“Eilla-Zan, most of what I work on is on a need to know basis for security reasons. This particular exercise is very loose and unstructured at this point, but my natural inclination is not to say anything more than necessary for your protection. That said, I do realize I need more consulting input than I am getting from my usual colleagues. I feel compelled to discuss more with you than I normally would. You must understand that our conversations and this material in particular must not be repeated to anyone. Agreed?”
“I understand and accept the designation of the information as classified, Keith. I am rated at the Secret Level, or I couldn’t be working for you. If it helps, here is what I have surmised thus far.
“You are looking to assemble a communications system that might be biological in construction that would use Near Field Communications to then uplink to low flying drones before being boosted to AWACs or satellites for a three hundred sixty degree communications web. This is probably for battlefield combatants, since you indicated when we met that you are associated with military contacts. Am I close?”
Keith clucked his tongue and clarified, “All except the AWACs. Surface to air missiles have gotten to the point that we can’t fly high enough to escape their reach. We need to go lower, hence the low flying drones, and higher, which means Low Earth Orbit satellites. This is a never ending game of chess, where we innovate and they check us, with neither side able to achieve a checkmate on the other. In all conflicts each side looks for advantages or counter-measures, but the one thing nobody can improve upon is the combat soldier.
“You cannot win a conflict, unless you want merely a big hole in the ground, without combat troops. You can arm them better, you can surround them with more firepower, but they are the only way to win because they can think adaptively to any given situation. So everything needs to go into providing the best possible outcome from an engagement. I would submit therefore, that result begins with relevant information and live communications.
“When our desperately valuable resource is caught at a disadvantage, they need to be able to call in artillery or an airstrike and NOT have their people at risk. And, when our desperately valuable resource is injured or captured we want to quickly ascertain the situation and provide the right remedy based on knowing exactly who the individual is and where. To do that effectively the communications must be part of the individual, with the thinking now that it is best inside the individual.”
Eilla-Zan’s eyes widened as she grasped the possibilities. Her mind gathered related ideas, then she responded, “You mean like two-form factor authentication? Something you know and something you have, only the something you have has been implanted in you?”
Before Eilla-Zan could say anything Keith interrupted, “No, this is not like a chip to track your lost pet, but potentially a series of embedded chips that not only uniquely identifies the individual, but also allows for two-way communications. The drones can fly low enough not to be picked up on radar, but are able to take low signal strength communications from combat personnel and boost these to either an AWAC communications plane in range, or to a satellite. This is the solution we are trying to assemble, Ms. Marshall.”
Eilla-Zan smiled her understanding as she extrapolated, “Ahh! That’s why the biological angle with the nano-chips that Texas A&M is working on is of interest. You think we can morph the animal bio-metric reading programming to be a personal telecom implant? Would the quiet, yet focused Professor even go for that kind of distraction to her primary research? The Professor barely wanted to discuss her work with us outsiders, so I would think trying to get her to add in or insert a change to our needs pretty unlikely. In fact I can see her giving us the old communications response of, one eight hundred pound-sand, as an answer.”
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