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Seeing Through Walls

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the life-imitates-quake dept.

Hardware 163

An anonymous reader writes "Researchers at MIT's Lincoln Lab have developed new radar technology that provides real-time video of what's going on behind solid walls. 'The researchers’ device is an unassuming array of antenna arranged into two rows — eight receiving elements on top, 13 transmitting ones below — and some computing equipment, all mounted onto a movable cart. But it has powerful implications for military operations, especially "urban combat situations," says Gregory Charvat, technical staff at Lincoln Lab and the leader of the project.' ... each time the waves hit the wall, the concrete blocks more than 99 percent of them from passing through. And that’s only half the battle: Once the waves bounce off any targets, they must pass back through the wall to reach the radar’s receivers — and again, 99 percent don’t make it. By the time it hits the receivers, the signal is reduced to about 0.0025 percent of its original strength. But according to Charvat, signal loss from the wall is not even the main challenge. "[Signal] amplifiers are cheap," he says. What has been difficult for through-wall radar systems is achieving the speed, resolution and range necessary to be useful in real time (PDF).'"

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4th amendment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37758940)

what 4th amendment?

So what if your standing IN FRONT of the wall? (3, Interesting)

wisebabo (638845) | more than 2 years ago | (#37758942)

Is the amount of radiation dangerous? What about reflections? Not that it would matter in a military context but it might restrict its civilian applications.

Re:So what if your standing IN FRONT of the wall? (1)

Mindflux0 (2447336) | more than 2 years ago | (#37758966)

They were walking around in front of it. Leads me to believe it's not particularly dangerous. Maybe extended exposure is bad though.

Re:So what if your standing IN FRONT of the wall? (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#37759320)

They were walking around in front of it. Leads me to believe it's not particularly dangerous.

People used to go down to Vegas for the weekend to watch the atomic bombs going off...

Re:So what if your standing IN FRONT of the wall? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#37759744)

Yes, but in this case the "people" are the actual researchers, no some random Joe.

Re:So what if your standing IN FRONT of the wall? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37760234)

Yes, but in this case the "people" are the actual researchers, no some random Joe.

That was also the case with the atomic bomb detonation experiments. Turns out the researchers had less knowledge of the safety limits than they thought they did...

Re:So what if your standing IN FRONT of the wall? (4, Informative)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#37758980)

They are using Microwave, which is non-ionizing, so it is not so dangerous. You would start feeling the heat before you got any radiation damage.

Re:So what if your standing IN FRONT of the wall? (3, Informative)

wagnerrp (1305589) | more than 2 years ago | (#37759014)

Eh? As you said, it's non-ionizing. The heat is the radiation damage.

Re:So what if your standing IN FRONT of the wall? (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#37759132)

True, but not all heat is damage. You will likely feel a lot of heat before you get any real damage.

Re:So what if your standing IN FRONT of the wall? (1)

mcavic (2007672) | more than 2 years ago | (#37759266)

It's not that simple. According to some quick reading, microwaves can cause heat damage to inner tissues and to the eyes that isn't immediately apparent. And military-type microwave use has been known to cause noticeable health effects since WWII, which was confirmed in the 70s.

Re:So what if your standing IN FRONT of the wall? (1)

slydder (549704) | more than 2 years ago | (#37759306)

does it really matter? we are talking about the military using this to find people behind walls to they can kill them more effectively. the only possible problem would be to hostages and other non-coms. so if there are non-coms in front of the wall then they are not where they should be and all hossies would be behind the wall where very little radiation will reach them.

Re:So what if your standing IN FRONT of the wall? (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 2 years ago | (#37760652)

does it really matter? we are talking about the military using this to find people behind walls to they can kill them more effectively.

Really? You really think that's all this is going to be used for? How naive.

The natives are becoming restless, they need stuff like this to quell a rebellion, flush out the leaders, and protect the establishment. They've already started rolling out unmanned drones [homelandse...wswire.com] for use by the police. They could start deploying the armed versions whenever they want.

Re:So what if your standing IN FRONT of the wall? (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37760702)

does it really matter? we are talking about the military using this to find people behind walls

You are naive enough to believe that this will never be used by the government on civilians EVER, right? The military doesn't really need something like this because if they are really worried about what's behind a wall they just blow it up. This is 100% for law enforcement use, which is where the government wants to know what's behind the wall but is not allowed to do so by law.

Re:So what if your standing IN FRONT of the wall? (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 2 years ago | (#37759912)

Eh? As you said, it's non-ionizing. The heat is the radiation damage.

Sounds more like a feature than a bug. Remember: military applications.

Re:So what if your standing IN FRONT of the wall? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37761332)

Eh? As you said, it's non-ionizing. The heat is the radiation damage.

Sounds more like a feature than a bug. Remember: military applications.

Yes, but it won't be long before local police departments want this as well.

Re:So what if your standing IN FRONT of the wall? (2)

Misagon (1135) | more than 2 years ago | (#37759444)

Non-ionizing means that it does not directly cause DNA damage.

However, it has been shown in tests that microwaves of certain frequencies can have other effects on human cells other than heating them up. These effects include increasing the uptake of glucose and breaking the cell's membrane which would allow the cell to be killed by albumen in the blood.
Not all frequencies in the microwave band are equal, though. Only some frequencies have been tested.

Re:So what if your standing IN FRONT of the wall? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37759524)

Did you read TFA?

They beam these microwaves through brick walls, what makes you think they don't penetrate the skin and do damage to the body?

When you feel the heat you have already been skewered by the microwaves quite a lot (the skin is most likely somewhat less effective at blocking microwave radiation than, say the aforementioned brick wall) and there are considerably volatile targets that are shielded by your skin.

Re:So what if your standing IN FRONT of the wall? (1)

atisss (1661313) | more than 2 years ago | (#37759590)

So, most of it's energy is heating the wall?

I would hide some small explosives on the outer side of wall in order to notice if somebody is peeking in

Re:So what if your standing IN FRONT of the wall? (2)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761030)

Sure if you want to save the military their next step.

Re:So what if your standing IN FRONT of the wall? (5, Informative)

stms (1132653) | more than 2 years ago | (#37758998)

It's non-ionizing radiation so it's about as dangerous as your cellphone. This is an interesting and informative radiation chart https://www.xkcd.com/radiation/ [xkcd.com]

Re:So what if your standing IN FRONT of the wall? (0)

tinkerton (199273) | more than 2 years ago | (#37759106)

The chart doesn't cover the problem at hand. If you walk in front of the (active) radar of a fighter plane, it will kill you , and it will do so inside out. It won't start by burning your skin.

Re:So what if your standing IN FRONT of the wall? (1)

tinkerton (199273) | more than 2 years ago | (#37759130)

I don't know the power of the apparatus being tested in the article, but the person walking around was behind a wall, which reduces the dose to 1%.

Re:So what if your standing IN FRONT of the wall? (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 2 years ago | (#37759924)

I don't know the power of the apparatus being tested in the article, but the person walking around was behind a wall, which reduces the dose to 1%.

Which is still 100 times larger than is needed for regular detecting equipment, as the "dose" needs to cross the wall again. So the "other side" dose is still significantly strong.

Re:So what if your standing IN FRONT of the wall? (1)

tinkerton (199273) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761000)

I doubt if it's 100 times larger. I don't have time to compare, but it will be a lot less. One trick to reduce the wattage is to take much more time measuring, and a predecessor of the radar in the article took many seconds. This radar also measures slower than the standard.

Re:So what if your standing IN FRONT of the wall? (2)

EdZ (755139) | more than 2 years ago | (#37759954)

Microwaves are not made of magic. They do not cook things from the 'inside out', as advertisements would have you believe. Standing in front of a high-power radar antenna will heat your from the nearside to the farside, with the power and wavelength determining the heat gradient.

Re:So what if your standing IN FRONT of the wall? (1)

tinkerton (199273) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761198)

Obviously. And also you don't need cooking temperature.

Re:So what if your standing IN FRONT of the wall? (1)

wisebabo (638845) | more than 2 years ago | (#37759160)

By the way, I'm sorry for the incorrect used of the word your, it should be you're as in "you are". I dislike it when people use it incorrectly so my apologies. I was in a hurry (but aren't we all?)

Re:So what if your standing IN FRONT of the wall? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37759452)

worrying about radiation is a point less and wussy argument against this ghostly tech. It is dangerous to the constitution and that is good enough for me to say NO.

hmmmm coming soon to an airport near you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37758944)

Whats the effect of radar on people ?

Re:hmmmm coming soon to an airport near you... (1)

siddesu (698447) | more than 2 years ago | (#37758982)

It seems the primary application is the American military. Why do you think anyone in that camp cares about what will happen to the targets for the minute or two before they are shot from a nearby helicopter?

Re:hmmmm coming soon to an airport near you... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37759030)

Seeing behind walls? Right, military ... no way they'd ever use that in the "homeland". Oh wait, they already have trucks that do similar things with unclear health effects roaming US streets.

Re:hmmmm coming soon to an airport near you... (0)

siddesu (698447) | more than 2 years ago | (#37759044)

Well, I don't presume who the targets are. Be that as it may, how many of those roentgen trucks are on the road really? I've seen the ads, but if spying was really effective and prevalent, wouldn't some info about the scale leak already?

Re:hmmmm coming soon to an airport near you... (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | more than 2 years ago | (#37759064)

A roentgen is a unit of measurement for ionizing radiation. Since these do not output any, they cannot be described as such.

Re:hmmmm coming soon to an airport near you... (0)

siddesu (698447) | more than 2 years ago | (#37759078)

The roentgen is a machine that uses roentgen rays to take pictures inside of your body. It is used above to describe a truck with equipment that does something similar.

Re:hmmmm coming soon to an airport near you... (2)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#37759224)

In English, they are called X rays (which is actually the name Röntgen gave to them).

Re:hmmmm coming soon to an airport near you... (-1, Offtopic)

siddesu (698447) | more than 2 years ago | (#37759258)

Whatever, dude.

Re:hmmmm coming soon to an airport near you... (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | more than 2 years ago | (#37759018)

About the same as a heat lamp.

Aluminum Foil (4, Funny)

mbone (558574) | more than 2 years ago | (#37758970)

In the future, I guess snipers will have to carry a $ 5 roll of aluminum foil, to block the multimillion dollar real time radar.

Re:Aluminum Foil (3, Insightful)

erice (13380) | more than 2 years ago | (#37759004)

In the future, I guess snipers will have to carry a $ 5 roll of aluminum foil, to block the multimillion dollar real time radar.

Which would shine conspicuously in the radar beam. That's where I'd shoot.

Re:Aluminum Foil (3, Insightful)

mbone (558574) | more than 2 years ago | (#37759042)

Crinkle it up.

Re:Aluminum Foil (1)

xmorg (718633) | more than 2 years ago | (#37760112)

True dat.

Re:Aluminum Foil (3, Interesting)

wagnerrp (1305589) | more than 2 years ago | (#37759072)

The wall already shines conspicuously in the radar beam. They had to put an analog filter into the receiving equipment to block out the massive return they get from the wall itself so it doesn't overpower their A/D. At most, you would be able to tell "there might be something of interest behind this wall... or maybe its just a sheet of metal...".

Re:Aluminum Foil (1)

vaene (1981644) | more than 2 years ago | (#37759100)

Right cause the sniper wouldn't put up any false positives would he, for you to give away your position first?

Re:Aluminum Foil (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 2 years ago | (#37759148)

In the future, I guess snipers will have to carry a $ 5 roll of aluminum foil, to block the multimillion dollar real time radar.

Which would shine conspicuously in the radar beam. That's where I'd shoot.

Its a trailer park, or the enemy would make everyone put foil on their windows.

Re:Aluminum Foil (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#37759584)

In the future, I guess snipers will have to carry a $ 5 roll of aluminum foil, to block the multimillion dollar real time radar.

Which would shine conspicuously in the radar beam. That's where I'd shoot.

Ok, so $5 foil and $3 blu-tak, so you can put it on the wall you're hiding behind.

Re:Aluminum Foil (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 2 years ago | (#37759440)

Yes, because a roll of aluminum foil can easily wallpaper an entire room, and aluminum foil is readily available in war zones. Moreover, snipers will carry enough foil to wallpaper the multiple rooms they displace to after shooting once. Whatta dumbass remark.

Re:Aluminum Foil (1)

dintech (998802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37759536)

Luckily the xenomorph don't have aluminum foil, so this motion tracker is still good.

Cool (4, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#37758974)

Two points:

A) This is different than x-ray because it is using the reflection, not a film or detector on the other side of the object.

C) The image created is not a 3D image like what you would expect if the wall were glass, instead it detects distance to objects. So what you get is like a overhead map, as if you were playing Zelda and or had the Harry Potter marauder's map. Which may be more useful in some situations.

Re:Cool (1)

azalin (67640) | more than 2 years ago | (#37759082)

I would assume that creating a 3 D Image from this technology is quite possible (though not trivial). In "field conditions"( the military is sure to love this gadget) it might not be necessary or feasible to have 3D. But if your planning for surveillance it might be worth the time to set up an array of these.
Bad news for conspirationists though: Tinfoil hats will be very easy to spot and to be taken care of. Might want to invest in a radar detector though.

Re:Cool (5, Informative)

wagnerrp (1305589) | more than 2 years ago | (#37759142)

It was a linear phased array. It literally can't tell up from down. If you wanted to make it sense in 3-D, you would have to make the array 2-D. Stack a couple of these units, throw in a couple more GPUs for processing, re-tweak the algorithm for an additional dimension, they could probably have a 3D model working in a couple weeks.

The issue is that 3D really doesn't get you much. With the current 2D system, you can tell where someone is in a room, but its not like you can see any identifying features. All 3D would get you is a very rough estimate of height.

Re:Cool (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 2 years ago | (#37759928)

Two points:

A) This is different than x-ray because it is using the reflection, not a film or detector on the other side of the object.

C) The image created is not a 3D image like what you would expect if the wall were glass, instead it detects distance to objects. So what you get is like a overhead map, as if you were playing Zelda and or had the Harry Potter marauder's map. Which may be more useful in some situations.

B) Somebody uses a Dvorak keyboard!

Pivot That View (1)

walkerp1 (523460) | more than 2 years ago | (#37759026)

I wonder if it might be useful to use a sine-wave deflector to pan this signal up and down for a front view. While having an X on a top down view would be useful, having a profile could be vastly better in many situations.

Re:Pivot That View (4, Informative)

wagnerrp (1305589) | more than 2 years ago | (#37759098)

With a 20cm signal, you can't tell a human from an amorphous blob. The only thing you could get from attitude control is a very rough estimate of height. Besides, if they wanted such a capability, it would be better to just stack four of these, with a commensurate increase in hardware and processing power.

Re:Pivot That View (1)

imakemusic (1164993) | more than 2 years ago | (#37759716)

With a 20cm signal, you can't tell a human from an amorphous blob.

Some people are amorphous blobs.

Re:Pivot That View (1)

dintech (998802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37759922)

you can't tell a human from an amorphous blob.

There goes my hope for a highly sophisticated perv-o-cam. For now I'll have to make do with hanging out around the airport scanners.

Seeing through the walls - ground combat (1)

Trax3001BBS (2368736) | more than 2 years ago | (#37759034)

Odd that it was sponsored by the Department of the Air Force,
Or may-haps radar is their specialty.

That ruins the use of (1)

dredwerker (757816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37759076)

those guns that shoot around corners. http://www.gizmag.com/go/2576/ [gizmag.com]

Re:That ruins the use of (1)

SomePgmr (2021234) | more than 2 years ago | (#37759196)

Meh, CornerShot is old. Like, 2003 old, and hasn't caught on anywhere that I've seen. Though I did see one used on a game show recently.

Call of Duty (3, Funny)

vaene (1981644) | more than 2 years ago | (#37759080)

Who wants to play the special mission where you are the guy pushing around the cart with all the antennas sticking out of it?

Re:Call of Duty (1)

gd2shoe (747932) | more than 2 years ago | (#37759988)

Dude. Robot?

Spaceballs- Barf: "Radar about to be jammed!" (1)

lexsird (1208192) | more than 2 years ago | (#37759084)

So, will my microwave oven jam this thing up? Cook lots of hot microwaved burritos and keep Big Brother from watching you? When will I get my glasses that let me see through clothes, see my own bones, etc? Remember those? They were on the opposite side of Sea Monkeys.

Also, time to bring the radar detector inside so you know when to step out and unload some buckshot? Or just wire your radar detector into your homemade rocket and "nuke it" from a couple of blocks over?

Stuff the walls with tinfoil? Or build your own radar wave emitter that fires back one OMFG radar wave ping at it, frying it?

Lastly, make a "potato cannon" that shoots jars of Strawberry Jam and blast the array with it?

Countermeasures, we got them.

Radiation (1)

qxcv (2422318) | more than 2 years ago | (#37759102)

In a story a few days back about GPS jamming somebody mentioned how ineffective it was because of the use of radiation-guided missiles - could soldiers operating this giant radar end up in HARM's way (geddit?), and wouldn't it be possible to create a simple radiation detector that could show when such a radar is operating nearby?

Re:Radiation (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761152)

Sure, but you are dealing with urban combat in which HARMs aren't really a concern. When you jam GPS you would usually be trying to stop missiles and bombers from getting you - an environment in which HARMs are certainly going to be involved.

If the other side using such missiles against your infantry you are not fighting house to house and room to room anyway. You are still levelling them from the air.

Prior Art (1)

milbournosphere (1273186) | more than 2 years ago | (#37759166)

Meh, Counter Strike bots have been doing this for years.

Re:Prior Art (1)

Dark Lord of Ohio (2459854) | more than 2 years ago | (#37759438)

thats why CS sucks a lot! Real men play Halo! :)

solid wals, as compared to what other walls? (1)

mestar (121800) | more than 2 years ago | (#37759218)

"what's going on behind solid walls."

Of course, what is going on behind liquid walls will remain a mystery.

"signal loss from the wall is not even the main challenge. '[Signal] amplifiers are cheap,' he says. What has been difficult for through-wall radar systems is achieving the speed, resolution and range necessary to be useful in real time"

Of course, the main problem in achieving the "speed, resolution and range" is that you lose 99% of the signal, twice.

In other words, signal loss is not the main problem, except that it is.

What idiot wrote that? Manipulative idiot, that's who.

Re:solid wals, as compared to what other walls? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37760788)

If most of the signal was lost, it means it either bounced, or was absorbed, otherwise it travels in a straight line.

Presume equally, a patriot who is smart enough can actually pre-plan a method to defend the US Constitution against this fourth amendment violation using electronic tools connected to a booby-trap targeting such coup would be right within their US Constitutional rights.

swr meter and bamboo spikes?
spectrum analyzer and knockout gas?
freq counter and a bank of SCR's?
A lightbulb comes on and people come out and sweep for enemies.

How it's suddenly popular to run a fucking transmitter array targeting the front of someone's house, and yet people who already complain about covert electronic harassment are laughed off. That's a setup for some really bad fail, with no true redress being anything less than mortal.

Want to make an enemy who might try to kill you later on? Point this shit at someone who don't deserve it.

A platform in space, send a microwave beam down on your ass continuously until you are gone.
Real simple, a solar power source, a crystal in a pure vacuum, and an directional antenna and it's good night bitches.
Roast in Peaces, Hell on Earth

Fuck all you oath breaking pieces of shit, the only thing you got left is to kill your own citizens, but I ain't scared of death anymore bitches.

Czech republic had it earlier (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37759220)

Hi, I saw something like that from Czech company RETIA [idnes.cz] .
Or what about camero-tech and their Xaver 800 [spslandforces.net] ?
It seems to have better resolution.

"See" ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37759238)

If with my eyes this is how I saw I would have a serious disability.

Is it really that useful? (2)

jklovanc (1603149) | more than 2 years ago | (#37759276)

So it is good at locating people moving behind a wall. Can you tell if the person is armed?

If you also display stationary objects, is the blob in the corner a person or a filing cabinet?

Look at the size of the thing. I do not see a tactical unit trundling something that big so that they can see 20m through a wall. I am not sure but if you decrease the size of the antennas your power and resolution goes down. Also how much power does the radar and computers use? How long would it last on batteries?

Re:Is it really that useful? (1)

satuon (1822492) | more than 2 years ago | (#37760404)

Even if they weren't armed, you could always place a pistol in their hands post-factum.

Re:Is it really that useful? (1)

Tuan121 (1715852) | more than 2 years ago | (#37760748)

Look at the size of the thing. I do not see a tactical unit trundling something that big so that they can see 20m through a wall.

Yeah, look at the size of computers 40 years ago. We should have stopped the research then and blindly criticized because they were so big and not practical.

Give it a rest, yes it's big. For now.

Re:Is it really that useful? (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | more than 2 years ago | (#37760860)

I was talking about the size of the phased array antenna. The multiple antennas need to be separated by a certain distance so they do not interfere with each other and need to be a certain size so they can gather enough radiation. That's the physics of radar and no research is going to change that. Phased array radar is not new technology; it came out on the Ticonderoga class cruiser in 1978. One would think that they would have made the array as small as possible in the first place

Re:Is it really that useful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37761068)

It's a prototype, it can probably be made smaller with alternate antenna design. E.g. go for half-wavelength elements, which is less efficient but can in principle be compensated for by increased transmission power.

Re:Is it really that useful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37761136)

Wouldn't it be easier for small robot to crawl up the wall, drill a smal hole and insert a mirco camera?

The real question (1)

lucm (889690) | more than 2 years ago | (#37759400)

Does this system run on "Windows"?

Re:The real question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37759958)

No, the real question is: Can we look with this through the blonde bomb shells clothes...

Re:The real question (1)

lucm (889690) | more than 2 years ago | (#37760210)

No, the real question is: Can we look with this through the blonde bomb shells clothes...

That would be convenient to spot girls with a tramp stamp before it's too late (one way or the other).

Re:The real question (1)

almitchell (1237520) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761034)

The drivers for the transmitters aren't compatible with 64-bit.

youtube (1)

Dark Lord of Ohio (2459854) | more than 2 years ago | (#37759432)

soon we will be "flooded" with home-made pr0n movies on youtube made by some pranksters. I think it's time to buy seethruwallstube.com domain.

Similar device by Cambridge Consultants (1)

fishicist (777318) | more than 2 years ago | (#37759572)

Cambridge Consultants [cambridgeconsultants.com] demonstrated something similar a few years ago. It's called Sprint [cambridgeconsultants.com] and there's a great big picture of it here [cambridgeconsultants.com] .

Re:Similar device by Cambridge Consultants (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37760552)

There are others as well.
Czech company Retia makes similiar device called RetWiz [lokalizacni-systemy.cz] (page is in English)

Re:Similar device by Cambridge Consultants (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | more than 2 years ago | (#37760900)

Sprint is for seeing inside walls not through them in real time.

Re:Similar device by Cambridge Consultants (1)

fishicist (777318) | more than 2 years ago | (#37760912)

Oh. So it is. Nevermind. :)

Soliton Radar from Metal Gear Solid! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37759638)

http://metalgear.wikia.com/wiki/Soliton_Radar - all they need to do is to develop some algorithms to deduce which direction the person is facing and overlay a cone for their field of vision!

Bazookas (1)

vm146j2 (233075) | more than 2 years ago | (#37760312)

Also allow you to see through walls.

Just sayin'

Fourth Amendment vs DHS (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37760376)

This technology is unconstitutional. I have zero faith the arrogant slashdot crowd to actually comprehend it until it's too late. It's all fun and games until someone's eye get's put out.

The Fourth Amendment (Amendment IV) to the United States Constitution is the part of the Bill of Rights which guards against unreasonable searches and seizures, along with requiring any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause. It was adopted as a response to the abuse of the writ of assistance, which is a type of general search warrant, in the American Revolution. Search and arrest should be limited in scope according to specific information supplied to the issuing court, usually by a law enforcement officer, who has sworn by it.

The only people working on this are future treasonous oath breakers. The same ones who allowed the banksters to steal our monetary system, the same ones who allow electronic voting, sound weapons, fios splitters, wiretapping, and all the other full spectrum of unconstitutional bullshit.

If you think I am full of shit, explain to me why I should obligated to obey any law coming from the establishment when the establishment doesn't follow any rule of law anymore, and in fact promotes fraud, theft and murder? This is the exact reason the economy won't recover, the trust has been purged completely from the system along with peoples life savings, all at the same time the establishment cracks down on the small guy protesting, not one motherfucking bankster has gone to Ft. Leavenworth.

I am an honorably discharged veteran, I might not be the smartest fucker in the world, but I know treasonous oath breaking shit when I see it. You want this country to recover, you better start putting the oath breaking officials and their punk ass fucking foreign and corporate CEO friends and their agenda's and treaties in Ft. Leavenworth.

This is the path to darkness, death, destruction and marital law. and if it goes mainstream, you can be sure taxpayers will pay for their own incarceration and targeting.

The path to light, life, health and a constitutional republic will only be reached if the Oliver North's, the Negropontee's are flushed from the Pentagon, NSA, CIA and halls of power. The DHS will need to be de-activated as it is in 100% opposition to the US Constitution. The banks who have over leveraged must fail, their CEO's imprisoned for fraud, theft, and treason (for the Senators who swore an oath to regulate the monetary system)

If you don't care about the US Constitution, or rule of law, then frankly you aren't my friend (you are actually my sworn enemy) and I don't give a shit about your fucking life, I mean you are really only one little tiny law away from being on a hit list. Even if you think I am wrong, the fact I am wired to think it; should scare the crap out of your arrogant educated asshole. So go see your shrink, and know I know my place in the universe bitch.

It's all fun and games until someone get's their eye put out.
Would you like this technology used on your daughter, son, mother, father or wife, husband, or pet?

How about you fucking arrogant educated assholes take your "see through walls tech" to Fukushima, and help them fix the problem? No? It won't work?

This technology is useless except for enslavement of humans. All you laughing fools, giggling nerds, are the future slaves.

You lazy motherfuckers couldn't even stop electronic voting.

Re:Fourth Amendment vs DHS (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 2 years ago | (#37760596)

Thank you, sir. You're encouraging me to join the "OWS" groups and help them avoid being co-opted.

Mod. Parent. UP.

Cheaper solution. (1)

thoughtspace (1444717) | more than 2 years ago | (#37760398)

What about standing on the other side of the wall?

Military (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 2 years ago | (#37760560)

But it has powerful implications for military operations, especially "urban combat situations,"

Oh, yes, that's where it will be used. No way they would EVER use it against their own people.

Re:Military (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | more than 2 years ago | (#37760948)

Like IR cameras, it would soon be banned from doing illegal searches.

Re:Military (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761120)

Like IR cameras, it would soon be banned from doing illegal searches.

Those aren't banned at all. They just can't use the results of car-based cameras as evidence in court. They still use the ones in helicopters to conduct raids, and I'm sure they use them in plenty of other circumstances, too.

Of course, all they need these days is a grant from DHS and a claim that they are looking for "terrorists", and they can do whatever they want. No court even needed, once they ship you off to Gitmo.

Re:Military (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761212)

Like IR cameras, it would soon be banned from doing illegal searches.

Thought I'd follow up with this little tidbit, from a story about the SCOTUS case you're referring to [go.com] :

Detective Larry Wilson of the Plano, Texas, police force, said it has been common for police to use thermal imaging on houses without first obtaining a warrant, and that will change.

But he says the police in his department and others he's trained around the country have been instructed not to use the devices without having first obtained probable cause through other means. So he says the ruling should not greatly affect current police use of infrared cameras on homes.

"Whenever we're doing an indoor grow operation investigation we've already established the necessary probable cause prior to doing the thermal imaging," said Wilson. "Now the only step that's going to be added is to get an affidavit and get a judge to do that and issue a warrant."

So, far from being banned, they're using them as much as they always have.

What they don't tell you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37760564)

What they are not telling you here is that this is easy to foil. by adding material a simple metallic paint on bent cardboard, phase and direction information is dispersed to the point of being useless. Really this multi billion dollar radar project can be rendered useless with $29 worth of home depot products. I like how they talk about amplifiers are cheap. Spectrally pure LNAs are not cheap, are very fragile and are very susceptible to background noise. The gain that would be needed to receive this kind of reflection puts the signal way below the noise floor. So now you need millions of dollars worth of noise cancellation equipment to get the noise floor low enough to be able to pick out the signal.

I hope the Defense department is not stupid enough to put any money into this full cocked idea!

Re:What they don't tell you (4, Informative)

mschiller (764721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761188)

It's called coherent integration gain. It's done entirely digitally in a modern radar such as this and can in theory allow you to detect pretty much any signal no matter how weak [there are practical limits of course...] The whole radar they've described probably has a BOM cost of less than $200,000. The real gotcha is labor to make it work, not the material cost. That'll cost millions [probably >$10Million, you could find out if you want to dig through some defense contracts and find the value of this one...] but so did your new iPhone 4S. The difference is that your iPhone 4S is going to have millions made this not so much. If the government wanted to build 100,000 of these, the cost would probably drop to around $50,000....

Here's the idea:
1) You transmit N identical pulses of radar waveform (probably an LFM or NLFM waveform for this application)
2) They bounce off the target and return to the radar
3) You receive them. They are WAY below the noise figure (say 50db). No amount of normal filtering will get them back. You have to analyze the noise for something that isn't "noise" like....
4) You use a matched filter that has a maximum output when the input signal is exactly the LFM you originally sampled to "pulse" compress the signal
5) If you're lucky the matched filter output has gotten you 20-30 db of gain because it's looking on a single pulse basis for the exact signal of interest. That 20-30db gain DOESN'T apply to the noise, because the noise won't match the matched filter [random vs determinisitic], therefore you've gained 20-30db of SNR.
6) Now remember you transmitted N pulses. Why not look for a signal across all of those? That's the next step. For this application they'd probably use Doppler processing. Turns out that if you do this properly you get gain on the desired signal equal to the number of pulses, so if you transmit thousands you can get that remaining 20-30db needed to make the signal >15db SNR which is the usual minimum for reliable detection in thermal noise.

It's really straight forward. The challenges here are not in that part of the design. That part is easy..

The challenges are:
1) Making it realtime (Coherent processing doesn't work when targets lose coherency that happens when they move "too quickly"). This limits the number of pulses you can use to make useable system
2) Dealing with the Dynamic range between the (very) STRONG wall return and the very weak internal targets. [Very expensive ADCs and RF amplifiers can help, they've also apparently added a doppler filtering step in analog which is interesting.... But fundamentally it's a pain]
3) Target classification. The military could care less how many TV and appliances you have. Unfortunately those will show up as targets behind the wall too...
4) Making it small enough and draw a reasonable enough amount of power to be vehicle mounted
===> If you fix #1 with more output power or a larger antenna you run into this problem.....
4) Having enough resolution to actually differentiate 2 separate targets. Without going into the details this becomes problematic for short range radars like this....because you want to see things that are on order 1ft x 1ft.. Radar is much better at seeing Planes and Tanks...

I can't wait (1)

TrixX (187353) | more than 2 years ago | (#37760622)

Until this stuff is installed on the Google Street View cars!

Extension of an earlier story (2)

stewbee (1019450) | more than 2 years ago | (#37760820)

The person who designed the radar was posted before, but this was about his PhD project. Here is the link and you too can build your own SAR (as long as you can read his cat scratch of notes on his blog)

http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/10/06/18/1350259/diy-synthetic-aperture-radar [slashdot.org]

Also on his blog, you will see similarities to what he developed for his PhD and what he is working on now.

http://www.mit.edu/~gr20603/Dr.%20Gregory%20L.%20Charvat%20Projects/Synthetic%20Aperture%20Radar%20(SAR).html [mit.edu]

Oh, and I am not a groupie. I happen to actually know Greg.

Seen in science fiction (1)

mattr (78516) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761032)

There was a similar device in a sci-fi novel I read some decades ago, I forget the name but it might possibly have been California Dreamtime. Anyway, an assassin (bad guy) equipped with super advanced milspec tools is stalking someone and has a sonar device on his belt and contact lens displays. I wonder if sonar, or perhaps a laser scanner (as typically available for robots, but at microwave or terahertz frequencies) wouldn't be better than radar.

Will it work for all walls? (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761382)

The best I could make out from the description was that it is basically radar. But the echos have small difference in frequency compared to the original radiated signal. They use a band-pass filter, must be a very good one, to filter out the echo from the wall, and then amplify the faint echos from objects behind the wall. The array of radar would each get a "2D" view, and it is synthesized into a three D image using image processing. Sort of like X-Ray tomography in the image reconstruction process.

The whole scheme depends on the wall reflecting in a slightly altered frequency uniformly. If you are not able to subtract the echo from the wall, you can't amplify the fainter echos from beyond the wall. Systems to thwart it would be to "roughen" the wall, interior or exterior to make the wall echo difficult to subtract. Other ways would be to have very bright echo returns that mess up and saturate the amplification of the faint echos. Also the standard stealth technologies like faceted body producing vastly different images for different elements of the array to thwart the image processing and synthesizing the scene behind the wall.

I think the resolution is poor, and is useful for hostage, military situations only. Dont have to worry about your creepy peeping tom neighbor buying this off the shelf to ogle your bath/bedroom.

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