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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

device that can see through walls: for search and rescue

Israeli company invents device that can see through walls; could aid in military operations, as well as search and rescue

Military and rescue operations around the globe will now get a tad easier with the invention of a portable radar system that can see through walls.
    Developed by Israeli firm Camero, the Xaver 400 – which has already been sold to several security forces around the world – is capable of "seeing through" reinforced concrete, cinder block, brick, stucco, adobe, drywall and other common wall types, with a range of up to eight metres.
    Weighing just over 2.5kgs, and slightly smaller than a laptop, the device provides the operator with a display that indicates the real-time location and number of people behind a wall. This enables tactical teams to make critical decisions before stepping into hostile situations.
    "The Xaver 400 unit represents a huge leap forward in the evolution of through-wall sensors," says Robert Judd, President of Camero USA. "It incorporates various features that Special Operations users have specifically asked for."
    The gadget boasts of wireless transmission capability to ensure a common "operational picture" for the whole ground team as well as the command post.
    Also, it is ready to go at the push of a button, requiring no warm-up time or complicated boot-up routines.
    The company feels that the device could also be beneficial for human operations, such as locating people trapped in burning buildings.
    "The idea of seeing through walls
has been around since the 1960s, but modern technology is now ripe enough to enable it to happen," Camero's technology director Amir Beeri said.
    "When we established the company in 2004, we intended to develop sufficiently high vision resolution to allow an untrained user to see through a wall," he added.
    Camero's unique radar utilises Ultra Wide Band (UWB), a technology that has come of age recently – and with the use of special algorithms, can process data picked up by the detector to give a reasonable image of anything behind the wall.
    "Rapid target acquisition, real-time situational awareness and a common operating picture are critical components of Special Forces' ability to find, fix and finish the enemy," said Lieutenant General (Ret) Philip Kensinger, of the US Army Special Operations Command (USASOC), who has had a chance to use the system.
    "The Xaver 400 provides our troops with enhanced capabilities in all three critical areas," he added.
    The system, however, still cannot penetrate solid metal walls, like those of shipping containers.
    The firm's CEO, Aharon Aharon, is optimistic about the future of the technology.
    "Like the Israeli army's night vision system, which was once an expensive product and eventually came into broad, general use, we hope that our radar too will become standard issue for all military units," he said.

A soldier looks at the small screen of the Camero Xaver 400, which can 'see through' concrete, brick, drywall and other common wall types, and display the real-time location and number of people


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