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Computer chips of the size and sophistication required to meet the challenge already exist. ... For a planet like Mars, smart dust particles would each have to be the size of a grain of sand. ... Wireless networking would allow these particles to form swarms, and Dr Barker's team has carried out mathematical simulations to see how this would work. ... We envisage that most of the particles can only talk to their nearest neighbours but a...

2007-04-18

 swarm astronomy exploration nanotech dust planet mars network