Letter to the Editor: Defense funding inspires products that save

Editor:

Several letters have been published recently opposing research and development done for our nation’s defense. I would remind those who support this position that many of the modern technologies that we all enjoy began as defense initiatives.

Early development of computers arose from a need to rapidly perform complex algorithms for controlling the trajectories of spacecraft and missiles.

In the 1960s the department of defense began development of ARPANET, what is now the Internet, to create multiple paths of ground based communication in the event of a nuclear attack, among other reasons.

Remember the Star Wars program? Technology developed to shoot missiles out of the sky is now finding wider use as laser surgery.

Just about all of us have mobile phones. Cellular technology was originally developed to improve battlefield communications. Other technology research was funded by the Department of Defense include ultrasounds (sonar), all satellite communications, GPS, advanced alloy, composite and plastic materials, every significant mile-stone in avionics since the 1930s and of course nuclear power. The list goes on and on.

Technologies developed by the DOD eventually find their way into the commercial sector where they save lives, improve communication systems and generally makes life more convenient.

Our nation will remain a global leader in technological advancement with continued and extensive DOD research and development.

Joe Hull

Senior, Mechanical Engineering