The Register (UK): Looking through walls, now easier than ever

The Register (UK): Looking through walls, now easier than ever by Thomas Claburn:

Boffins working to put everyone in glass houses [Kyllo redux, with better technology]

Seeing through walls, a capability available to law enforcement and military authorities for several years, could become a bit more predictable in the future thanks to a technique developed by researchers at Duke University.

In a paper published on Thursday in the journal Optica, Duke professors Daniel Marks and David R. Smith, and postdoctoral researcher Okan Yurduseven describe a method for through-wall imaging (TWI) that compensates for the varied distortion produced by different wall materials, to allow details to be captured more accurately.

“[I]n many practical situations, both the object to be imaged and the structure of the intervening medium are unknown,” the paper explains. “Unfortunately, the medium then adds confounding variables so that the scattered field sampled by the sensor may no longer be sufficient to determine both the medium and object structures.”

The paper describes a variety of ways to capture images through walls using microwave radiation. These techniques have already made their way into commercial products like L-3 CyTerra’s RANGE-R and Camero-Tech’s XAVER line of handheld through-wall radar units. The devices start at about $6,000.

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