India’s premier government R&D body DRDO has developed a radar that enables vision through a wall.
The Through Barrier Imaging Radar, named ‘Divyachakshu’ (divine eye), has been developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation’s (DRDO) Electronics & Radar Development Establishment (LRDE) based in Bangalore and is going through development trials now.
It can look though walls of 20-30 cm thickness made of any material, by using thermal imaging.
“The radar can produce images from the other side of the barrier up to a distance of 20 metres. It catches the thermal signatures and movements in a room can be clearly seen,” said a scientist working on the project.
The radar tracks heat on the other side of the wall and gives real time thermal image, which can show the movement, number of people and other important information about the situation across the barrier.
“In a hostage situation, the radar can help give an idea about the number of people inside the room and their movement,” said the scientists.
According to experts, the nature of movements can help in locating the terrorists and differentiating them from the hostage.
The development of the radar was triggered by the Mumbai terror attack of November 2008, where terrorists took hostages at several locations, including hotel Taj Mahal, Oberoi Trident and Nariman House.
The device will also prove useful in situations such as the recent attacks in Gurdaspur, Punjab, where terrorists entered the Dina Nagar police station, or the Pathankot airbase and two of the terrorists went on to hide in a building.
The project was started in 2010 and the development trials are expected to conclude by the year end.
“We are looking at the Army, the BSF and paramilitary forces as the buyers,” the scientist said.
Still the Indian Army does not have such an equipment.
Apart from the distinction of being indigenously developed, the equipment cost is low. The scientist said the device costs around Rs. 35 Lakh, while similar devices in the international market cost around Rs. 2 crore.
Efforts are also on to bring down the weight of the device from present 6-7 kg.