MIT Security Studies Program Seminar

The Role of Size and Range in the Future of Aerospace Power Projection

"An Aero Guy's Perspective on the
Role of Micro/Nano Technology in Future Military Affairs"

Professor Alan Epstein
Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, MIT

September 22, 2004

There is a lot of excitement because of the immense technical possibilities and large amount of money being invested in these technologies, both in Washington and among venture capitalists. The precise definition of nanotechnology is important given the level of funding that is being given to it. With these technologies we are really talking about the ability to manipulate atoms.

But I'm an engineer, and for me miniaturization is all right. I don't care what's in the box as long as the box does something useful. Consider some past examples of dramatic reductions in size—the ENIAC vs. the Intel Pentium 4.

Possible military applications

Summary remarks

What does the future hold?

Rapporteur: Caitlan Talmadge

back to seminar summaries, Fall 2004