Magazine article National Defense

A Flash of Force for Cops

Magazine article National Defense

A Flash of Force for Cops

Article excerpt

Police officers could soon have a new way to protect themselves and find the "bad guy" when they have to serve a warrant or search for a suspect hiding inside a building.

A prototype device called the Radar Flashlight, developed at the Atlanta-based Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), can detect a human's presence through doors and walls up to 8 inches thick. The device uses a narrow 16-degree radar beam and specialized signal processor to discern breathing or movement up to three meters behind a wall. The device can penetrate even heavy clothing to detect movements of even a few millimeters.

The Radar Flashlight is undergoing further modification and testing for the next six months, GTRI officials said. The Georgia Institute of Technology has filed a provisional patent for the device, which could become commercially available to law-enforcement officials within a couple of years if the university licenses the technology to a manufacturer.

"We will be modifying the Radar Flashlight based on what lawenforcement officials told us from the tests," Greneker said. "For one thing, they said it makes too much noise when it locks onto a wall [to scan]. …

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