New Sensor: Naturally Rad


total-recall.jpgOhio State is working on a simple new sensor that could one day put other detectors out to pasture.

Unlike X-ray machines or radar instruments, the sensor doesn't have to generate a signal to detect objects it spots them based on how brightly they reflect the natural radiation that is all around us every day.There is always a certain amount of radiation light, heat, and even microwaves in the environment. Every object the human body, a gun or knife, or an asphalt runway reflects this ambient radiation differently.Paul Berger, professor of electrical and computer engineering and physics at Ohio State and head of the team that is developing the sensor, likened this reflection to the way glossy and satin-finish paints reflect light differently to the eye.Once the sensor is further developed, it could be used to scan people or luggage without subjecting them to X-rays or other radiation. And if the sensor were embedded in an airplane nose, it might help pilots see a runway during bad weather.
(Big ups: Schneier. And yeah, that's a screen grab from Total Recall)
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