The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) had developed a new handheld device which can detect movements as subtle as breathing through concrete walls up to twelve inches thick. The rugged, waterproof device is called a “Radar Scope,” and it will give soldiers the ability to tell within seconds if someone is on the other side of almost any wall. It weighs just half a pound, costs only $1000, and runs on standard AA batteries.

From the DefenseLINK article:

The Radar Scope, developed by DARPA, is expected to be fielded to troops in Iraq as soon as this spring, Baranoski said. The device is likely to be fielded to the squad level, for use by troops going door to door in search of terrorists.

The Radar Scope will give warfighters the capability to sense through a foot of concrete and 50 feet beyond that into a room, Baranoski explained.

It will bring to the fight what larger, commercially available motion detectors couldn’t, he said. Weighing just a pound and a half, the Radar Scope will be about the size of a telephone handset and cost just about $1,000, making it light enough for a soldier to carry and inexpensive enough to be fielded widely.

The technology is laying the groundwork for a more ambitious “Visi Building” technology which can penetrate entire buildings to show floor plans, locations of occupants, and any other items of importance. It will offer an incredible tactical advantage to soldiers, but let’s hope Visi Building technology won’t be employed against U.S. citizens without a warrant.

Further reading:
DefenseLINK article
DARPA Homepage