Researchers at the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have identified a method for using radio signals to detect and image hidden and moving objects.
According to an article published on the NIST website in late June, the NIST method is a variation on radar technologies, in which a transmitter sends an electromagnetic pulse and then uses reflections received to estimate the distance to the reflecting object. However, unlike conventional multisite radar setups which use one transmitter and several receivers to triangulate the location of an object, the NIST method uses multiple transmitters operating at frequencies from 200 megahertz to 10 gigahertz but only one receiver.
NIST researchers believe that their discovery could lead to technologies that could be used to help firefighters and other first responders locate victims inside of burning buildings and identify potential escape routes. The technology could also be used to track missiles, space debris, and other objects moving at hypersonic speed.