (yes, cunningly disguised as a rock) exposed. Other sensors could be in the shaft. Alternatively, forget making them multi-purpose.. drop a range of devices.
Trouvere, Nov 09 2001
  

       Would be horibly EXPENSIVE, and probably not very cost affective.
my-nep, Jan 02 2004
  

       Smartdust.
omegatron, Aug 15 2005
  

       This is neither expensive nor cost ineffective. Google Operation Igloo White from the Vietnam war- essentially this used against the Ho Chi Minh Trail. As others have said similar devices are used in Afghanistan.
Madcat, Apr 29 2007
  
      
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