back to article DARPA wants 'clandestine' 3D building-interior mapping kit

Pentagon bizarro-tech chiefs have issued a requirement for mysterious sensor systems which would be able to peer through concrete walls to produce a complete internal picture of a building. US Forces would use such kit for "overseas urban building interior awareness". The new plans are known as "Comprehensive Interior …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Gordon Ross Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    How unfair

    "our adversaries have adopted asymmetric strategies such as hiding"

    Get away ! It's just *so* unfair when the baddies hide from the American good guys.

    ROFL !

    Paris - 'cause she never hides anything.

  2. Peter Thompson

    It's been done.

    I'm fairly sure Robocop had one.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @Peter Thompson

    [nerd]Nope, Robocop had a thermal imaging mode that let him see through walls that he was next to. It let him save the mayor from the previous mayor who was enraged that the SWAT team captain offered him a blaupunkt in his 6000SUX. [/nerd]

    Which wouldn't work anyway, I mean it's a wall. Heat doesnt' get passed through it quick enough to produce an accurate image of where people are. So they need something that'll pass through walls and be absorbed by them, just not a lot.

    Plus it wouldn't be accepted as he had to be IN the building before he could use it, rather than outside a 20M perimeter.

    These warboffinry types are really setting the bar surprisingly high with this request.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    3 days??

    Hey bad guys, would you mind holding on for 3 days so that we can map out the building you are hiding in? Thanks.

  5. goggyturk

    @ AC, Peter

    As I remember, it was an extremely thin plasterboard wall. Or at least it seemed that way when Robo busted his way through it to grab the perp.

    Maybe more heat got through because of that, but I've often thought that was a little unrealistic, at least in comparison with the rest of the film. <tries hard to keep face straight>

    Mines the one with the ED-209 deactivate codes in the pocket...

  6. MJF

    Staring at goats?

    So have they given up using psychics for remote viewing?

  7. Luis Ogando
    Paris Hilton

    Robocop? Pah!

    Come on, guys! Robocop is SO off the mark.

    I remember, in the often overlooked and under-appreciated film, Sneakers, River Phoenix's character managed to get the complete blueprints of Ben Kingsley's character's head office for just 50 bucks from the local County Records Office (he took the 50 bucks from Dan Ackroyd's character's wallet!).

    All the US military has to do is send some geeky teenager to the local County Records Office of the building they need the info on and hand over 50 dollars. By my reckoning they can get the full flippin' blueprints of hundreds of buildings for the development costs alone.

    Paris, 'cos she's got blue prints, too!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I want it! now!

    'Infrastructure includes, but is not limited to, the structural, electrical, plumbing, and ventilation systems.'

    That is what I need ! I have bought recently an old house and have no clue where are the structural, electrical, plumbing, and ventilation systems hidden in the walls.

    When Can I get it here in Europe? Should be possible since it is 'oversea' from the US.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    sound off

    What no 3D imagery based on sound & echos? Aren't we clever enough to use the bounce back from two lasers in order to detect sound from spatially distinct locations on a building and reconstruct a 3D image from them? Wow, what a waste of super-compute power.

  10. Osiris

    Only for use overseas

    I guess that includes the UK then.

    I'm sure wacky would love to get her hands (/claws/talons/hooves) on this....

  11. Toastan Buttar
    Thumb Up

    Batman's SONAR cellphone The Dark Knight.

  12. D@v3

    Cross colaboration

    What clearly needs to happen here is for the DARPA boys to get in touch with that other well known crazy weapons tech lab over at Wayne Industries R&D and get the designs for the 'BatSonar'

  13. Charles

    @Luis Ogando

    Knowing the adversary, they may have done some constructive (or perhaps destructive) remodeling in the time they've occupied the building. You know, knock down some walls, board up some doors, dig that escape tunnel... Plus the community in which the device is to be used may not HAVE the blueprints. Perhaps even the building was built ad-hoc, without blueprints at all. In any of these scenarios, maps are either unavailable or untrustworthy.

    Don't harp at DARPA this time. This is an actual call for something of military significance (significant recon tech), similar to the call for low-radar-cross-section (stealth) aircraft. THAT actually got us somewhere. Perhaps this could provide some surprise breakthroughs and allow soldiers to tell insurgents, "We know where you are! You cannot hide from us!"...and really mean it.

  14. YumDogfood

    X-ray specs

    A few GigaWatts should be enough.

  15. MinionZero
    Black Helicopters

    They are in my mind ... my mind, I tell you, in my mind! ... whhaahhh! ... my mind! ...

    I want to buy shares in Tin Foil. The hat market looks likely its going to be big business. :)

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    DARPA pie in the sky proposals

    People really love to poke fun at DARPA's off the wall proposals. Imagine it's 1968 and you saw a proposal like this:

    DARPA plans on launching an ambitious project to allow users anywhere in the world to share information electronically. The implementation should involve no less than 500 different vendors somehow agreeing to the necessary standards. The system will initially allow government entities, research labs, universities and other institutions to share research data. Future expansion will allow individuals at home to purchase products from companies without ever setting foot in an actual store. Instant communication will be enabled, including the transmission of full length movies and television shows. Eventually, this system will evolve to the point that users will be able to waste time by posting snide comments about each other etc. etc....

    Just imagine the ridicule that would have generated!

  17. Dave Bell

    What about the Zwilniks?

    First step: thoroughly bribe the building inspectors.

    Not that I expect anyone to be fitting Bergenholms in the sub-basement.

    (Yes, the grey coat, QX.)

  18. Anonymous Coward

    God bless the sitcom that is DARPA

    "the machinery should have the complete building map produced within 3 days."

    So, more than enough time to trace the building's architect's offices and copy the plans instead.

    DARPA should have their own TV show.

  19. Bounty

    tried and true technique

    All buildings look the same once you drop a few bombs on them. At least that seems to be the current method.

  20. Jim


    Ha, the first people who will want to get their hands on this are the DEA so they can spot indoor pot growers. Just hook up to the utilities and you can spy on anyone. As for 1M resolution, anyone entering the structure had better watch out for the Claymores likely to be lurking behind those stud walls. Besides, I would think much of this can already be done much more readily using infrared and millimeter wave imaging and in a much more rapid fashion. As in real time. DARPA are like AIG. They once served a useful purpose but now it seems they are like NASA increasingly trying to find some way to justify their ongoing existence by coming up with increasingly wacky research proposals which are usually pointless. I think if I were a Marine about to enter a structure inhabited by hostiles I'd want something a bit more robust. I suppose it might be useful for targeting a JDAM but otherwise it seems pretty useless and redundant.

    I'm putting on my coat because Elvis has obviously left the building. I'd use Paris but she has too much resolution.

  21. doug_tuck


    Always safer to use the kit overseas, much less chance of your average iraqi getting in touch with CBN about the squad that tried to pile into his closet

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like