Australia – Radar that ‘sees’ through walls wins DSTO Eureka Prize

Radar imaging technology that can ‘see‘ through walls has won the 2011 DSTO Eureka Prize, Minister for Defence Science and Personnel Warren Snowdon announced today.

Mr Snowdon presented the $10,000 prize to Professor Salim Bouzerdoum from the University of Wollongong at the Australian Museum Eureka Prize awards function in Sydney tonight.

Supported by the Defence Science & Technology Organisation (DSTO), the Eureka Prize recognises outstanding science in support of Defence or national security.

“I congratulate Professor Bouzerdoum for developing innovative solutions in through-the-wall radar imaging technology,” Mr Snowdon said.

“The proposed imaging system has significant potential to benefit Defence as well as law enforcement, security and counter-terrorism agencies.

“There are situations where it is essential to detect people hidden inside a closed building and to know their precise location.

“Soldiers, fire fighters, police officers and security personnel will be able to use the radar imager because it allows them to differentiate between targets, or people in danger, from other objects behind a wall.”

Another breakthrough is the system’s ability to focus on the target or action behind the wall by reducing surface reflections and removing background clutter (such as furniture or stationery objects) from the received signal.

“Given further development, the technology will result in a low-cost, portable system to provide high-resolution 3-D imaging in real time,” Mr Snowdon said.

“This work has the potential to play a vital role in protecting Australia from terrorism and crime while assisting authorities in times of national disasters. Professor Bouzerdoum’s research positions Australia as a leading nation in the development of through-the-wall radar imaging technology.”

Professor Bouzerdoum is Associate Dean (Research) and Professor of Computer Engineering at the Faculty of Informatics of the University of Wollongong, and a Member of the Australian Research Council College of Experts. He has been a visiting professor at various universities in France and the US.

Media contacts:

Marcus Butler (Mr Snowdon): 0417 917 796

Jimmy Hafesjee (DSTO): 02 6128 6376 or 0404 042 457

Press release
Ministerial Support and Public Affairs,
Department of Defence,
Canberra, Australia

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