Inspired by the way dolphins hunt using bubble nets, scientists at the
The twin inverted pulse radar (TWIPR) is able to distinguish true 'targets', such as certain types of electronic circuits that may be used in explosive or espionage devices, from 'clutter' (other metallic items like pipes, drinks cans, nails for example) that may be mistaken for a genuine target by traditional radar and metal detectors.
The new system has been developed by a team led by Professor
The technique uses a signal consisting of two pulses in quick succession, one identical to the other, but phase inverted. Professor Leighton, along with Professor
Professor Leighton's team proposed that the TWIPS method could be applied to electromagnetic waves and that the same technique would work with radar. They teamed up with Professor
The study, 'Radar clutter suppression and target discrimination using twin inverted pulses' is published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society A.
Professor Leighton says: "As with TWIPS, the TWIPR method distinguishes linear scatterers from nonlinear ones. However, in scenarios for which TWIPS was designed, the clutter scatters nonlinearly and the target linearly - while in situations using TWIPR, these properties are reversed.
"For instance, certain electronic components can scatter radar signals nonlinearly if driven by a sufficiently strong radar signal, in contrast to naturally occurring objects which tend to scatter linearly."
Given that the diode target measured 6 cm in length, weighed 2.8 g, costs less than
Buried catastrophe victims not carrying such tags might still be located by TWIPR, as it can carry the bandwidth to search for mobile phone resonances, offering the possibility of locating victims from their mobile phones, even when the phones are turned off or the batteries have no charge remaining.
Professor Leighton adds: "In addition to the applications discussed above, such technology could be extended to other radiations, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and light detection and ranging (LIDAR), which, for example, scatters nonlinearly from combustion products, offering the possibility of early fire detection systems."
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