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"Science fiction is what scientists would do if they could - if they had enough grant money, enough time, and enough brains to do the wonderful things they would like to do."
- Greg Bear

Thermalarm Relays  
  Detects objects by their heat radiation, so space craft can maneuver around them.  

"Suppose a big rock gets through your safety-field?"

"We've got another gadget, for the big ones," Drake assured him. "The heat radiation of anything larger than a pea will trip the thermalarm relays, in time for the pilot-robot to change our course."

"Satisfied, brother?" Mike Moran rapped his crutch on the deck. "Better be!"

From Collision Orbit, by Jack Williamson.
Published by Astounding in 1941
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