Doppler radar detects speeding hearts

Army wants Doppler radar technology to monitor hearts, detect intruders.

The Army has turned to a Honolulu company for Doppler radar and advanced algorithm technology to be able to detect and monitor multiple subjects based on their heart rate, even through walls.

Kai Sensors

This means that soldiers will be able to detect someone hiding in a room before the door is kicked in, the company claims, and medics will be able to remotely perform triage and diagnoses or monitor casualties right through their flack jackets. It may also have homeland security and interrogation applications by allowing personnel to screen and identify individuals who may merit the third degree based on a guilty heart rate.

Kai Sensors' proprietary radar technology called LifeReader accurately detects and monitors heart and respiration activity wirelessly, remotely and with no contact with the subjects by using microwave, Doppler radar and digital signal processing, according to the company. LifeReader is the product of four years of research at the University of Hawaii's electrical engineering department.

The Defense Department has been experimenting with variations of this concept for years. For example, the U.S. Army Institute for Surgical Research has tested a "scancorder" that incorporated a micro-impulse radar developed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in New Mexico that would allow medics to detect a victim's heart and lung movement through up to 20 feet of rubble.

At some point this technology could be incorporated into cars as a sophisticated baby monitor, which would mean no more excuses for leaving your kid in the car.

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    The military establishment's ever increasing reliance on technology and whiz-bang gadgetry impacts us as consumers, investors, taxpayers and ultimately as the defended. Our mission here is to bring some of these products and concepts to your attention based on carefully selected criteria such as importance to national security, originality, collateral damage to the treasury and adaptability to yard maintenance-but not necessarily in that order. E-mail him at Disclosure.


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