NASA’s Heartbeat-Detecting Device Locates 4 Men Buried Under Nepal Rubble

NASA’s FINDER (Finding Individuals for Disaster and Emergency Response) device uses microwave-radar technology to detect heartbeats of victims trapped in wreckage.

WASHINGTON – NASA’s new heartbeat-detecting device is being credited for helping rescue four men trapped under roughly 10 feet of bricks, mud and other debris following the 7.9-magnitude April 25 earthquake in Nepal.

Developed in partnership by the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the device, called FINDER (Finding Individuals for Disaster and Emergency Response), uses microwave-radar technology to detect heartbeats of victims trapped in wreckage, Economic Times reports.

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A group of international rescuers used FINDER to detect two heartbeats each beneath two different collapsed structures, which helped the rescue workers find and save the men.

The men had been trapped beneath the rubble for days in the hard-hit village of Chautara.

NASA says FINDER has the ability to detect people buried under up to 30 feet of rubble, hidden behind 20 feet of solid concrete, and from a distance of 100 feet in open spaces.

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Developers have added a new “locator” feature to provide search and rescue responders with confirmation of a heartbeat and also the approximate location of trapped individuals within about five feet, depending on the type of rubble.

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