Bat Inspires Space Tech

Photo: A bat

An Irish company has now come up with a new security imaging system that can ‘see’ all objects, not just metallic items, by the use of only safe natural energy. Named Tadar, after the Brazilian Tadarida bat, it uses millimetre-waves to detect and identify suspicious objects hidden under clothing or to see through cloud and fog, in the same way that the bat uses high-frequency signals to navigate and locate insect prey in the dark.

"This new system is based on advanced microwave technology that was developed for space systems,” explains Tony McEnroe, Managing Director of Farran Technology. "We developed the knowledge and skills while designing and packaging millimetre-wave devices for ESA projects. By integrating a novel scanning technology we have achieved a unique system for detecting and imaging items for security applications."

Tadar’s sensors detect energy naturally emitted or reflected from objects, by using approximately 3-mm wavelengths that are completely harmless to people. At this wavelength clothes become transparent but dense objects such as explosives and weapons hidden under clothing block the body’s natural radiation and reflect a clear profile of the blocked energy field.

Door keys, money, pocket knives and other objects that we normally carry in our pockets will stand out clearly. Even weapons produced in non-metallic materials and plastic explosives which conventional metal detectors cannot ‘see’, will clearly be identified, as well as liquid substances. Each type of material has its own frequency response and will produce its own representative ‘colour’ image, almost like a fingerprint.

COMPAMED.de; Source: European Space Agency