|"ALERT! ALERT! We have WEEDS growing on Sector Four playgrounds... ALL PERSONNEL..."|
Da-da's brother-in-law passed on this little gem. Turns out the Air Force will actually pay you to develop a death ray, provided you call it a, "floral disruptor," and not a, "phaser." This is the actual Air Force RFP:
AF121-207: Floral Disruptor - Directed Energy Weed Abatement and Prevention Tool
TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Materials/Processes
OBJECTIVE: Develop a device that uses directed energy technology to prevent and abate unwanted plants (weeds) in areas that require control or defoliation. The purpose of this system will be the removal of unwanted plants and keep seeds from germinating.
DESCRIPTION: Every year millions of dollars are spent on weed control in and around military installations. Weed control and abatement can either be performed chemically; by applying poisonous herbicides, or mechanically; by mowing or tilling. Herbicides can be grouped by activity, use, chemical family, mode of action, or type of vegetation controlled. Herbicide use generally has negative impacts on bird populations, although the impacts are highly variable and often require extensive field studies to predict accurately. Having a cost effective device that eliminates the use of herbicides or reduces the amount of machinery could extensively save money and protect wildlife at the same time. Private industry has been actively engaged in the research, development, and deployment of various physical control technologies utilizing microwave radiation (as heat), lasers, and sound to deter, disrupt, deny, or degrade the desired objective. Thermal technologies such as foam, hot water, steam and quenched hot gases to physically rupture cell membranes within young, vigorous green weeds to shut down the plant’s capacity for photosynthesis, has been explored as a means for safe, effective weed control . The technological challenge is to develop a device that would effectively destroy weeds in various growth stages from seeds to maturity using some form of directed energy in designated areas.
The Sikes Act and Air Force Instruction (AFI) 32-7064 require the Department of Defense (DoD) to manage the natural resources of each military reservation within the United States and to provide sustained multiple uses of those resources. Edwards AFB complies with these requirements by preparation and implementation of an Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan (INRMP). The primary purpose of the INRMP is to use adaptive ecosystem management strategies to protect the properties and values of the base’s natural environment in concert with the military mission. This is accomplished by defining and implementing natural resource management goals and objectives that collectively achieve habitat and species sustainability; thereby, ensuring no net loss in the capability of the installation’s lands with a realistic testing and training environment.
Finally, the frequency used for this system must not interfere with any current operational aircraft or ground-based sensor systems and it must not be able to target personnel or wildlife.
PHASE I: Define the proposed concept and develop key component technological milestones. Produce a conceptual design and provide a detailed analysis of the predicted performance to include simulation of the prototype device. Determine the technical feasibility of the device and provide a plan for practical laboratory testing and eventually field deployment.
PHASE II: Develop and successfully demonstrate a working prototype system based upon the Phase I results.
PHASE III DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION:
Military Application: Military facilities have many needs to abate and control the spread and growth of unwanted plants or weeds. This device will provide a viable and cost effect alternative to traditional chemical or mechanical weed control techniques.
Commercial Application: Commercial facilities have many needs to abate and control the spread and growth of unwanted plants or weeds. This device will provide a viable and cost effect alternative to traditional chemical or mechanical weed control techniques.
Makes perfect sense to Da-da. Why spend $25,000 deploying unemployed folks to pluck weeds by hand (and get some sun) when you can spend $1B on something that makes cool ZAP noises and turns weed killing into a video game that a 17 year old kid can operate while eating a burrito.
There is a cost-effective alternative, however. Call Da-da a "ROBOT" (not much of a stretch in his case), put him in a green suit and helmet, and he'll use his zombie blaster to burn each and every weed. For an extra $20, Da-da will even smile and pretend to get into it.
|DIE, weeds, DIE!|