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Development of Inexpensive RADAR Flashlight for Law Enforcement and Corrections Applications

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2000
12 pages
This report discusses the summary findings of both the laboratory and field test models of the RADAR Flashlight, which can detect the respiration signature of a motionless individual standing behind various types of solid walls.
The early laboratory prototype RADAR Flashlight was first developed by the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) to prove the concept of respiration detection by using a man portable system. This report describes the specifications of this prototype and presents antenna beam measurements. A final test prototype system design was developed, and a breadboard version of the final system was built and tested. All subsystems were verified to be operational after several problems were located and corrected in the design. For field testing, the RADAR Flashlight was introduced to the Smyrna Police Department (Georgia) during 1998. A marketing survey was conducted by using selected Smyrna police sworn officers as potential candidate users of the system. A survey provided feedback from the officers. They commented on potential operational features, performance requirements, and other applications that might be incorporated into the system. Comments included the following: the configuration is acceptable and easy to use; ease of operation is good; very little training is required; only moderate movement is required to detect presence; stability of the Flashlight is a problem; any discernible motion gives a false reading; the locking system for the wall offset is noisy and gives away the officer's position; depth of penetration appears to be as far as 20 feet in light material type walls (wallboard) and 10-12 feet in heavy materials (brick and mortar). The item was not tested in inclement weather, on wet materials, or in extreme cold. Pricing is discussed, and comments are offered by GTRI regarding police testing. 8 figures and 1 references

Date Published: April 1, 2000