Science Scope

A radar imaging system that lets you look inside walls

A radar imaging system that lets you look inside walls

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Will this handheld device be used to deal with Olympics terrorist threats?

Need a device to screen for terrorism threats or assist in crime prevention searches?

Traditionally, x-ray systems require both sides of the wall to be imaged. But Cambridge Consultants have a better device, and it only needs to image one side of the wall to see what is behind it.

Look no further. Enter a handheld device that can create a 3D image of objects to do just that.

The prototype is called Sprint: The portable system can see through walls, but it does this without the x-rays. The device can detect structures such as pipes and cables, or sniff out potential threats such as explosives and contraband.

Imagine being able to see through any wall. While the device isn't as revealing as the airport security scanners, it doesn't have to be. The portable system just needs to be able to identify if there's a cable or a box of explosives behind the wall.

The company expects that the handheld device will come in handy for The London 2012 Olympics. Though, it could also be used for industrial inspection, counter surveillance and technical searches.

We'll have to wait to see how the device actually performs though. It uses short pulses of energy to produce high resolution imaging. For the size of a sheet of paper and with its 3.5 kg battery pack, it sure beats the other systems that use backscatter x-rays.

Scanning the floor, roof and walls for something fishy just got a bit more portable. Even if it's not the Sprint device that is used to detect terrorism threats, drugs, bombs and bodies, another radar technology will likely make monitoring more mobile.

The need for see-through technology follows what is already happening in airports. Same idea, different technology.

X-Ray Vision: Handheld Radar Allows Army/Security To Look Inside Walls [Singularity Hub]

Photo: Cambridge Consultants

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Boonsri Dickinson

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Boonsri Dickinson is a freelance journalist based in San Francisco. She has written for Discover, The Huffington Post, Forbes, Nature Biotech, Technewsdaily.com, Techstartups.com and AOL. She's currently a reporter for Business Insider. She holds degrees from the University of Florida and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure