NASA, DHS Partner on Technology to Locate Disaster Victims

The FINDER technology is a portable radar device to detect the heartbeats and breathing patterns of people trapped in rubble.

NASA announced that its Jet Propulsion Laboratory is collaborating with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate on a first-of-its-kind portable radar device named FINDER that will be able to detect the heartbeats and breathing patterns of victims who are trapped in rubble after a disaster. The prototype Finding Individuals for Disaster and Emergency Response technology can locate people buried as deep as 30 feet in crushed materials, hidden behind 20 feet of solid concrete, and from a distance of 100 feet in open spaces, according to the agency’s announcement.

"FINDER is bringing NASA technology that explores other planets to the effort to save lives on ours. This is a prime example of intergovernmental collaboration and expertise that has a direct benefit to the American taxpayer," said Mason Peck, chief technologist for NASA and principal advisor on technology policy and programs, referring to the fact that FINDER is based on remote-sensing radar technology developed by JPL to monitor the location of spacecraft.

Officials demonstrated it Sept. 25 at DHS's Virginia Task Force 1 Training Facility in Lorton, Va., and the announcement said FEMA will test it this year and in 2014. "The ultimate goal of FINDER is to help emergency responders efficiently rescue victims of disasters," said John Price, program manager for the First Responders Group in the Science and Technology Directorate. "The technology has the potential to quickly identify the presence of living victims, allowing rescue workers to more precisely deploy their limited resources."

FINDER uses advanced algorithms to isolate the tiny signals from a person's moving chest by filtering out other signals, according to NASA, which reported similar technology could be used in future human missions to space habitats, with astronauts' vital signs monitored wirelessly.

Product Showcase

  • HAZ LO HEADLAMPS

    With alkaline or rechargeable options, these safety rated, Class 1, Div. 1 Headlamps provide long runtime with both spot and flood options in the same light. Work safely and avoid trip hazards with flexible hands-free lighting from Streamlight. Read More

  • SECUPRO MARTEGO

    FOR HIGHEST DEMANDS. A cutting tool in which function and design go hand in hand. Meet the SECUPRO MARTEGO, our prize-winning squeeze-grip safety knife with fully automatic retractable blade for safety. • Ergonomically friendly trigger mechanism to engage the blade • Durable body made of aluminum • Safer alternative to fixed blade utility knives for general cutting tasks • 9 mm Cutting depth • Easy, tool free blade change Dimensions: L 6.10" L x 0.71" W x 1.91" H Weight: 3.70 oz Cutting Depth: 9 mm Read More

  • The MGC Simple Plus

    The MGC Simple Plus is a simple-to-use, portable multi gas detector that runs continuously for three years without being recharged or routinely calibrated after its initial charge and calibration during manufacturing. The detector reliably tests a worksite’s atmosphere for hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide, oxygen and combustible gases (LEL). Its durability enables the detector to withstand the harshest treatment and environments, hence earning it an IP 68 rating. The MGC Simple Plus is also compatible with a variety of accessories, such as the GCT External Pump. Visit gascliptech.com for more information. Read More

Featured

Webinars