Radar Tool Sees Through Walls

Radar technology adapted to a flashlight format could someday be a lifesaving tool for rescue, security, and medical personnel, say researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta. Using a narrow radar beam of about 15 to 20 degrees, the device detects body movement generated by breathing. "Based on respiration signature alone, the radar flashlight allows us to detect a stationary individual behind a solid wooden door, or standing 4 ft behind an 8 in. block wall," says researcher Gene Greneker. He says police could use it to prevent ambushes, detect victims in earthquakes, and confirm prison bed checks. The technology also has been adapted for monitoring heartbeats. Georgia Tech is seeking a partner to commercialize the technology.

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