DARPA is working on a new program designed to improve electronics for use on the battlefield. The improvements aren’t to make the electronics more durable or to last longer. Rather, the improvements DARPA is seeking are ways to make the electronics kill themselves on command.
DARPA says that the use of electronics on the battlefield has grown significantly and that it’s almost impossible to track and recover every device. DARPA says that after an operation is over, electronic devices can often be found scattered across the battlefield and could be captured by the enemy and repurposed. Captured electronic devices also give the enemy opportunity to compromise the advantage of the US military.
DARPA wants to create electronics under a new program called the Vanishing Programmable Resources or VAPR program. The goal of this program is to create transient electronics or electronics capable of dissolving into the environment around them. The electronics developed under the program will be required to maintain current functionality and ruggedness of conventional electronics, but when triggered they would be able to degrade partially or completely.
DARPA says that once the dissolve command was triggered the electronics would be useless to any enemy that might find them. DARPA has issued a special announcement for a Proposers Day to be held in advance of a full solicitation. DARPA wants these Proposers Day participants to conduct basic research into materials, devices, manufacturing, and integration processes. The goal of the program is a technology demonstration with a circuit representative of an environmental or biomedical sensor able to communicate with a remote user.