Gamma-Ray Bursts and the Battlefield

Regular readers of this blog will know that I collect practical benefits of astronomical or space science research. This is mostly so that I have a handy list ready for people who think we should be generating widgets and such like. One story that appeared in the news back in August was about the adaptation of technology used in gamma-ray burst satellites to battlefield applications. The main aim seems to be to reduce the need for bulky lenses and mirrors by using coded masks (material with lots of specially placed holes in it) to focus light. Sounds like a nice idea.

My friend Peter spotted a summary of that BBC story on an Indian news website. In re-writing the story the reporters have got themselves a little confused. They seem to think that the hardware will be used "to help soldiers spot gamma-ray bursts on the battlefield". If there were any GRBs on the battlefield we would all be in serious trouble.

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Thursday 09th Oct 2008 (16:22 BST) | Permalink
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