Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Nasa tests space radar for finding buried victims

27 September 2013, 06:48

Washington - A portable radar device that can sense live victims beneath a collapsed structure was inspired by the same technology used to detect distant objects in space, Nasa said on Wednesday.

The prototype for the new tool was demonstrated for reporters by US space agency experts who are collaborating with the Department of Homeland Security.

Known by the acronym Finder, short for Finding Individuals for Disaster and Emergency Response, the device can locate people as much as 9m under crushed materials, Nasa said.

"The ultimate goal of Finder is to help emergency responders efficiently rescue victims of disasters," said John Price, programme manager for the First Responders Group in Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate in Washington.

"The technology has the potential to quickly identify the presence of living victims, allowing rescue workers to more precisely deploy their limited resources."


In open spaces it can reach further, detecting people at a distance of 30m.

Behind solid concrete, the device works as far as 6m.

The technology is more advanced than present radars, whose signals can be hard to decipher in a typical building collapse because they bounce off the multiple surfaces and angles.

Finder uses advanced algorithms to "isolate the tiny signals from a person's moving chest by filtering out other signals, such as those from moving trees and animals," Nasa said.

A similar technology is used by Nasa's Deep Space Network to locate spacecraft.

"A light wave is sent to a spacecraft, and the time it takes for the signal to get back reveals how far away the spacecraft is," Nasa said.

Nasa's Deep Space Network also uses the technique to track its Cassini spacecraft as it orbits Saturn on a mission to learn more about the planet's rings.

"Detecting small motions from the victim's heartbeat and breathing from a distance uses the same kind of signal processing as detecting the small changes in motion of spacecraft like Cassini as it orbits Saturn," said James Lux, task manager for Finder at Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...