Going after terrorists has never been a simple or straightforward affair, but does it really require something called “laser doppler vibrometry?” Affirmative, according to the Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office, or CTTSO, which released its new broad agency announcement on Dec. 18. This year’s edition of the annual announcement, which outlines the various gadgets and tech that the office is looking to buy or build, reads like a prop list for a Marvel Comics movie — and yet they’re also technologies that could eventually make their way into wider commercial use. So what does the future of counterterror tech look like this year?
A helmet that gives bomb techs Terminator vision
Don’t you hate when you’re disarming an improvised explosive device and you have to drop what you are doing to make sure your oxygen tank isn’t running low? CTTSO wants a voice-activated “bomb suit helmet heads up display.” Basically, it’s a helmet that displays key pieces of information to the wearer in a way that doesn’t get in the way of the task at hand. Those bits could include details of the explosive device, radiological or chemical alerts, even the bomb tech’s heart and respiration rate, gathered from body sensors.
Similarly, the office wants a hands-free “augmented reality” navigation system for driving. Think Google Glass for driving a getaway car.
FitBit for soldiers under fire
Fast reaction team members, like the contractors that went in to secure U.S. installations in Benghazi in 2012, can’t always get on the radio when they’ve been hit. If they’re under fire or hiding, they may…