Dolphins inspire rescue radar system

An article I wrote for Electronic Products.

A new radar system sends out two radio pulses instead of one to rescue trapped survivors

British engineers have taken inspiration from one of the world’s smartest mammals, the dolphin, to create a new type of radar device that could easily track miners trapped underground or skiers buried in an avalanche.

Similar to a dolphin’s use of echolocation, the radar device sends out two pulses in quick succession to allow for a targeted search for semiconductor devices while canceling any background noise. According to Timothy Leighton of the University of Southampton’s engineering faculty, since the device has more accuracy and speed than conventional radar, it’s been able to detect roadside bombs, bugging devices and mobile phones, even in areas with lots of metal clutter.

Dolphin Echolocation

Dolphins use echolocation to locate fish, which inspired British engineers to create a new rescue radar device. Image via2hawaii.edu.

Leighton told¬†Discovery¬†that the research was triggered by the curiosity of how dolphins can “see” beyond the clouds of bubbles they blow to herd their prey into smaller groups for feeding. Read More