Now You Can See Through Solid Walls

Thanks to some engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology you can forget about holing up in the privacy of your own home (or anywhere else), although the the “picture” isn’t exactly crystal clear. Report from MIT News:

The ability to see through walls is no longer the stuff of science fiction, thanks to new radar technology developed at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory.

Much as humans and other animals see via waves of visible light that bounce off objects and then strike our eyes’ retinas, radar “sees” by sending out radio waves that bounce off targets and return to the radar’s receivers. But just as light can’t pass through solid objects in quantities large enough for the eye to detect, it’s hard to build radar that can penetrate walls well enough to show what’s happening behind. Now, Lincoln Lab researchers have built a system that can see through walls from some distance away, giving an instantaneous picture of the activity on the other side.

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…

[continues at MIT News]

majestic

Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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44 Comments on "Now You Can See Through Solid Walls"

  1. DeepCough | Oct 19, 2011 at 2:01 pm |

    “…to aid the ‘urban warfighter [sic] to increase his situational awareness…”

    That statement should deeply trouble and concern you.

  2. DeepCough | Oct 19, 2011 at 10:01 am |

    “…to aid the ‘urban warfighter [sic] to increase his situational awareness…”

    That statement should deeply trouble and concern you.

    • I was just pondering ways to defeat this, actually.

      • DeepCough | Oct 19, 2011 at 10:17 am |

        Mercury-Halide grow lamps will fool them every time!

        • Maybe, I don’t know enough about those to say. Though I’m sure they’d mess with a flir, I don’t know if they’d confound a radar based device.

          I’m thinking something that generates randomly shifting (frequency,amplitude, and angle of emission) microwaves in the 10cm range might work. Either inside or outside the building you are trying to screen.

          Trying to generate a counter-signal to cause destructive interference with their source (or its return) is beyond my current capabilities.

        • or just turn on a microwave 😛

      • Anarchy Pony | Oct 21, 2011 at 8:24 pm |

        I imagine a well placed rifle bullet would probably do it.

  3. I was just pondering ways to defeat this, actually.

  4. Anonymous | Oct 19, 2011 at 2:09 pm |

    Surely they were cheating. The guy walking in circles wasn’t behind a concrete wall.

  5. Tchoutoye | Oct 19, 2011 at 10:09 am |

    Surely they were cheating. The guy walking in circles wasn’t behind a concrete wall.

  6. DeepCough | Oct 19, 2011 at 2:17 pm |

    Mercury-Halide grow lamps will fool them every time!

  7. Thanks for nothing MIT.

  8. Thanks for nothing MIT.

    • Mark Barnes | Oct 20, 2011 at 8:23 am |

      THIS IS AWESOME MIT! It would ensure our troops are absolutely DEVASTATING in the urban war scene! Thanks for thinking of our troops!

      • Anarchy Pony | Oct 21, 2011 at 8:23 pm |

        And when they come looking for you? Or people that you sympathize with? What’re your troops doing by the way? Oh that’s right, aiding rampant imperialism.

  9. Anonymous | Oct 19, 2011 at 5:22 pm |

    .分身!((((((-(-o()o-)-))))))

    always wins in an urban duel.

  10. Jin The Ninja | Oct 19, 2011 at 1:22 pm |

    .分身!((((((-(-o()o-)-))))))

    always wins in an urban duel.

  11. Maybe, I don’t know enough about those to say. Though I’m sure they’d mess with a flir, I don’t know if they’d confound a radar based device.

    I’m thinking something that generates randomly shifting (frequency,amplitude, and angle of emission) microwaves in the 10cm range might work. Either inside or outside the building you are trying to screen.

    Trying to generate a counter-signal to cause destructive interference with their source (or its return) is beyond my current capabilities.

  12. Maybe, I don’t know enough about those to say. Though I’m sure they’d mess with a flir, I don’t know if they’d confound a radar based device.

    I’m thinking something that generates randomly shifting (frequency,amplitude, and angle of emission) microwaves in the 10cm range might work. Either inside or outside the building you are trying to screen.

    Trying to generate a counter-signal to cause destructive interference with their source (or its return) is beyond my current capabilities.

  13. or just turn on a microwave 😛

  14. or just turn on a microwave 😛

  15. Bobo The Monkey | Oct 19, 2011 at 8:55 pm |

    Word to the wise… Tin foil hats and body gloves are back in style!

  16. Bobo The Monkey | Oct 19, 2011 at 4:55 pm |

    Word to the wise… Tin foil hats and body gloves are back in style!

  17. Somebody should Occupy MIT
    right after the Bankster mess is settled.

  18. BuzzCoastin | Oct 19, 2011 at 9:10 pm |

    Somebody should Occupy MIT
    right after the Bankster mess is settled.

  19. Happypedro | Oct 20, 2011 at 5:21 am |

    All that brain power and effort to “aid the urban war fighter” while the world is full of vastly more important problems to be solved — ecological devastation, poverty, etc. Harvard helped work on napalm and this is supposed to be a good use of energies and intellect? Now these bright guys at MIT are working hard to help aid urban warfare, and this is supposed to be a good thing? I’m not impressed in the least.

  20. Happypedro | Oct 20, 2011 at 1:21 am |

    All that brain power and effort to “aid the urban war fighter” while the world is full of vastly more important problems to be solved — ecological devastation, poverty, etc. Harvard helped work on napalm and this is supposed to be a good use of energies and intellect? Now these bright guys at MIT are working hard to help aid urban warfare, and this is supposed to be a good thing? I’m not impressed in the least.

    • This is what happens when science is funded by the DOD. 

      Scientists don’t merely explore what they are curious about anymore, and as such innovation itself has suffered. Science is expensive now, and as such it means money men and other such parasitic flotsam drive it, and “determine” that which scientists are made to focus on.

      The day of the kind of independent inventory who comes up with crazy stuff that literally NO ONE expected has been obliterated by commodification — just like everything else of fluffy goodness that might actually HELP REGULAR PEOPLE.

      Money sucketh much ass.

  21. This is what happens when science is funded by the DOD. 

    Scientists don’t merely explore what they are curious about anymore, and as such innovation itself has suffered. Science is expensive now, and as such it means money men and other such parasitic flotsam drive it, and “determine” that which scientists are made to focus on.

    The day of the kind of independent inventory who comes up with crazy stuff that literally NO ONE expected has been obliterated by commodification — just like everything else of fluffy goodness that might actually HELP REGULAR PEOPLE.

    Money sucketh much ass.

  22. Mark Barnes | Oct 20, 2011 at 12:23 pm |

    THIS IS AWESOME MIT! It would ensure our troops are absolutely DEVASTATING in the urban war scene! Thanks for thinking of our troops!

  23. Happypedro | Oct 20, 2011 at 4:00 pm |

    Exactly!

  24. Happypedro | Oct 20, 2011 at 4:00 pm |

    Exactly!

  25. Happypedro | Oct 20, 2011 at 4:00 pm |

    Exactly!

  26. Happypedro | Oct 20, 2011 at 4:00 pm |

    Exactly!

  27. Hadrian999 | Oct 21, 2011 at 12:13 am |

    totally rockin set of chops

  28. Hadrian999 | Oct 20, 2011 at 8:13 pm |

    totally rockin set of chops

  29. Anti-Citizen1 | Oct 22, 2011 at 12:20 am |

    I’ve worn better.

  30. Anti-Citizen1 | Oct 22, 2011 at 12:23 am |

    And when they come looking for you? Or people that you sympathize with? What’re your troops doing by the way? Oh that’s right, aiding rampant imperialism.

  31. Anti-Citizen1 | Oct 22, 2011 at 12:24 am |

    I imagine a well placed rifle bullet would probably do it.

  32. Anti-Citizen1 | Oct 22, 2011 at 12:25 am |

    Science and technology are not neutral. And they never will be again, if they ever were.

Comments are closed.