Monday, July 1, 2013

Wireless Signal Used For Radar?

You are well aware that your wireless router is used to help you broadcast your internet connection throughout your home or place of business.  But, did you also know that the same wireless router can be used much like sonar to detect whereabouts of persons within your home or place of business?  Neither did we!

British engineers from University College London have recently devised a way to use wireless signals from wireless routers as a passive radar system.  The system simply requires a computer about the size of a suitcase with two antennae and a wireless router that is broadcasting the wireless signal.

1. Suspect, 2. Wireless Router, 3. Antennae, 4. Antennae, 5. Signal processing unit

The radio waves emitted by the wireless router are altered when they come into contact with a moving object.  Therefore, this passive radar is able to detect a person's location, speed and moving direction through a brick wall up to a foot thick.  Unfortunately, one can easily thwart this passive radar system by simply being still.  Without movement, the radio waves are not altered and will not alert anyone of your location.

Karl Woodbridge and Kevin Chetty, the creators of this new technology, are hoping that they will be able to fine tune this technology to the point that it will be able to recognize the movement of your rib cage that occurs naturally as you breathe in and out.

Although there are some possible commercial grade aspects to this technology, such as a whole home radar to be aware of what young children are doing when you leave the room, the majority of applications for this technology are focused around military and law enforcement applications.

To learn more about this developing technology, check out the following video:

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