As if aerial robots and bionic limbs didn’t make the Army seem futuristic enough, it looks like another hallmark of sci-fi, X-ray vision, will ship off to Afghanistan later this year. The device in question is the TiaLinx Eagle Scanner, which uses radio waves to see through the ground, walls, and other kinds of cover.
Like the earlier discovery that Wi-Fi signals provide X-ray vision, the Eagle Scanners measure how radio waves bounce around, and move through, different objects. By measuring the various densities of the materials its radio waves pass through, these hand-held scanners can look through concrete as if it were glass.
The models deploying with the troops to Afghanistan can see up to 20 feet behind an eight-inch-thick concrete wall, and identify whether or not there are any people on the other side. The sensor can also detect whether a seemingly uniform wall or road contains any hidden compartments. Plus, the device can communicate wireless, and send images back to HQ immediately.
For the soldiers lucky enough to snag one of these sensors, the two most obvious uses are searching for IEDs and monitoring houses during raids. Plus, with the disaster in Haiti fresh in everyone’s mind, there’s no doubt these sensors will one day find their way to rescue personnel combing through rubble in search of survivors.