Researchers at the Naval Postgraduate School and the University of California, Santa Cruz may have found a new use for most drivers' worst nightmare. William Fox and John Vesecky have discovered that with a little tweaking, a run-of-the-mill radar gun
can become an instrument for detecting suicide bombers. The duo found that at a specific frequency, the gun can pick up on patterns of looped wire typically used in bomber suicide vests
. Testing is in the beginning stages right now, but thus far, the gun has been able to accurately pick out volunteers dressed in replica suicide vests 85 percent of the time at a distance of around 33 feet.
There are some hang-ups, though. Most noticeably, the gun yields a high rate of false alarms, with things like underwire bras and jewelry yielding the similar radar cross sections as a suicide vest. Both Fox and Vesecky are hoping that the U.S. Military will invest in their research, allowing them to fine-tune the device moving forward.
[Source: New Scientist
| Image: Matt Carty/Getty]