Scientists at the Indian Institute of Science as well as defense research organizations are working on understanding the impacts of Nano-technologies in military application in coming years. While Nano-technologies can provide enormous benefits, it can also be used by the militaries of the world in creating weapons of mass destruction that we cannot even imagine with a conventional mind set.
Armies throughout world are looking for a 21st century battlesuit . The clothing must stop bullets, detect chemical,biological agents, monitor a wounded soldier’s vital signs,administer basic first aid, and communicate with Headquarters. NT produces stronger, less weight material which is ideal for military applications . Nano-materials enable the following material functionalities in uniforms and equipment to make them stronger and lighter could lead to nanofiber-like materials that break off from
uniforms and equipment and enter the body and environment
- First, nano-materials massively damage the lungs. Ultra fine particles from diesel machines, power plants and incinerators can cause considerable damage to human lungs. This is both because of their size (as they can get deep into the lungs) and also because they carry other chemicals including metals and hydrocarbons in with them.
- Second, nano-particles can get into the body through the skin, lungs and digestive system. This may help create free radicals that can cause cell damage. There is also concern that once nano-particles are in the bloodstream, they will be able to cross the blood-brain barrier.
- Third, the human body has developed a tolerance to most naturally occurring elements and molecules that it has contact with. It has no natural immunity to new substances and is more likely to find them toxic.
- Fourth, the most dangerous Nano-application use for military purposes is the Nano-bomb that contain engineered self multiplying deadly viruses that can continue to wipe out a community, country or even a civilization.
Improved body armour is a major focus for military nanotechnology research. Several different technologies have been explored, some of which will be operational in just a few years time:
- Nano-Enhanced Sensors
Whilst the potential applications are basically unlimited, some potential military applications of nanotechnology are already quite advanced, and will come into play much sooner than others. One example of this is sensors - many sensors have already been developed which take advantage of the unique properties of nanomaterials to become smaller and more sensitive, compared to conventional technology. Portable, efficient sensors will be highly valuable to military field operatives, for example:
· Highly sensitive infrared thermal sensors
· Small, lightweight accelerometers and GPS for motion and position sensing
· Miniature high performance camera systems
· Biochemical sensors
· Nano materials used in filters to remove selected impurities from fluids could become very low in cost and henceubiquitous, and result in many small but discrete concentrations of possibly toxic impurities. “Argonide Nanomaterials” filters can be used in war where water contamination is biggest threat.
APPLICATIONS UNDER DEVELOPMENT
Body Armor made of CNT is 117 times stronger than steel,these can be used for bullet proof, helmets and safety device bullet-proof vests are basically made from high stiffness and toughness, woven or laminated, polymeric fibers stacked in a number of layers. Upon impact of the striking bullet, the fabric material absorbs the energy by stretching of the fibers and the stiff fibers ensure that the load is dispersed over a large area throughout the material. CNT is an ideal candidate material for bullet proof vests due to its unique combination of exceptionally high elastic modulus and high yield strain.
- Nano Fibre
Primitive NBC suit reduces solider capability because it can’t pass air. NT in cloths non woven composite fabrics can be made 25% lighter and stronger than current woven military uniform fabrics. In addition, they can be made to exhibit over three times the air permeability or breath ability of the current woven military uniform fabrics. Uniform fabric will offer enhanced abrasion resistance, develop a fire and chemical/biological resistant fabric and offer combination water repellent/moisture absorbent composite fabric.Nano-silver socks/undergarments will remain hygienic for days in war scenario, where it is impossible to change undergarments.
- Nano Food
NT enable food will last more without getting rotten, these foods are ideal for war where supply of food is difficult. Nano-Silver packed food withstand days together without damage. These foods can be used in disaster recovery teams, in war and hash areas like very high altitude areas where fresh food is a difficulty.
NT is multidisciplinary; it is used for improving existing technologies and exploring new compounds. Using NT to create materials with properties that will revolutionize military technology, from processors to display screens and body armor to air filters. This is a beginning and still lot to do,however there are potential applications in military technology. A future of nano-dust spies, sentinels, and defensive weapons, is one that most of the world's military specialists are unprepared .Yet most of these weapons are far closer and easier to devise and build, than the molecular nano assembler, the horn of plenty that most people think of when they think of a future NT.Nano-weapons combined with bio/chemical and genetic weapons; provide the budding world religious or ideological dictator with far more ultimate power than a few nuclear weapons. Every measure has a counter-measure. But not everyone will have the resources to obtain counter-measures, when the means of deadly attack becomes nearly ubiquitous.