It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Army Using "Smart Dust" in Iraq

page: 1

log in


posted on Jun, 13 2006 @ 05:02 PM
This is a very interesting article on a piece of technology the US has been using in Iraq called Smart Dust.

Smart Dust

une 10, 2006: For the last ten years, development of "smart dust" has moved right along. "Smart Dust" is basically very miniaturized electronic devices. This is similar to stuff like RFID, smart cards, EZ Pass and those rice grain size tracking devices you can have injected into your pets. But Smart Dust takes this all to a new level by being small enough to be disguised as dirt, the kind you can pick up in your shoes or clothing. Each bit of Smart Dust can be given a unique serial number that, when hit with an "interrogation signal" from troops on the ground, or aircraft overhead, is broadcast back.

What do you all think of this technology? It is obviously pretty advanced. What do you think about the potential of it being used by law enforcement agencies and the like? I'm not sure it will be abused, as I don't think "Big Brother" is out to get us, but it certainly has the potential. I am both intrigued but slightly worried about a possible commercial use for such a device. How do you counter such a device, when you probably won't even be able to see it?

posted on Jun, 13 2006 @ 06:19 PM
I think the best way maybe to counter such a device would be with electrical current. Maybe putting your clothes in the microwave would bust them. What if you breath one in lol?

posted on Jun, 13 2006 @ 06:34 PM
Ive heard of this before but where is the evidence this tech is anywhere close to a operational level???

You said they are using it in Iraq, so am I missing something

posted on Jun, 13 2006 @ 06:44 PM
The link to Strategypage I gave indicated it may even have been used to track Zarqawi, so I assume it is operational. The article also mentioned that "Iraqis have heard of Smart Dust" before, so to me I would say it probably is operational.

Here is a website that states the project developing it was finished in 2001:

Smart Dust Technology

It also lists several possible applications, among them inventory control and, interestingly, a "virtual keyboard". This seems to be very interesting tech indeed.

posted on Jun, 13 2006 @ 09:59 PM
Ever used an HID card or an HID tag?

Most of its just plastic, if you open one up the passive transmitter inside it is actually very very small. Its not at all suprising to me that they've made it small enough to be confused with dust.

posted on Jun, 13 2006 @ 10:26 PM
Thats fascinating. So this is something that would allow them to see where everyone that has walked through a certian location is now? Likesay, you could sprinkle it around a high value (for the enemy) target, and then follow up after an attack?

Could this be mixed in with food and still be effective I wonder? Or mixed in with drugs that are snorted and injected?

posted on Jun, 13 2006 @ 10:48 PM
That would dampen the signal and if swallowed, it would incur severe damage while passing through the digestive system. The best way would be to have them embed themselves in cloth, like burrs. Perhaps even going so far as to add in burr-like features at the Nanoscale.

posted on Jun, 14 2006 @ 10:35 AM

Originally posted by sardion2000
The best way would be to have them embed themselves in cloth, like burrs. Perhaps even going so far as to add in burr-like features at the Nanoscale.

Interesting concept sounds alot like a hitchhiker seed capsule, which is very effective at doing just that task. Is that what you meant by "Burrs"?

I love when people find inspiration in nature

posted on Jun, 14 2006 @ 10:53 AM
If this is for real, and it wouldn't surprise me, then they have to have at least one factory/lab making this stuff.

This stuff is definitely a prelude to using nanotech. The fact that they are signalling this trackers is scary because thats what you have to do with nanotech.
They could advance on this easy like sardion mentioned, they could make it burrow in the skin and then signal it to attack the body.. but it would have to be nano for that to work. Then the next step of course would be to make it fly (make it airborne).

posted on Jun, 14 2006 @ 08:24 PM
Its not a self functioning system yet, its just a passive transmitter. Uses no power, simply bounces back signals in different patterns.

Its a long way off from being able to 'burrow into the skin and attack'.

I suppose it would be feasable to make it airborn...but that would defy its original purpose, after release, eventually it would spread so far, the initial target would become a huge radius, effectively making the initial purpose, useless.

I could see it now
Control "Ok your target will be marked after walking through the area"
Spec ops "You mean this big cloud of transmitters everytwhere?"
Control "SH**!"

[edit on 14-6-2006 by johnsky]

posted on Jun, 14 2006 @ 09:25 PM
Potentially future landmines for the Western World? That's the first thing that came to mind.

posted on Jun, 15 2006 @ 04:59 PM
That strategypage article was abysmally wrong.

The topic is interesting, but he doesn't have a clue. Mostly a lot of paranoid blue-skying.

posted on Jun, 15 2006 @ 05:31 PM

What do you all think of this technology? It is obviously pretty advanced. What do you think about the potential of it being used by law enforcement agencies and the like?

This appears to be a battlefield adaptation of existing technology more than a new threat. The potential for abuse of "smartdust" is of a different nature than the conventional RFID threat.

The nice thing about smartdust is that it's not necesarily tied to one person, it just tracks an "annonymous" target. For instance, we've got Bin Laden trapped at Tora Bora yet again, but this aint our first rodeo and we know what's going to happen. So we drop smartdust, it gets in everyones gear, and hopefully causes a lot of chafing in some really unpleasant places on Bin Laden's body... and now when they're sneaking out, we can see where people are moving out of Tora Bora and call in airstrikes accordingly.

From an abuse standpoint, this is mainly useful for counter-insurgency by a police state, for the same reason. When they set a curfew, you better take a real thorough shower or they'll know when someone is out and about. etc.

It also may have legitimate law enforcement uses though. For example, there's a riot and you don't have the manpower to respond to looting in a given area. You airdrop smartdust, watch where they go, and when things have calmed down again you can go arrest the looters at home.

The RFID/other tracking devices I'm worried about won't be secret. Walmart's new inventory control system, where all of their merchandise will be electronically tagged, is going to lead to no-stop checkout. You'll fill up your cart and walk out the door, the tags will all scan simultaneously as you exit, and the RFID in your credit card and drivers license will ID you and authorize the withdrawl from your account.

This means that you'll have a homing device in your pocket 24/7, by your own consent, because you never really thought they'd use it against you. But what happens when you're moving down the freeway too fast? If they put RFID beacons along the freeway, they can speed-check every single car, and ticket you every single time you offend- fair enough, though annoying.

But they also know where you're going that means. Once we get to that point where they have the system in place for "traffic safety" that means they'll know what roads you were on at what time, and what neighborhood you stopped in. And we're not even talking about a massive system yet. We're only talking about putting up a few short-range radio becons- 1 at every freeway exit, and maybe 1 at certain key intersections in major cities. Nevermind what happens when it gets extensive enough that you're never out of range.

I've heard that they'd like to put these the tags in the products we buy, and sensors in our homes, so that they can automatically know when we need groceries and schedule delivery either to the store or to us, to avoid overstocking or temporary run-outs (it would also ensure customer loyalty by locking you into one store's supply chain).

Give it 10-15 years till phase 1 is complete, and by the time I'm retired, they'll be watching it all.

I'll be 60, I'll be at home with a woman 1/3 my age who's hoping to get put in my will, and the gestapo downtown will be watching their monitors- they'll see that I've moved the bottle of viagra, then they'll see that my wallet has gone from waist height to the floor, then the RFID in my matress will start to move up and down slightly...
This will give the guys down at the police station an idea, they'll check the RFID logs for my partners drivers license position, find out who's with me, look up known photos in the data base, and have a police sketch artist animate the events for them, and pretty soon I'll be on ametuer porn sites and not even know it.

OK- maybe it won't go quite that far, but long story short, I'm not worried about the smart dust. I'm worried about the tracking devices they TELL me I've been given, but don't give me any alternative to. You can't run around with no drivers license or bank card afterall.

posted on Jun, 15 2006 @ 06:42 PM
DEA use would be awesome, they nab a kilo of junk or coke, drop the dust in and recycle it back through their street contacts to get to the real big players.

Literally hundreds of applications for this tracking dust.


new topics

top topics


log in