Here's a new acronym that nano-watchers might want to remember: NOLES. But keep it to yourself. We don't want this to get into the wrong hands, since we're talking real nano battle technology.
NOLES stands for Nanotubes Optimized for Lightweight Exceptional Strength, and it's one of many U.S. Defense Department nanotech priorities for 2005. Here's the proposed defense budget. Click it, wait a minute or two to let it load, then do a "nano" search and see what's cooking small at the Pentagon.
As for NOLES, Florida State University wants $4 million to develop materials that will make U.S. military vehicles lighter and stronger. Not only that, but because nanotubes are natural conductors, they can embed it with a symphony of sensors. Here's a PDF of FSU's budget request.
Had this technology been available in Iraq, maybe these soldiers would have followed orders?
You're likely to see more nanotech defense applications pop up on this blog now and then, since that's the latest project I'm working on in my day job. For me, researching this technology takes on a personal dimension. My little brother, on leave from the U.S. Marine Corp., came to visit a few days ago. He told me he's going to Iraq in February or March.
To those nanotech companies developing impenetrable material, now would be a really good time to send a few samples over with my bro.