New police device 'sees' through walls

Radar system made in Orlando

By Erik von Ancken - Anchor/Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - The Range-R (pronounced "Ranger"), manufactured in Orlando by L3 Communications CyTerra, is a handheld device that "sees" through walls.

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Informational videos on L3's website describe Range-R as "a highly-sensitive lightweight hand-held radar system, designed to detect people through walls constructed of common building materials. Range-R detects even the slightest movements, including those of normal human breathing with a probably detection greater than 95 percent."

According to the website, a user -- military personnel or law enforcement -- places the device, about the size of a brick, on the surface of the wall. A digital display indicates how far away a person is inside the building, and if the person is moving or standing still.

"When Ranger-R is in scan mode, radar waves are transmitted through the wall and into the adjacent room structure or area. The radar waves travel until they strike an irregularity and are reflected back to the receive antenna," says the voice in the video. "With an effective range of up to 50 feet, the system can see through walls, floors and ceilings, constructed of reinforced concrete, cement block, wood, brick, adobe, and other common non-metallic construction materials."

"Burning buildings, natural disasters, and hostage situations are a few examples of scenarios where Range-R's see-through-the-wall technology can be utilized to locate persons in grave danger without putting the lives of first responders in grave danger," says the video. "With near immediate analysis and results, Range-R provides first responders with critical information that may be the different between life and death."

According to the USA Today, more than 50 law enforcement agencies around the country own and operate Range-R's, including the FBI and US Marshals service.

Local 6 contacted all sheriff's offices and several large police agencies in Central Florida and the ones that returned emails said they do not have the devices.

L3, headquartered in NY, declined to comment for this story and instead referred Local 6 to its company website.

On its website, L3 Communications CyTerra describes itself as specializing in "threat detection technologies for military and homeland security applications."

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