DefenseReview (DR) recently received a press release on a light-based see-through-wall/see-around-corners x-ray-vision-type technology being developed researchers at the SMU Lyle School of Engineering with funding help from DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), and it’s a really fascinating read. SMU calls the project “OMNISCIENT” (Obtaining Multipath & Non-line-of-sight Information by Sensing Coherence & Intensity with Emerging Novel Techniques–a real mouthful). DARPA just calls it “REVEAL“.
Being light-based, the OMNISCIENT/REVEAL tech is completely different from earlier millimeter-wave radar-based see-through-wall imaging technologies like Eureka Aerospace’s Impulse Synthetic Aperture Radar (ImpSAR) and Time Domain’s RV2000 SoldierVision ultra-wideband “PuleOn” radar tech, both of which DR’s covered.
The OMNISCIENT/REVEAL tech utilizes a computer algorithm to “unscramble the light that bounces off irregular surfaces to create a holographic image of hidden objects”, according to the press release. “This will allow us to build a 3-D representation – a hologram – of something that is out of view,” said Marc Christensen, dean of the Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering at SMU and “principal investigator for the project”. The following quotes from Christensen are the most interesting portions of the press release:
“Light bounces off the smooth surface of a mirror at the same angle at which it hits the mirror, which is what allows the human eye to ‘see’ a recognizable image of the event – a reflection.”