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New Radar Technology That Can See Through Walls Utilizing Xilinx Spartan-6 FPGA

Posted by Danielle Leger

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Aug 28, 2015 1:31:25 PM

Researchers at the University College London have discovered a method of detecting the Doppler shifts of Wi-Fi and cell phone signals to see people through obstacles. The radar device can't produce a detailed picture but shows a scatter plot with a splash of color that indicates where the target is.

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Smart phones that are connected to the Internet can pinpoint anyone's GPS coordinates. But the radio glow emitted by wireless routers and mobile devices can now reveal their actual movement. This new radar technology works by reading Doppler shifts in Wi-Fi and mobile communications. 

It works by comparing the signal from a reference channel which receives the signal from the Wi-Fi access point, and a surveillance channel which detects the Doppler-shifted waves reflecting from the movement of the person. This new radar technology can even see movement through a concrete wall. 

Through-wall radar has already been constructed by MIT researchers. However these transmit and receive signals whereas the University College London's technique only uses passive radiation from Wi-Fi routers and LTE mobile signals. The University College London's “high Doppler resolution passive Wi-Fi radar” device is constructed on multi-frequency, software-defined FPGA-based transceivers. 

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Thanks to FPGA technology, this could be extremely helpful during hostage rescue situations and traffic control as well. Using FPGA is the best choice due to their performance, reliability, and system-cost advantages. 

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