DARPA seeks to replicate black ice for use in Iraq

Published 29 January 2007

Envisioned mobility control system would force enemies to slip, while a reversal agent applied to U.S. vehicles permits effortless apprehension; companies interested in developing “polymer ice” have until April to respond

Winter may be coming late to the East Coast, bringing with it the continued “debate” over the existence of global warming (or “climate change,” as some prefer), but over at DARPA scientists are already hard at work at developing what we might call “portable winter.” No, this is not some crazy weather maniupulation technque involving storm seeding. Rather, the secretive agency is looking to develop artificial black ice — the idea being to purposely force terrorists and insurgents to slip all over themselves. According to the BBC, such

polymer ice” is intended for desert locales, “as found in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Few details were available at press time, but the project is just one listed in the agency’s wish list for the “Mobility Control System.” “Such a system will provide unprecedented situational control and sustained operational tempo,” said Darpa.

It would degrade the ability of our adversaries to shoot and chase us.” And what if American troops encounter the substance? Scientists interested in joining the project will also have to develop a spray-on reversal agents, which will be incorporated into boots and truck tires. “This

is akin to having the ability to run effortlessly on wet ice, while adversary mobility is simultaneously severely restricted,” the agency explained.

Researchers interested in joining the Polymer Ice Project have until April 2007 to respond.

-read more in Gavin Thomas’s BBC report; see also DARPA’s presolicition notice