|Website of thriller writer Ian Coates|
|Technology lurks somewhere
of Ian's thrillers. The storyline of Eavesdrop, for instance,
radio technology at its core, an area close to Ian's heart after many
years working in the high tech electronics industry where he
specialised in the design of radio equipment.|
This page shows the sort of cool technology that fascinates him. Perhaps some of it will inspire the next thriller.
is a good example of how technology can be transfered from one field to
another: originally designed by MIT to find cracks in nuclear reactors,
this robot is being now adapted to search ships for the false panels
and secret compartments used by smugglers.|
The football-sized robot swims around a ship's hull and uses ultrasonics to scan its surface, mapping any hidden areas within. Experts envisage shoals of about 20 of these at a time secretly scanning complete ships.
The remaining challenge is to give them a method for stripping barnacles, which stop the robot getting close enough to the hull's surface.
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Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has given IBM a contract to make a
range of silicon chips that can self destruct. The aim is to ensure any
sensitive electronics that falls into enemy hands can be destroyed
using a remote signal.|
The method basically works by building the chip on a thin glass substrate into which a tiny fuse is embedded with a receiver. Sending a signal to the chip causes the fuse to blow, shattering the glass, and returning the chip to silicon shards. I guess it's a bit like a suicide pill for silicon chips.
|* * *|
use of technology: this soldier's boot includes sensors that can detect
landmines up to 6 feet away. That will save lives in places
Cambodia where landmines are rife. Surely one of the best bits of tech
|* * *|
|Isn't this one of the most
bits of technology? It's a spy radio from the 1940s. That's
technology, when you could really see the electrons doing their job.
Modern tech is never quite as thrilling as coils and valves