The Air Force is looking for a new detector, one that can find what they're looking for in the harshest of conditions. One that'll help them detect Mojave ground squirrels, naturally.
Why is the Air Force interested in squirrels? Well, it turns out that military areas, what with their high security, are pretty well protected from the sorts of development that is killing off many species. And because they've become sort of habitats for these critters, under the Endangered Species Act, the Department of Defense is required to maintain and protect the habitats they've built. So they need a sensor that can help detect and identify various creatures, such as the precious Mojave ground squirrel.
If it sounds like a waste, don't worry! From Wired:
This treasure trove of frequency and location info would not only save the military time and effort tracking sensitive species, but would also be good news to researchers. All that valuable data could help them conduct more-efficient studies and protect the various species in the desert, endangered or not.
Via Danger Room