Researchers have revealed that a new seed-sized radar prototype can detect movements 1/100th the width of human hair. What’s even more intriguing, though, is that the radar is so tiny and energy efficient, opening up tons of possible ways we could utilize it.
Tech. Entertainment. Science. Science.
Sign up for the most interesting tech & entertainment news out there.
Email: SIGN UP
The creators of the seed-sized radar shared the details in a new paper published in the IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits. The radar is still just a prototype at the moment, but the researchers say they based it on millimeter-wave radar technology, similar to what we’ve seen in smartphones. These short-range radar sensors operate on wave frequencies between microwaves and infrared and can accurately detect tiny movements from objects on a microscopic level.
The researchers claim that the potential for using a tiny seed-sized Radar is immense. They say there are many potential uses, including biometrics, blindness guidance, and security. Unfortunately, most millimeter-wave radars have some issues with power consumption and background noise.
The new radar prototype from the researchers at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) has been designed to counteract these issues, though. This allows the seed-sized radar to pick up tiny movements that are 100th the width of a human hair without getting lost in the background noise.
And, because the new chip is so tiny, it currently offers more use cases than other sensors with similar levels of accuracy. It measures about the size of a sesame seed, the researchers revealed, and boasts an energy efficiency that is relatively easy to reproduce at scale.
Another fascinating research using the prototype showed that it could also detect the thirst of a plant by tracking the minuscule differences in thickness of the leaf. This is often a marker of hydration and dehydration in plants. It is obvious that using low-cost, low-energy sensors such as this one could improve agriculture in a big way.
For the moment, though, the researchers will continue to refine their seed-sized radar design while also allowing other scientists outside of UC Davis to experiment with it.
The post This radar the size of a seed can detect unbelievably small movements appeared first on BGR.