NASA tests electromagnetic backpack for orientation in confined spaces

POINTER is a device designed for firefighters, rescuers, search robots and all those who are forced to delve into a closed space with an unknown and variable topology. For example, a burning building with collapsing ceilings or an intricate network of pipelines, some of which are broken. Where vision, hearing, radio and GPS signals are useless.

The POINTER principle of operation is based on the processing of quasi-static electromagnetic fields, which are full of disadvantages, as a communication tool. But in contrast to radio waves, they are not shielded by the walls of buildings, do not lose power when passing through various materials, and have a short range. That is, if a person with a POINTER set on their back enters a bunker or skyscraper, the operator will face a minimum of interference, tracking his movement.

The merit of Dr. Darmindra Arumugam's group lies not in the idea of ​​curbing quasi-static electromagnetic fields, but in the development of mathematical algorithms to analyze their behavior. This is the most complex layer of new technologies with tempting potential. For example, the low rate of change of the signal, in comparison with GPS, allows fixing not only the location of the object, but also the process of changing its orientation in space.

As a result, on the screen of the group commander, there is not a dot, but a complex image from which one can understand whether a person is standing, sitting or lying. And if he lay down, then he crawls or remains in place. And make an indirect conclusion about his health in order to make the right decision. This technology will be useful for the military, and doctors, and builders, and developers of space robots. And if NASA achieves the desired miniaturization and cost reduction of the device, then we will get a whole new class of sensors for widespread use.