NTU scientists come up with lightweight mini radar

Project lead Professor Lu Yilong (left) and senior research fellow Liu Weixian (centre) carry the drone carrying the prototype of the synthetic aperture radar, while NTU Satellite Research Centre director Lim Wee Seng holds a microsatellite that the
Project lead Professor Lu Yilong (left) and senior research fellow Liu Weixian (centre) carry the drone carrying the prototype of the synthetic aperture radar, while NTU Satellite Research Centre director Lim Wee Seng holds a microsatellite that the radar can be attached to for launching into space.ST PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO

Search and rescue operations by air can be hampered by cloud cover, but a group of Nanyang Technological University (NTU) scientists has developed a radar that creates images from radio waves which can even penetrate through plumes of smoke.

The synthetic aperture radar (SAR) can see through the thick dust and ash a volcano spews out to locate survivors during an eruption. It is also able to interpret information that is not visible to the naked eye, such as ground soil types or minute tectonic plate movements.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 31, 2018, with the headline 'NTU scientists come up with lightweight mini radar'. Print Edition | Subscribe