Technology

NASA’s FINDER Radar Saves Lives In Nepal By Detecting Heartbeats Through Piles Of Debris

Jim Lux, JPL Task Manager for FINDER, discusses the prototype technology called Finding Individuals for Disaster and Emergency Response (FINDER) during a demonstration of the device at the Virginia Task Force 1 Training Facility, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013 in Lorton, Va. (Bill Ingalls/NASA)
Jim Lux, JPL Task Manager for FINDER, discusses the prototype technology called Finding Individuals for Disaster and Emergency Response (FINDER) during a demonstration of the device at the Virginia Task Force 1 Training Facility, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013 in Lorton, Va. (Bill Ingalls/NASA)

 

(Tech Times) – There were four hearts still beating beneath the rubble, as much as ten feet, but NASA’s Finder Radar was still able to mark the location of the trapped earthquake survivors when the hardware was deployed in Nepal to aid in the search and rescue effort.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) deployed two prototypes of its FINDER (Finding Individuals for Disaster and Emergency Response) devices in Nepal, following the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that has claimed the lives of around 7,000 people in central Nepal. The JPL and the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate collaborated on the development of FINDER.

FINDER uses microwave-radar to pinpoint heartbeats and is still a work in progress. The prototypes have been proven to be capable of locating people buried under up to 30 feet of rubble, 20 feet of solid concrete and from a distance of up to 100 feet away in open spaces. It can pin an individual’s location down to a radius of about five feet.

NASA and Homeland were encouraged by FINDER’s effectiveness after having to put the device in the field under the unfortunate circumstances, according to Reginald Brothers, DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology.

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