Skip to Content
Uncategorized

Detecting Suicide Bombers

March 1, 2007

Screening people for bombs doesn’t do much good if a suicide bomber simply pulls the trigger at the checkpoint. A new technology could detect bombs by directing a low-power radar beam at people from a safe distance–as far as 100 meters away. Signal­-­processing software reveals concealed objects without producing an under-the-clothes image that could violate privacy. The technology, developed by SET of Arlington, VA, is assisted by video analysis software designed by Rama Chellappa, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Maryland. Chellappa’s software tracks the movements of the person being screened, which helps keep the radar on target. The software could one day augment the technology even further by discerning subtle differences in the way people walk when they’re concealing heavy objects. Thomas Burns, CEO of SET, says the device, dubbed ­CounterBomber, could be ready for sale by this fall.

Analysis of video and radar data from this device reveals bombs under clothing.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

Here’s how a Twitter engineer says it will break in the coming weeks

One insider says the company’s current staffing isn’t able to sustain the platform.

Technology that lets us “speak” to our dead relatives has arrived. Are we ready?

Digital clones of the people we love could forever change how we grieve.

How to befriend a crow

I watched a bunch of crows on TikTok and now I'm trying to connect with some local birds.

Starlink signals can be reverse-engineered to work like GPS—whether SpaceX likes it or not

Elon said no thanks to using his mega-constellation for navigation. Researchers went ahead anyway.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.