- Number 300 |
- November 23, 2009
INL develops prototype tunnel detector
INL engineers have built a
lightweight, portable device
capable of detecting tunnels
through 75 feed of solid earth.
Engineers from DOE's Idaho National Laboratory have developed a portable device that can detect tunnels through 75 feet of solid earth. The Look-Ahead Sensor finds bunkers and tunnels by measuring how dirt and rocks shake in response to sound waves the machine pumps into the ground. Special software graphs the response—solid earth shows a rapidly rising line, but a void underfoot produces a humped peak or dip. The LAS, which weighs just 25 pounds and is powered by off-the-shelf rechargeable batteries, is still a prototype. But in a few years, the technology could help law enforcement find the underground routes smugglers use to bring drugs, weapons and people into the country illegally.
[Michael Wall, 208.526.0490,