> My understanding is that MERS was originally designed to assist in
> from a nuclear attack. If so, it's interesting that the article
> makes no
> mention of that.
Judging from the fact that the source is focused on government
technology, I can understand why the writer/editors might rather leave
out MERS's original doomsday conception in favor of marveling at the
Being a rather large and expensive project, and being built by the Harris
Corp., MERS is probably state-of-the-art and may indeed have had a very
special purpose -- one that could not easily be fulfilled by existing
national guard and civil defense capabilities. Now, think of the last
time you created something with a purpose for which that something
quickly became useless. Rather than scrapping that something (and
thereby wasting millions in the case of MERS), you found a completely
different use that you had not previously imagined.
Natural disasters happen all too often regardless of the world's
political climate. As a member of the emergency management community, I
am familiar with how such things as things as MERS are extremely helpful
to those who must coordinate response and recovery operations, especially
when they facilitate powerful and reliable communications. Unfortunately
though, it occasionally takes something like 10,000 warheads pointed at
you to come up with useful ideas.
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