Suitcase-sized, 20 pound FINDER device locates human heartbeats in rubble
Current rescue teams are dependent on trained sniffer dogs and a host of other devices that detect body heat and breathing to rescue people trapped in rubble following a building collapse. Now, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Labs has developed a 20 pound, suitcase-sized FINDER device that can detect human heartbeats under 30 feet of wreckage. Designed to help search and rescue teams find surviving people trapped in wreckage by detecting heartbeats, the device and even help when survivors are unconscious and cannot call for help.
The FINDER device is basically a radar, which works by beaming microwaves on the pile of rubble. The microwaves bounce back from the debris, reflect even the tiniest movement of 1milimete that close to shift of body caused by pulse. Thus, in comparison with currently used devices that detect body movements from breathing, the new heartbeat sensing device is more sensitive and can detect activity deeper in rubble. A prototype heartbeat detecting device which has 14-hour battery long life is being tested by firefighters in Virginia Task Force 1 in Lorton, Va.