Written byDan Verton
The Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate, working with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, is planning to make key upgrades to a new mobile system for locating living victims in large disaster areas.
The suitcase-sized system, called FINDER, contains three low-power microwave radars that blanket a disaster area and pick out those minute changes in frequency that would indicate a person’s heartbeat or their breathing. FINDER can distinguish between multiple victims, a human heart and an animal heart, like a rat, as well as between a human heart and something mechanical, like the arm of a grandfather clock still swinging back and forth.
The key thing about FINDER is its ability to locate victims quickly. First responders refer to the first hour after a disaster as “the Golden Hour” — it’s the best chance of survival. With FINDER, vitals about survivors show up on a ruggedized computer or tablet within a minute, allowing search and rescue workers to focus their attention on locations where they know there are living victims.
But now, in this exclusive video interview with FedScoop’s cyber and national security reporter Dan Verton, John Price, the FINDER program manager at DHS S&T, offers a look at some important upgrades the department has planned for the next version of the system that will help search and rescue personnel locate victims that might be trapped in large disaster areas even faster.
Get a look up-close at the FINDER (Video)