As was indicated in the last post the problem that is being presented to the students is a real world issue. Stated simply, it comes down to two questions:
- "Given the fact that terrorists have the ability of becoming anonymous after an act of terrorism by blending in with the urban population in such a way that they become invisible to authorities, what can we do to enable both soldiers and law enforcement to track the movement and gathering of those who have committed terrorist acts in order to prevent further attacks both in combat areas and in civilian areas of the west?"
- "What can we do to track the movements of people who are on watch lists without straining law enforcement organizations beyond the breaking point?"
"The Celestial Necklace Proposal"
Background: The use of medical technology to examine the movement of blood flow through the arteries of the human body using radioactive isotopes has been in use for years and is based upon solid scientific principles. In recent years the technology has been so refined that it is now possible through the use of more advanced MRI technology to get even more precise imagery that can be remotely accessed so that doctors in a variety of cities can collaborate when doing research in Cardiology. If you take these advancements and link them with the advances in Nanotechnology, we have an opportunity to adapt this to counter-terrorism.
Proposal: We are proposing the use of something that we will call "Radioactive Tagging". This involves the tagging of terrorists either during hostile engagement on the battlefield or dealing with radicalized home grown terrorists with a hybrid designed radioactive marker. Since the half-life of such a particle clearly is longer than the normal human lifetime, this marker when delivered would actively give off a radioactive signature that can be tracked and plotted.
Delivery System: With respect to the battlefield and also for law enforcement agencies, we are proposing the development of what we call a "Quantum Round". This is where Nanotechnology comes into play. The payload of this quantum round will have two parts to it and the following characteristics:
- When the quantum round hits its target, the radioactive particle is absorbed into the skin where it begins to transmit a radioactive signature. The purpose is to wound but not kill if possible.
- Along with the transmission of the radioactive tag, a nanobot is dispersed into the blood stream where it begins to gather DNA data, and any other information that completes a profile on the individual who has been tagged. This information is transmitted to the designated law enforcement databases. The programming of this nanobot could be set up in such a way that if the radioactive particle is too close to the surface, that it could be picked up and transported deeper into the body.
- If any attempt is made afterwards to remove either the radioactive tag or the nanobot, the design safe guard kicks in and both items dissolve leaving no trace when coming in contact with the air.
- Individuals who are on watch lists, under new powers given to law enforcement and counter-terrorism agencies, will be required to be inoculated with both the radioactive marker and the nanobot.
Tracking System: The code name for this project, Celestial Necklace, is descriptive of the method used for tracking of implanted radioactive tags in individuals in battle areas and radicalized members of urban populations in a variety of identified countries. It has already been stated that it is impractical for law enforcement and counter-terrorism units to keep track because of limited personnel available for such a task on a 24/7 basis. Therefore, we propose the development of a string of geosynchronous satellites tasked with monitoring the movement of radioactively tagged individuals in established zones or grids on the earth. For example, it could be divided into a North Americas zone, European Zone,...etc.
The information gathered by the satellite system can be then transmitted to law enforcement agencies and counter-terrorism units to alert them when there is movement or a gathering of radioactively tagged individuals in their area. The use of the augmented device, Microsoft Hololens, with an engineering improvement could automatically highlight individuals who are tagged so that they show up in the HUD of helmets when soldiers or law enforcement are out on patrol.
|Credit: www.americaspace.com (Lockheed Martin)|
- Create a computer simulation to test out your ideas.
- Create 3D models through the use of the 3D printer to help you analyze the problem more effectively. For example, if the proposed satellite monitor should need to be re-engineered because of what you have learned, then it could be modified.
Collaborative Discussion Guide Points: As you take on this scenario, also consider some of these points:
- What ways could terrorists use to counter this new method?
- What are some of the moral implications in regards to individuals rights vs. the security needs of a population in bringing this proposal or your alternative proposal to fruition?
- What kind of oversights should be in place to protect this technology from falling into the hands of terrorists who could use it against its own creators?
Next---Debriefing the learning value of this scenario.