Technology has once again come to the rescue of mankind. The recent earthquakes in Nepal have left everyone shocked and sad with despair. The earthquakes have caused major harm to life and property in the neighboring estate. With new earthquakes and aftershocks still marring the country, the rescue operations are becoming all the more difficult.
The most important thing in such times of disaster is to save as many lives as possible. And, FINDER (Finding Individuals for Disaster and Emergency Response), a device developed by NASA primarily for use in outer space, is helping in doing just that. This heartbeat detecting wonder device has already helped in saving four lives in Nepal trapped under 10 feet earthquakes caused rubble. FINDER detects heartbeats by making use of a microwave-radar technology.
Two FINDER devices were used for the rescue operations in Nepal after the disastrous 25th April Earthquake. The four men saved had been trapped for days at Chautara in Sindhupalchok district.
NASA technology plays many roles: driving exploration, protecting the lives of our astronauts and improving — even saving — the lives of people on Earth,” said David Miller, chief technologist at NASA headquarters in Washington in a statement to IANS.
The search and rescue device makes use of a technology that was originally developed to detect life on other planets.
According to Miller, “FINDER exemplifies how technology designed for space exploration has profound impacts to life on Earth.”
According to a statement released by DHS, the device has capabilities of detecting people buried under up to 30 feet of rubble, hidden behind 20 feet of solid concrete and from a distance of 100 feet in open spaces. FINDER has been developed by Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in partnership with DHS.
In order to make the device better, a new feature called “locator” has been added to it. With this new feature, FINDER will not only be able to detect the heartbeats of the trapped people but also provide the exact location of the person within about five feet, depending on the type of rubble he/she is trapped in.
“The true test of any technology is how well it works in a real-life operational setting,” said Reginald Brothers, DHS undersecretary for science and technology in the statement.
He further added, “Of course, no one wants disasters to occur, but tools like this are designed to help when our worst nightmares do happen. I am proud that we were able to provide the tools to help rescue these four men.”