We don’t tend to cover military tech very often, but coming back from Memorial Day weekend, I thought I’d teach you all a new acronym. UGS, or Unattended Ground Sensors, is a technology that has evolved over time to become quite useful in monitoring battlefields, unguarded perimeters, and even borders safely, minus the collateral damage of land mines.
In the Vietnam era, sensors were used with mixed results. Many lasted only a few hours or gave off false alarms, or were so large in size they were easy to spot and destroy. Today’s sensors can fit in your palm and are disguised as rocks or buried underground. They sport tiny solar rechargeable batteries and can last as long as 20 years. It’s expected that the U.S. will leave behind scores of these devices in Afghanistan and use the sensors to monitor and learn long after ground troops are gone. There are 7,500 of the sensors in use on the Mexican border. According to Wired magazine, sensors are also cost-effective – they cost about $1,000 each compared to $80K for a single artillery round.
Of course, military technology is often the best catalyst for the next generation of amazing consumer devices. GPS comes to mind, as well as the Internet, and on and on. The data we collect is only going to grow exponentially — and eventually there’ll be a sensor for everything.
How would you use a sensor if you had one? Tell me by posting a comment below.