By Stephen Markley on March 24, 2010
This is something they will love over at “24” and its fictitious and nearly omnipotent Counter Terrorist Unit. The Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is developing a radar system that can track suspects or vehicles around corners and “down into urban canyons”— essentially anywhere in a city.
Using a few unmanned air drones, DARPA will use the new Multipath Exploitation Radar to create 3-D urban maps and something called a Ku-band radar, which will run at high enough frequencies to get detailed images of vehicles. The drones bounce radars off the ground and buildings and match the patterns to 3-D maps, creating a full, vivid picture of a city in motion.
DARPA will first try to create the ability to track a single vehicle before expanding the system to follow multiple targets.
This makes Jack Bauer’s job easier, the “24” writers’ harder and privacy advocates more perplexing and complicated than ever.