The device was used to detect the heartbeats of the four people who were trapped under the rubble.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and The Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate developed the device, which is called Finding Individuals for Disaster and Emergency Response, or FINDER.
FINDER can detect a human heartbeat while;
- Buried under 30 feet (9 meters) of crushed material
- Hidden behind 20 feet (6 Meters) of solid concrete
- Or from a distance of 100 feet (30 meters) in open space
NASA FINDER technology helps in Nepal:
FINDER is based on remote-sensing radar technology developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., to monitor the location of spacecraft JPL manages for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington, wrote Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
“FINDER is bringing NASA technology that explores other planets to the effort to save lives on ours,” said Mason Peck, chief technologist for NASA and principal advisor on technology policy and programs. “This is a prime example of intergovernmental collaboration and expertise that has a direct benefit to the American taxpayer.”
It works by sending microwave radar signals into the rubble and then it analyzers the patterns of signals that bounce back.
NASA device detects heartbeats of trapped Nepal quake survivors:
“The ultimate goal of FINDER is to help emergency responders efficiently rescue victims of disasters,” said John Price, program manager for the First Responders Group in Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate in Washington.
“The technology has the potential to quickly identify the presence of living victims, allowing rescue workers to more precisely deploy their limited resources.”
JPL uses advanced data processing systems to pick out faint signals. The microwave radar technology is sensitive enough to distinguish the unique signature of a human’s breathing pattern and heartbeat from that of other living creatures, such as rats.
The advantage of this technology is to allow first responders to quickly ascertain if a living human is present in the debris. The technology is sensitive enough that victims, whether conscious or not, can easily be detected, which helps responders decide the most efficient course of action, NASA wrote on its website.
Let’s hope this is something that they will share with other countries. It is also good to see tax payers money going to good use.
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