NASA’s heartbeat detector helps rescue earthquake survivors

The Finding Individuals for Disaster and Emergency Response (FINDER)  has helped in detecting heartbeats through 30 feet of rubble in tests.

finder NASA

Earlier this week, a 7.1-magnitude earthquake hit Mexico City which has killed hundreds. Disaster relief workers in Mexico City have been using suitcase-sized radar instrument developed by NASA to detect human heartbeats trapped under rubble.

FINDER, which stands for Finding Individuals for Disaster and Emergency Response, was developed by NASA in collaboration with US Department of Homeland Security.

“We’re glad to know our technology is being used to make a difference there,” said Neil Chamberlain, Task Manager for FINDER at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, reported Hindustan Times.

In 2015, the device was used to rescue four men who were trapped under a collapsed textile factory after a strong earthquake hit Nepal.

In order to sense the heartbeat, FINDER sends a low-powered microwave signal through rubble. Changes in the reflections of those signals caused by the victims’ breathing and heartbeats can help detect signs of life.

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