Why don't they look at their old research?
They cancelled a promising project to develop a UAV with months of endurance in 1964.
US military brainiacs have notified the boffinry community that they need a new miracle material called "Power Skin", which would "harvest" energy from its surroundings and also be strong enough to make robots out of. The Power Skin notion comes of course from DARPA, the Pentagon techwar shop where they're not at home to …
Perhaps you did not read the page you linked to. Project Pluto was cancelled, in large part, because the powers that be decided that flying an unshielded nuclear reactor fueled by highly enriched uranium which spit super-heated radio-nucleotides out it's ass end was a bad idea. Besides the bombs it was slated to carry, the plan was to crash the plane into an enemy target because the radioactive fallout from the reactor would do substantial damage. Let's hope it never crashes over our own or our allies territory. Yeah, this looked like a good idea all right. Sure.
What are they waiting on? Vacuum deposit the solar cells onto the plane skin and produce long battery tubes you weld into a frame. This is entirely do-able right now, are they holding out just to try and find even more weight reduction or did they expect custom manufacturing at the cost of a pack of AA cells? It's a government agency, the requirement to spend bucket loads of money is there even if it could've been done cheaply, so the main issue seems to be making it cost even more by drawing out the process until people are screaming and throwing even more money at them to finish up already.
So the "Power Bone" is used to create a "Power Skeleton" which is covered in a "Power Skin" thus unleashing on the world some sort of unstoppable solar powered cybernetic machines. If this were to happen the ony way for mankind to survive would be to block out the sun with......wait a minute.
BTW- Why has no Bond Villan ever come close to something as awesome and destructive as Project Pluto. I know what i'll be building in my volcano lair.
The whole point of DARPA is to get people to investigate things that they might never have thought of doing, and/or things that have too little commercial use to be worth the research costs.
At first glance, this fits neither of those categories. If anyone has the slightest inkling that this is possible, my advice is to make sure that you have private investment, so that the Government can't just take the results off you.
"DARPA, the Pentagon techwar shop where they're not at home to Mister Practical; but where rooms are always kept prepared for Mister Unfeasible and his old chum Mister Cockup."
1. love that sentance
2. the standard wackiboffinry formal is that you need to fund 100 unfeasible projects to get one world changing invention
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