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DRDO Develops Thermal Imaging Radar 'Divyachakshu'
Apr 01, 2016

The Through Barrier Imaging Radar, named 'Divyachakshu' (divine eye), has been developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation's (DRDO) Electronics & Radar Development Establishment (LRDE) based in Bangalore and is going through development trials now.

  • This radar will prove to be a great aid for the Indian forces in dealing with hostage situations.

  • It can look though walls of 20-30 cm thickness made of any material, by using thermal imaging.

  • The radar can produce images from the other side of the barrier up to a distance of 20 metres.

  • It catches the thermal signatures and movements in a room can be clearly seen.

  • The radar tracks heat on the other side of the wall and gives real time thermal image, which can disclose the movement, number of people and other important information about the situation on the other side of the barrier.

  • In a hostage situation, the radar can help give an idea about the number of people inside the room and their movement.

  • The nature of movements can help in locating the terrorists and differentiating them from the hostage.

  • The project was started in 2010 and the development trials are expected to conclude by the year end.

  • The Indian Army at present does not have such an equipment.

  • Apart from the distinction of being indigenously developed, the equipment cost is low. The device costs around Rs. 35 lakh, while similar devices in the international market cost around Rs. 2 crore.

  • Efforts are also on to bring down the weight of the device from present 6-7 kg.

The development of the radar was triggered by the Mumbai terror attack of November 2008, where terrorists took hostages at several locations, including hotel Taj Mahal, Oberoi Trident and Nariman House.

The device will also prove useful in situations such as the recent attacks in Gurdaspur, Punjab, where terrorists entered the Dina Nagar police station, or the Pathankot airbase and two of the terrorists went on to hide in a building.

What is Thermal Imaging?


Thermal imaging is a method of improving visibility of objects in a dark environment by detecting the objects' infrared radiation and creating an image based on that information. Thermal imaging, near-infrared illumination and low-light imaging are the three most commonly used night vision technologies. Unlike the other two methods, thermal imaging works in environments without any ambient light. Like near-infrared illumination, thermal imaging can penetrate obscurants such as smoke, fog and haze.

How Thermal Imaging Works? :
All objects emit infrared energy (heat) as a function of their temperature. The infrared energy emitted by an object is known as its heat signature. In general, the hotter an object is, the more radiation it emits. A thermal imager (also known as a thermal camera) is essentially a heat sensor that is capable of detecting tiny differences in temperature. The device collects the infrared radiation from objects in the scene and creates an electronic image based on information about the temperature differences. Because objects are rarely precisely the same temperature as other objects around them, a thermal camera can detect them and they will appear as distinct in a thermal image.

Thermal images are normally grayscale in nature; black objects are cold, white objects are hot and the depth of gray indicates variations between the two. Some thermal cameras, however, add colour to images to help users identify objects at different temperatures.


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