Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are experimenting with a radar system that will allow military troops to see through walls. In recent tests held at MIT's Lincoln Laboratory, the radar successfully showed humans moving behind solid concrete.
According to project leader, Gregory Charvat and his team, the technology could have powerful implications for ''urban combat situations.''
Currently the technology has progressed to a level where the radar unit, mounted on a military vehicle, could provide real-time video through walls as far as 60 feet away at a rate of 10.8 frames per second.
Such sophistication far surpasses current technologies.
As for the technology, "Rather than using visible light to look through walls, which is not very effective, we instead use a microwave,'' Charvat explained.
Ideally, X-rays would have been explored for this application, but its "ionizing radiation" is too dangerous, Charvat said. "We use microwave technology that's about as powerful as a cellular phone, so it's very weak. So, microwaves work. It's not ideal, but it gets the job done."
As for its penetration, ''Eight inches is all we've been able to do,'' Charvat said. Visibility ''ůmay be able to be increased by more transit power or lowering the frequency. The lower you go in frequency, the better it is, but it becomes a resolution issue.''