March 1, 2010. Retrieved online: March 1, 2010 from Brook Stockberger, Las Cruces Sun-News
LAS CRUCES — Ground-based, unmanned military vehicles are not a dream of the distant future. Companies are working on the technology right now.
“They are autonomous systems that have a lead vehicle and the other vehicles following like ducklings in a row; that way the number of vehicles that have to be manned can be minimized,” said Chris Kientz, director of technology innovation at the Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University.
What about using ozone to clear away bacteria species that could be used in a potential biological attack? Already being developed, thanks to an idea by an entrepreneur who wanted to think of a better way to deal with bacteria in dairies.
“It has a wide array of applications, including homeland security applications,” Kientz said.
Another company has developed a 360-degree dome that offers a realistic, panoramic situation for military training.
Kientz, 42, has worked to hook up companies with similar ideas with government agencies, the military and even other companies. For the second year, he has helped plan the National Security Technology Conference.
The event will take place Tuesday to Thursday at the Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces. For $25, participants can attend all three days to listen to speakers and meet with businesses and government entities.
“It’s a huge networking opportunity,” Kientz said. “We’ll have a workshop on how to work with government contractors.”
Representatives from companies like Boeing, Honeywell, ITT and General Dynamics are scheduled to be on hand.
“If you’re a small business, what real is opportunity is there for you to scale your business up quickly to meet the needs of the Army if they say, ‘ Look we want 1,000 of those,'” Kientz said. “They can build one, no problem, but now they’ve got (an order for) thousands. They go to somebody like Boeing; Boeing says ‘We’ll license it from you and we’ll build it for the Army.'”
But the conference is not just for high-tech firms and manufacturers.
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