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Thread: What are different kinds of "futuristic X-Ray" technology

  1. #1 What are different kinds of "futuristic X-Ray" technology 
    Forum Freshman MarcoPolo's Avatar
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    Anyone ever play Batman: Arkham Asylum or Arkham City and you know how in "detective mode" Batman sees people's skeletons through walls and floors and stuff at long range. Or whatever "similar" technology you can think of. Anyway, what, in the bounds of science fiction, would produce that kind of surveillance technology? Is it "motion" based? "Heat" based? Something else?


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    There are a number of technologies that can be used from sound, microwaves, infrared, X-rays, gamma rays or neutrons. Probably none, even taken together, will be able to yield Batman's results but could be useful to see what is behind walls to some degree. Gamma rays and neutrons will easily penetrate walls but are not very healthy to use for the purpose of seeing people.


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    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Forum Freshman MarcoPolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaliferdeil View Post
    There are a number of technologies that can be used from sound, microwaves, infrared, X-rays, gamma rays or neutrons. Probably none, even taken together, will be able to yield Batman's results but could be useful to see what is behind walls to some degree. Gamma rays and neutrons will easily penetrate walls but are not very healthy to use for the purpose of seeing people.
    Which would be best for detecting a human being through a wall?
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    The study quotes by 'Strange' in wired was from Nature Photonics and that is a reliable source. I would go with that even thought if the wall has an appreciable amount of metal it won't work. Not sure how it would perform through stucco since the wall would contain chicken wire but since the wavelength of the terahertz beams are decidedly smaller than the holes in chicken wire it will probably work.
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    Forum Freshman MarcoPolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaliferdeil View Post
    The study quotes by 'Strange' in wired was from Nature Photonics and that is a reliable source. I would go with that even thought if the wall has an appreciable amount of metal it won't work. Not sure how it would perform through stucco since the wall would contain chicken wire but since the wavelength of the terahertz beams are decidedly smaller than the holes in chicken wire it will probably work.
    That's exactly what I noticed about the Wired article - that it didn't work for metal. I presume there's a lot of metal in skyscrapers, no? That's the kind of building I'm hoping to have a surveillance into in a work of fiction.
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    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcoPolo View Post
    That's exactly what I noticed about the Wired article - that it didn't work for metal. I presume there's a lot of metal in skyscrapers, no? That's the kind of building I'm hoping to have a surveillance into in a work of fiction.
    Skyscrapers use metal for structural elements. The walls are not (usually) solid metal. The important factor is the spacing between the metal (as kaliferdeil notes).

    There is also this: http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2012/c...ners-0321.html
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    If you're dealing with a 'glass' skyscrapers designed like the Twin Towers then the main structural steel elements are mostly at the center and you are dealing with glass and office dividers. Dividers generally have metal ribs but are mostly fabric of some sort.
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    Forum Freshman MarcoPolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaliferdeil View Post
    If you're dealing with a 'glass' skyscrapers designed like the Twin Towers then the main structural steel elements are mostly at the center and you are dealing with glass and office dividers. Dividers generally have metal ribs but are mostly fabric of some sort.
    What could compensate the terahertz scan's difficulty through metal? Something like sonar perhaps?
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    You might be able to reflect a microwave maser or laser signal from the metal and hear people nearby talking demodulating the doppler shift. The Russians flooded the American Consulate in Moscow with microwaves for that purpose many years ago.
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    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaliferdeil View Post
    You might be able to reflect a microwave maser or laser signal from the metal and hear people nearby talking demodulating the doppler shift. The Russians flooded the American Consulate in Moscow with microwaves for that purpose many years ago.
    A technique like that has been used; reflecting an infrared laser from a window and using it to detect conversations inside.

    It was also possible to detect the stray electromagnetic radiation from computer CRT screens and recreate what was being displayed. I don't know if the advent of LCD displays has put a stop to that or just made it harder. (Look up TEMPEST for more background.) It may be that a lot can be determined from the emissions from the PC itself. (When we design microprocessors for secure applications, we have to ensure that every instruction consumes the same current so that it is not possible to find out how the encryption works by monitoring power consumption.)

    It is also possible to determine what is being typed on a keyboard just from the click of the keys.
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    Shouldn't this be in sci-fi?

    I heard they are testing out x ray googles that you can switch on and see lady most intimate parts... thats right!, their skeletons! as you walk down the street etc.
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  14. #13  
    Forum Freshman MarcoPolo's Avatar
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    The conversation detector stuff is cool, but I'm looking for something that would give a "visual" behind a metal wall.
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    If you are writing a work of fiction then you should be able to make something up. The beauty of science fiction is that it does not have to currently exist, simply be plausible, and in some sci-fi not even that. As for actual detection devices to determine locations of persons in a building. Military and police around the world rely on thermal imaging systems. When you add the fact that no two people have the same thermal pattern this makes it possible to locate specific people if you have their thermal pattern on file
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