‘Mission: Impossible’ Self Destructing Electronics

Self Destructing Electronics: Mission Impossible or Not?

Self Destructing Electronics: Mission Impossible or Not?

In the old television version of “Mission Impossible,” Jim Phelps’ tape self-destructs after the voice says, “This tape will self-destruct in five seconds.”

Now if the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, is successful, not only will the tape self-destruct, but the whole device will disappear.

The agency’s new Vanishing Programmable Resources (VAPR) program aims to develop a new generation of devices “capable of physically disappearing in a controlled, triggerable manner,” rendering the devices useless to the enemy.

developing electronic systems capable of physically disappearing in a controlled, triggerable manner

developing electronic systems capable of physically disappearing in a controlled, triggerable manner

Efforts to build degradable electronics have tended to rely on polymeric or biological materials, and that has resulted in poor electronic performance and “weak mechanical properties,” according to the agency.

“DARPA has previously demonstrated that transient electronics might be used to fight infections at surgical sites,” says Jackson. “Now, we want to develop a revolutionary new class of electronics for a variety of systems whose transience does not require submersion in water”.

The project is still a long away from being deployed in a real battle, and will require years of research.

DARPA doesn’t have the manpower or resources to develop these kinds of electronic devices by itself, and so now it’s reaching out for help from industry experts.

In the latest contract for the program, announced on January 31, DARPA provided $3.5 million to IBM for a proposal to use a radio frequency to shatter a glass coating on a silicon chip, reducing it to dust.

The Palo Alto Research Center in California received $2.1 million to build devices with dummy circuits that would be triggered to “crumble into small, sand-like particles in a fraction of a second.”

DARPA’s vanishing electronics initiative

DARPA’s vanishing electronics initiative

Defense giant BAE Systems was awarded $4.5 million on January 22 and Honeywell Corporation won a $2.5 million contract on December 3 for more “vanishing” technology research.

And DARPA announced in December a $4.7 million contract for SRI International to develop “SPECTRE” batteries designed to self-destruct.

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About Georges Abi-Aad

CEO, electronic engineer with MBA in marketing. Multicultural; French citizen born in Lebanon working in the Middle East and fluent in French, English and Arabic. I have more than 30 years of proven experience in the Middle East with European know how. I am good in reorganization and in Global strategic management business. I am a dependable leader with an open approach in working with people, forging a strong team of professionals dedicated to the Company and its clientele. Perseverance is my key word. Married to Carole and having 2 children: Joy-Joelle and Antoine (Joyante!).
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3 Responses to ‘Mission: Impossible’ Self Destructing Electronics

  1. alok30m says:

    its quiet interesting to know that old idea of self destructible devices had found it way to horizon of electronics. hope the devices should the the market soon.

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