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April 26th, 2008
Pentagon boffinry chiefs have announced that they'd like a very small, super-accurate atomic clock, so small that one day you might build it on a chip. Apparently, they would like to mount these nano superclocks inside the heads of their planned spy legion of brainchipped cyborg zombie insects.
The Chip-Scale Atomic Clock (CSAC) effort is - of course - a brainchild of DARPA, the US military brainbox collective where dreams come true. Assuming that you dream of hypersonic spaceplanes, portable rayguns, mighty globe-roaming Z-wing stratocruisers, invincible semi-intelligent battle computers and things of that sort, anyway.
Why does DARPA want a super-accurate teeny clock on a chip?
Well, duh. For "such applications as nano/pico satellite systems, underwater vehicles, [robot aircraft], sensors, metrology instruments, etc".
God knows what a "metrology instrument" is, but the rest of that stuff sounds pretty impressive. And wait, there's more.
[The] aim is to leverage Chip-Scale Atomic Clock (CSAC) technology and other atom ensemble manipulation technology in general in developing MEMS/NEMS ...
MEMS stands for Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems, and NEMS is the nano version. DARPA's MEMS effort is perhaps most famous for its known aspirations to borg up live creatures, implanting controlling machine cores into them and using the hapless brainchip-zombified slaves for various purposes - spying and so on.
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