My brother in the U.S. Marines arrived in Iraq recently. Last week, I invited him to tell NanoBot readers about some of the military technology he's using over there or some types of materials or weapons he and his fellow Marines wish they had. Well, looks like the military sensors let this one through, so I'll let LCpl Mickey Lovy take it from here:
Hey Howie! (Blogger's Note: Yeah, my family calls me Howie)
Thanks for dropping a line back, It's always great to hear from you. I wish I could give you something more interesting than this, but a lot of the trouble we've been having with our computers and technological ... stuff has been the result of sand. We cover everything up when we're not using it (computers, keyboards, etc.) but the lifespan of anything we have over here that takes in air to cool off processors is really short because sand gets in everything.
I know this is not a new problem for the computer world and there are a lot of products out there to help out with this, like compressed air and plastic shields for keyboards, but that stuff is hard to come by in a combat environment. If there was some way to actually manufacture the electronics with some sort of defense against debris and dust, we would have our equipment for a lot longer and spend more time doing our jobs than ordering new gear.
Once again, this is not a groundbreaking revelation here. I'm sure other much smarter people than me have given the issue a lot of thought but maybe you have been researching some sort of nano-type coating or self-cleaning circuitry or tiny molecule sized French maids that dust off microprocessors every hour. I don't know, that's your field. More suggestions to come.