EXPLOITATION OF MILLIMETER WAVES FOR THROUGH-WALL SURVEILLANCE DURING MILITARY OPERATIONS IN URBAN TERRAIN

EXPLOITATION OF MILLIMETER WAVES FOR
THROUGH-WALL SURVEILLANCE DURING
MILITARY OPERATIONS IN URBAN TERRAIN
By:
Major G.J. Burton CD PPCLI
and
Major G.P. Ohlke CD Intelligence
Land Force Technical Staff Programme V
Department of Applied Military Science
Royal Military College of Canada
Kingston, Ontario
24 May 2000
EXPLOITATION OF MILLIMETER WAVES FOR
THROUGH-WALL SURVEILLANCE DURING MILITARY
OPERATIONS IN URBAN TERRAIN
TABLE OF CONTENTS
COVER PAGE
DISCLAIMER
ABSTRACT
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
CHAPTER 1 – INTRODUCTION
CHAPTER 2 – VISUALIZING THE URBAN BATTLEFIELD
CHAPTER 3 – CANADIANS IN URBAN OPERATIONS
CHAPTER 4 – MILLIMETER WAVES
CHAPTER 5 – PASSIVE MILLIMETER WAVE TECHNOLOGY
CHAPTER 6 – ACTIVE MILLIMETER WAVE TECHNOLOGY
CHAPTER 7 – STATEMENT OF REQUIREMENT
BIBLIOGRAPHY
DISCLAIMER AVERTISSEMENT
This report was written by a student on
the Land Force Technical Staff
Programme at the Royal Military
College of Canada, Kingston, Ontario.
It has not been altered or corrected as
a result of assessment and it may
contain errors. This report is an
unofficial document. The views
expressed in the report are those of the
authors and do not necessarily reflect
the opinion or policy of the Royal
Military College, the Canadian Forces,
the Department of National Defence or
the Government of Canada
© Her Majesty the Queen as
represented by the Minister of National
Defence.
Le présent rapport a été rédigé par un
étudiant du Programme d`état-major
technique de la Force terrestre du
Collêge militaire royal du Canada,
Kingston, Ontario. Il n`a été ni modifié,
ni corrigé par suite d`une évaluation et
pourrait renfermer des erreurs. Ce
rapport est un document non officiel.
Les opinions exprimées dans le
présent rapport sont celles de l`auteur
et ne représentent pas nécessairement
l`opinion ou la politique du Collêge
militaire royal, des Forces armées
canadiennes, du ministêre de la
Défense nationale ou du gouvernement
du Canada.
© Sa Majesté la Reine représentée par
le ministre de laDéfense nationale.
ABSTRACT
EXPLOITATION OF MILLIMETER WAVES FOR THROUGH-WALL
SURVEILLANCE DURING MILITARY OPERATIONS IN URBAN TERRAIN
By: Major G. Ohlke CD Int and Major G. Burton CD PPCLI
One of the main concerns during military operations in urban terrain is detecting people through
walls. The problem is being addressed through the development of technology that exploits
millimeter wave radiation. Millimeter waves penetrate non-conductive walls and clothing, making
through-wall surveillance possible. The human body emits millimeter waves that can be received
by passive detectors. Active millimeter wave radar can detect human body surface motion,
including heartbeat and respiration.
This paper examines millimeter wave technology that could be used for through-wall surveillance
during military operations in urban terrain. The methods of research included literature searches
and surveys of industry, as well as attendance at the meeting of NATO Technical Group 14 on
Millimeter Wave Research and Development held on 7 February 2000 at the Defence Research
Establishment Valcartier in Quebec. The application of the technology to Canadian Land Force
operations is assessed. A preliminary statement of requirement has also been developed for the
Director of Land Requirements.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
EXPLOITATION OF MILLIMETER WAVES FOR THROUGH-WALL
SURVEILLANCE DURING MILITARY OPERATIONS IN URBAN
TERRAIN
In Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency
(CCRA) have expressed an interest in surveillance technology that would permit the detection of weapons
and drugs through clothing and baggage. Indeed, the CCRA procured a detection device known as the
Rapiscan Secure 1000 for use in airports. Unfortunately, the devices will not be used, as they do not meet
guidelines established by Health Canada.
The Canadian Army does not presently have an official capability requirement for through-wall
surveillance. Despite this, several prototype devices known as Radar Vision, made by the American
company Time Domain, have been procured for evaluation by the Defence Research Establishment Ottawa
and the Joint Task Force 2.
The aim of this paper is to survey the problem of through-wall detection and surveillance, which is being
addressed through the development of technology that exploits millimeter wave radiation.
Millimeter waves are electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths in the range 10mm to 1mm with
corresponding frequencies of 30 to 300 GHz, located between the microwave and infrared portions of the
electromagnetic spectrum. The advantages of millimeter waves include their ability to provide accurate,
excellent image identification and resolution. They also provide remote measurements while operating
through smoke, dust, fog or rain. At the same time, millimeter waves can be vulnerable to absorption by
certain atmospheric and meteorological activity. Different millimeter-wave frequencies work best for
particular tasks. Millimeter waves penetrate non-conductive walls and clothing, making through-wall
surveillance possible. The human body emits millimeter waves that can be received by passive detectors.
Active millimeter wave radar can detect human body surface motion, including heartbeat and respiration.
Research has included literature searches and surveys of industry. However, as millimeter wave
technology is in its infancy, most companies and laboratories with ongoing research and development
refused to share their proprietary knowledge. The authors were able to attend the meeting of the North
Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Technical Group 14 on Millimeter Wave Research and Development
held on 7 February 2000 at the Defence Research Establishment Valcartier in Quebec.
To set the stage for through-wall surveillance technology, the evolving urban battlefield and Canadian
operations in urban terrain are examined. Then, the current focus of military research into millimeter wave
technology by several NATO countries is examined. Although through-wall surveillance is not a high
priority within NATO, the many other uses of millimeter wave technology are presented. This is followed
by a snapshot of the current state of industry in developing passive and active millimeter wave, throughwall
surveillance devices. Finally, the application of the technology to Canadian Land Force operations is
assessed and the essential steps toward a statement of requirement have been developed for the Director of
Land Requirements.
Ultimately, the Canadian Army does not presently have a through-wall surveillance capability, and the
technology is still in the early stages of development. It is recommended that a formal statement of
requirement be initiated, and that the Defence Research Agency be tasked to investigate all pertinent
technologies.
CHAPTER 1 – INTRODUCTION
In August 1999, the US Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate (AFRL/IF) and the
National Institute of Justice Office of Science and Technology (NIJ/OST) launched a joint program to
demonstrate existing sensors, and develop new ones, for detecting concealed weapons and permitting
through-wall surveillance of personnel.1 Both organizations solicited proposals for the development and
demonstration of innovative technology to better detect concealed weapons in the hands of criminals. In
the United States, this capability is the number one technology priority of the state and local law
enforcement community. The technology would also provide law enforcement officers and military
personnel engaged in peace keeping, the ability to conduct surveillance through exterior and interior
building walls in hostage rescue situations.2
Urban centers have increasingly become the sites of conflict throughout the world, and will remain so as
we move into the 21st century. The complexities of the urban environment such as line-of-sight
restrictions, inherent fortifications, limited intelligence, densely constructed areas and the presence of noncombatants
restricts current military technology. The United States Army and the United States Marine
Corps have realized that they do not possess the overwhelming technology advantages in an urban
environment as in other environments. To this end, they have jointly formed the Military Operations in
Urban Terrain Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (MOUT ACTD). The MOUT ACTD was
formed to demonstrate the military utility of new technologies combined with operational concepts that will
increase the lethality, survivability, mobility and command and control capabilities of soldiers and Marines
operating in an urban environment.3 The MOUT ACTD has identified thirty-two operational requirements
for which technological solutions are sought. Requirement Number 7 is for a through wall sensor. This
should ideally be a small, hand-held through-wall sensor capable of rapidly sensing through walls to
determine if next room is empty, or occupied by friend or enemy, or by a combatant or a non-combatant.4
In Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency
(CCRA) have expressed an interest in surveillance technology that would permit the detection of weapons
and drugs through clothing and baggage. Indeed, the CCRA procured a detection device known as the
Rapiscan Secure 1000 for use in airports. Unfortunately, the devices will not be used, as they do not meet
guidelines established by Health Canada.5
The Canadian Army does not presently have an official capability requirement for through-wall
surveillance. Despite this, several prototype devices known as Radar Vision, made by the American
company Time Domain, have been procured for evaluation by the Defence Research Establishment Ottawa
and the Joint Task Force 2.6
The aim of this paper is to survey the problem of through-wall detection and surveillance, which is being
addressed through the development of technology that exploits millimeter wave radiation. Millimeter
waves penetrate non-conductive walls and clothing, making through-wall surveillance possible. The
human body emits millimeter waves that can be received by passive detectors. Active millimeter wave
radar can detect human body surface motion, including heartbeat and respiration.
Research has included literature searches and surveys of industry. However, as millimeter wave
technology is in its infancy, most companies and laboratories with ongoing research and development
refused to share their proprietary knowledge. The authors were able to attend the meeting of the North
1 Hewish, Mark. “New Funding for Through-Wall Surveillance.” Jane’s International Defense
Review, Volume No. 32, August 1999, 3.
2 Through The Wall Surveillance and Concealed Weapons Detection SOL BAA-99-04-IFKPA,
accessed 20 May 2000. Available from http://www.ld.com/cbd/archive/1999/06(june)/10-jun-
1999/asol005.htm; Internet.
3 The MOUT Homepage – Technology, Weapons, Equipment, accessed 20 May 2000. Available
from http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/6453/techa.html; Internet.
4 MOUT ACTD Operational Requirements, accessed 20 May 2000. Available from
http://mout.actd.org/req.html; Internet.
5 Godfrey, Tom. “RCMP Want X-Ray Machine That Makes Clothing Invisible.” Toronto Sun, 27
February 2000.
6 Mitchell, Lieutenant-Colonel D., Director of Land Requirements 5, National Defence
Headquarters, Interviewed by author, 30 March 2000.
Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Technical Group 14 on Millimeter Wave Research and Development
held on 7 February 2000 at the Defence Research Establishment Valcartier in Quebec.
To set the stage for through-wall surveillance technology, the evolving urban battlefield and Canadian
operations in urban terrain are examined. Then, the current focus of military research into millimeter wave
technology by several NATO countries is examined. Although through-wall surveillance is not a high
priority within NATO, the many other uses of millimeter wave technology are presented. This is followed
by a snapshot of the current state of industry in developing passive and active millimeter wave, throughwall
surveillance devices. Finally, the application of the technology to Canadian Land Force operations is
assessed and the essential steps toward a statement of requirement have been developed for the Director of
Land Requirements.
CHAPTER 2 – VISUALIZING THE URBAN BATTLEFIELD
The global trend to urbanization is a key factor in the consideration of a future military suite of surveillance
sensors. Specifically, the rapid growth of urban areas in the developing world leads to the preconditions for
conflict and it is quite likely that Canadian soldiers will have to operate in this type of environment. The
conduct of military operations in urban terrain (MOUT) has often been considered extremely difficult both
from the standpoint of mobility and of locating the enemy.7
While mobility remains a serious problem, it is now possible to exploit technology to discover ‘what is on
the other side of the wall’. The infantry soldiers who must do the detailed high-risk work to locate the
enemy cannot do so today without exposing themselves to observation and fire. Millimeter wavelength
technology, which is applicable in both passive and active modes can ‘see through’ standard construction
materials. Undoubtedly, this ‘see through’ capability will prove to be a great aid to tactical decision making
at the most junior levels of command and even in individual engagements. In addition, active millimeter
wave radar systems can also be employed where there is no consequence to their detection and perhaps
where their known presence contributes to deterrence.
Mentioned above, urbanization is a phenomenon that is not surprising or strange
to most Canadians who have seen profound and continuing expansion in most
cities and towns across the country. Nonetheless, urbanization can mean many
things, which, although related, can spring from different causes and have
radically different effects. Unprecedented urban growth is dramatically reshaping
global population configurations, particularly in developing countries. The results
are significant. More than half of the total world population will be urban by the
year 2000. During the 1990’s, some 600 million people will be added to our cities
– representing two thirds of the expected global population increase. Of 21
‘megacities’ projected for the turn of the century, 17 are expected to be in the
developing world.
Findings such as these from the International Bank for Reconstruction and
Development’s (IBRD) report entitled, Urban Policy and Economic Development:
An Agenda for the 1990’s8 have resulted in a renewed focus on the policy
7 Strickland, Captain R.T. “FIBUA: New Twists On The Old Game”. The Infantry Journal. Vol 31,
Spring 1997. Indeed, existing Canadian Army Doctrine emphasizes these issues but is very
cursory in its coverage see B-GL-309-001/FT-001 The Infantry Battalion in Battle, specifically
Chapter 13, Section 3 “Fighting in Built Up Areas”, LFC dated 1992-03-31.
8 Cited in Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), “Global Urbanization: Towards
Better Understanding,” Development Express No. 93, 4 April 1993.
implications of this phenomenon. In the 1970’s, the prospect of rapid urbanization
generated many urban development programs in developing countries. However,
the 1980’s saw macroeconomic initiatives – primarily structural adjustment
programs – supersede the focus on urban development. Again in the 1990’s,
however, donors and practitioners are beginning to treat urbanization as a
priority.
Urban development has returned to favour with wider understanding of two
strategic conditions:9
• The near nexus between urbanization and economic development – illustrated by the
disproportionate share of GNP produced in urban centres.
• The irreversibility of urbanization – natural population increases now account for more than half of
all urban growth.
The United Nations publication World Urbanization Prospects 1990 identifies the various definitions in
current use. Canada, for instance, considers urban to be all “incorporated cities, towns, and villages with a
population of 1000 or more and their urbanized fringes”. Some of the other definitions for urban being used
are:10
• For Botswana, the agglomeration of 5000 or more people – with 75 percent engaged in nonagricultural
economic activities.
• Albania requires towns and other industrial centres to have more than 400 inhabitants to qualify as
urban.
• In Burkina Faso, urban is “the sum of 14 towns”.
The United Nations uses the definitions applied by the various member countries when calculating urban
populations. Perhaps the most common of these is the one used by, amongst others, Guadeloupe: “localities
with 2000 or more inhabitants”. However, the United Nations prefers its own definition for “urban
agglomerations” which is: populations contained within the contours of a contiguous territory inhabited at
urban levels without regard to administrative boundaries.11
POPULATION GROWTH AND URBANIZATION
While the urban population of the developing world
increases at about 4 percent per annum, the growth
rates for particular regions vary significantly12.
• Latin America (already 72 percent urbanized) has the slowest annual growth rate – 2.9 percent on
average between 1985 and 1990.
• Africa (34 percent urbanized) demonstrates a current growth rate in excess of 5 percent, with no
expectations for a decline in this rate to the year 2000. East Africa is particularly high at 6.8
percent.
9 Ibid.
10 Ibid.
11 Ibid.
12 Ibid.
• Asia accounted for some 68 percent of all urban population growth in the less developed regions
between 1975 and 1990. Annual growth rates of 6.1 percent in East Asia and 4.0 percent in South
Asia will likely maintain a rate above 4 percent into the next millennium.
SPECTRUM OF URBAN COMBAT
Urban combat can be waged at varying degrees of intensity and commitment. Urban combat can include
the actions of an outside force intervening to rescue its citizens from a hazardous urban setting, such as the
US Marine Corps noncombatant evacuations at Tirana, Kinshasa, Monrovia and Freetown. Urban combat
may include the actions of a peace enforcement force when local police have lost control and criminals or
rival factions have seized control, as evident during the Los Angeles riots, Mogadishu, Beirut and Rio de
Janeiro. Urban combat may be the result of armed insurrections like Budapest in 1956 and Monrovia, Herat
in 1979, and it certainly includes the actions in a city under martial law where urban guerrillas oppose the
armed force and engage in terrorist acts similar to Kabul, Dublin, Kandahar and Jerusalem. City fighting
between two distinct armed forces is the most obvious form of urban combat, as demonstrated in Seoul,
Hue, Panama City, Grozny and Sarajevo. And strategic nuclear destruction of cities remains a possible, if
irrational, form of urban combat. 13
A Somali gunman takes flight during Operation Restore Hope, 1993.
Activity at the lower end of the urban combat spectrum is more probable than at the upper end. Thus,
planners should consider how to fight criminal gangs, armed insurgents and urban guerrillas.
13 United States Foreign Military Studies Office (FMSO), Grau, Lester W. and Kipp, Dr. Jacob W.
“Urban Combat: Confronting the Specter,” first published in Military Review, July-August 1999.
OPERATIONAL CONSIDERATIONS OF URBAN COMBAT
Every city is unique. Some are robust and resilient, while others are fragile and unable to cope with daily
demands, let alone military actions. Some cities, particularly in the developing world, can barely provide
basic water, sewage, power, transport, garbage collection and public health services to their citizens.
Military actions in some cities, such as Hong Kong, New York, Frankfurt, Seoul and Singapore, would
endanger the very economic stability of the nation—and the planet. Military actions in other cities may
have only local consequences. Still, military actions will have greater political, economic, sociological and
commercial consequences in cities than in the countryside. Consequently, the operational commander will
probably be constrained by various political dictates, limitations and rules of engagement (ROE). Political
decisions made far from the scene may change the mission or insert other forces with different missions
into the city—with perilous results.14
Operational commanders must weigh many considerations before attempting to seize a city. Traditional
urban operations begin by surrounding the city, a daunting operation itself. The nature of many of the
burgeoning cities in the developing world will negate this option. For example, Shanghai and surrounding
environs contain over 125 million people and 2,383 square miles, and its police force approaches the size of
the US Marine Corps.15
TACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS OF URBAN COMBAT
Technology will have only a marginal impact on the operational resolution of urban combat, but it can
produce tactical advantages. Some older technology is more applicable in urban combat than newer
technology. For example, the .223 (or 5.56mm NATO) bullet common to most modern infantry weapons
will not penetrate many walls—unlike the venerable .303 or .308 (or 7.62mm NATO) rounds that easily
penetrate through brick, wood and adobe. Tanks will have limited utility in the modern western city,
particularly among high-rises, where the elevation of the main gun and co-axial machinegun are
insufficient. Self-propelled howitzers will provide better direct-fire support to the infantry. The Russians
found the venerable ZSU 23-4 armored, antiaircraft quadruple automatic 23 mm cannons an excellent
weapon against basements and upper floors in Grozny.During the fighting in Herat, the Soviets found that
the BM-21 multiple rocket launcher was an effective direct-fire weapon against guerrilla strong points
during urban combat. Artillery is very useful in providing smoke screens—every fourth or fifth Russian
artillery round fired in Grozny was smoke or white phosphorus. The Russians noted benefits of white
phosphorus smoke—it is toxic, readily penetrates protective mask filters and is not banned by any treaty.
The Russians found that wheeled armored personnel carriers (BTRs) were often better suited for urban
combat than tracked armored personnel carriers (BMPs).
Protecting armoured vehicles will be a primary concern for the small-unit leader. In combat in Grozny, the
Chechen lower-level combat group consisted of 15 to 20 soldiers subdivided into three- or four-man
fighting cells consisting of an antitank gunner armed with a rocket-propelled grenade launcher (RPG), a
machine gunner, a sniper and perhaps an ammunition bearer/assistant gunner. Deploying as anti-armour
hunter-killer teams, the sniper and machine gunner would pin down supporting infantry while the RPG
gunner engaged an armored vehicle. Cells deployed at ground level, in upper stories and in basements.
Normally five or six hunter-killer teams simultaneously attacked a single armored vehicle. Kill shots were
generally aimed at the top, rear and sides of vehicles, and Chechens dropped bottles of jellied gasoline on
top of vehicles. The Chechen hunter-killer teams tried to trap vehicle columns in narrow city streets by
destroying the first and last vehicles, trapping the column and allowing its gradual destruction. The
Russians countered this technique by moving dismounted infantry in front of the armored vehicles. They
14 Hahn, Robert F. and Jezior, Bonnie. “Urban Warfare and the Urban Warfighter of 2025.” From
Parameters, Summer 1999, 74-86. Accessed 20 May 2000. Available from http://carlislewww.
army.mil/usawc/Parameters/99summer/hahn.htm; Internet.
15 United States Foreign Military Studies Office (FMSO), Grau, Lester W. and Kipp, Dr. Jacob W.
“Urban Combat: Confronting the Specter,” first published in Military Review, July-August 1999.
included ZSU 23-4 antiaircraft guns in the column, mounted reactive armor on vehicles and outfitted them
with wire mesh cages that provided a 25-30 centimeter stand-off to defeat RPG shaped charges.
Russian doctrine called for a 6:1 advantage in personnel for urban combat. In Grozny, some 60,000
Russians engaged 12,000 Chechens. The Russian 5:1 advantage was not enough. Initially, the Russians did
not mass sufficient combat power forward, and the tactical correlation of forces favored the Chechens. The
Russians learned to garrison every building they captured or else the Chechens would retake it and use it to
cut off the Russian advance. The requirement to garrison everything seized meant that a battalion ran out of
combat power after advancing only a few blocks.16
Urban combat expends huge amounts ammunition, particularly fragmentation grenades, smoke grenades,
tear gas grenades, demolition charges, disposable one-shot antitank grenade launchers, artillery smoke
rounds and artillery white phosphorus rounds. This severely stresses the logistics system, in many cases –
certainly with infantry ammunition, because much of the firing is ‘speculative’. The old drills expended
ammunition, often upon unoccupied space, in order to save lives. Contrariwise, the expenditure of
ammunition to no effect in one location often alerted the enemy waiting in ambush at the next location.
Today, it is possible to determine whether or not a certain space is occupied and this situational awareness
informs tactical movement or engagement as indicated.
Urban combat is small-unit combat conducted primarily by individual soldiers, fire teams, sections and
platoons. Dismounted infantry, the primary combatants, require combined arms augmentation and
reinforcement. Armoured vehicles provide direct-fire support; engineers supply crossing and demolition
support, and mortar and artillery pieces provide smoke and fire support. It is to be expected that armies
equipped with self-propelled air defence guns and chemical weapons, including flame-throwers, will
employ these systems in sustained urban combat.17
Tactics vary with the type of enemy and city, intensity of combat and unit mission. Urban terrain and ROE
strip away many combat multipliers of a modern army. Aggressive patrolling, ambushes and raids will
probably be key in any urban combat. The ability of skilled marksmen and snipers to engage and kill point
targets will prove decisive in the series of small fights that comprise an urban tactical battle. The detection
of the enemy is critical with the first well placed shot or grenade being decisive. Millimeter wave
technology will be key to the early detection of the enemy in an urban situation. Fratricide will be a
constant concern, particularly along unit boundaries. An active millimeter wave radar system could assist
in differentiating friendly troops from the enemy.
‘Bypass the urban areas’, the key doctrinal response for mechanized and armoured forces during the Cold
War is becoming impertinent. Urban sprawl, the high-tech battlefield and the expeditionary role for
Canadian Forces make this axiom problematic. On the modern battlefield, an enemy aware of Canadian
advantages in manouevre by fire may well chose to occupy urban terrain, precisely because the city negates
technological advantages and imposes constraints. Manouevre warfare indicates the objective is the
enemy’s destruction. If the enemy locates in a city then that is where the destruction must occur.
The range of urban terrain features is very broad. In the economically developed world one finds modern
stone, steel and concrete cities with intensive subterranean features. In the developing world, one finds
16 United States Foreign Military Studies Office (FMSO), Grau, Lester W. and Kipp, Dr. Jacob W.
“Urban Combat: Confronting the Specter,” first published in Military Review, July-August 1999.
17 Canadian and US Army doctrine well appreciates the stresses, strains and high expenditure
rates in both personnel and materiel that will be experienced during sustained urban combat, see
B-GL-001/FT-001 The Infantry Battalion in Battle (LFC, dated 1992-03-31), especially Chapter
13, Section 3 “Fighting in Built Up Areas”. US Army doctrine is contained in Field Manual 90 – 10,
Military Operations on Urbanized Terrain (MOUT), Aug 79; Field Manual 90 – 10 – 1,
Infantryman’s Guide to Urban Combat, Sep 82; and Field Manual 7 – 70, 71, 72, Light Infantry
Platoon/Squad Company, and Battalion, Sep 86, Aug 87, and Mar 87.
sprawling cities that combine modern buildings and ‘shanty-town’ slums; ancient masonry cities with
crowded bazaars and tangled road networks; lightly built tropical cities that spill out onto the waterways;
and crowded coastal cities which stretch for miles and push up the sides of coastal mountains.
THE WORST CASE SCENARIO – SUSTAINED URBAN COMBAT
Sustained urban combat is the most difficult and costly of all the urban operations but there is evidence that
Canadian Forces can generate substantial advantages over enemy forces in urban fighting. Some armies
have become quite good at sustained urban combat, but even an historically favourable exchange ratio
would imply very high Canadian casualties in most urban combat scenarios. Furthermore, minimizing
Canadian casualties may require taking steps that increase civilian casualties and collateral damage. Canada
would not tolerate the losses resulting from ‘favourable’ exchange ratios, and perhaps not the civilian
casualties either, unless important national interests were at stake which could not be attained in a cheaper
way. At this point, it is useful to review the experiences of other nations in sustained urban combat that is
more recent than our own.
CHAPTER 3 – CANADIANS IN URBAN OPERATIONS
BACKGROUND
History demonstrates that well trained forces can conduct sustained urban combat and generate favorable
exchange ratios. The first class Israeli army, specifically its Parachute Battalions, was able to exchange 2:1
with the Jordanians, a formidable enemy at the tactical level, while refraining from massive use of
firepower in the capture of the old city of Jerusalem in 1967. Israeli forces took Eastern Jerusalem from
Jordanian forces in 2 days at a cost of only 200 Israeli soldiers killed. About twice as many Jordanians died
in the battle, and there was relatively little damage to the city. The following year, U.S. and South
Vietnamese forces demonstrated that well-trained forces could achieve a much better exchange ratio in
urban warfare if they were willing to destroy the city. It took 3 1/2 weeks for U.S. and South Vietnamese
forces to drive the North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong from Hue. About 5,000 North Vietnamese were
killed in the battle. The costs to the U.S. and South Vietnamese were 147 Americans killed, 384 South
Vietnamese soldiers killed, and tremendous destruction to large parts of the city. 18
The U.S. and South Vietnamese forces were highly effective at Hue, but at the cost of tremendous
destruction to the city. The Russians in Grozny demonstrated what happens when a poorly trained army
tries to do what the U.S. and South Vietnamese did in Hue. The Russians exercised force majeur in their
assault and destroyed much of Grozny, but the personnel attrition was probably even with the highly
motivated Chechen militia.
Canadian soldiers did not fight in the ground war phase of the Persian Gulf War, had they done so the
indications are that their casualties would have been minimal to nil. But that is if one considers only the
desert war. In this instance it is again useful to be informed by an American view.
“Even if the U.S. could achieve similarly impressive results in the future, the
missions would still be costly. Only 63 Americans died during the ground attack
during the Gulf War. Had the U.S. been forced to fight a Republican Guard
division in Kuwait City, and had the U.S. achieved a 2:1 exchange ratio in the
urban fighting, several thousand American soldiers and Marines would have been
killed. Even if the U.S. invests the resources necessary to prepare its forces for
sustained urban combat, only important national objectives will merit these types
of casualties. And these missions will only make sense if there are no cheaper
ways to achieve these objectives.”19
18 Press, Daryl G. “Urban Warfare: Options, Problems And The Future” January 1999, summary
of a conference sponsored by the MIT Security Studies Program. Held May 20, 1998
19 Ibid.
PREPARING FOR FUTURE OPERATIONS IN URBAN TERRAIN
Again, being advised by American operational research, the United States Army and Marine Corps are
equipping and training U.S. troops for urban operations.20 Their new focus on urban operations is
warranted. Given that the U.S. military is likely to spend far more time in the next decade engaged in urban
operations than destroying armored formations in open terrain so will the militaries of their allies, including
Canada’s. But what type of operations should they prepare for?
In his summary to the MIT Securities Studies Program conference (20 May 98) entitled “Urban Warfare:
Options, Problems and the Future (dated January 1999), Daryl G. Press posits that U.S. military forces
should be “prepared to conduct embassy evacuations and hostage rescue missions in urban areas. They
should also prepare for ‘policing’ operations. Although policing missions are rarely in America’s interests —
our humanitarian goals can be achieved more effectively with less risk to U.S. soldiers through nonmilitary
alternatives — this mission continues to be common. Until this pattern changes, U.S. troops should
prepare for urban policing missions.”21
On the other hand, Press states that the “the United States has not sent troops into sustained urban combat
for thirty years, and it is difficult to imagine future scenarios that would justify the substantial costs which
these missions entail. There are other ways of disarming enemy forces who have entrenched themselves in
a city. Although these alternatives are not ideal, they are far better than the likely consequences of sustained
urban combat.”22
In the Second World War, the Canadian Army had extensive experience fighting in urban terrain. The
victory of the 1st Canadian Division at Battle of Ortona in Italy (20-27 Dec 1943) has long been considered
one of the most significant successes of Canadian arms.23 In addition, much of the fighting in Northwest
Europe was in the densely populated areas of Holland, Belgium and Germany. Subsequently, during the
Korean War, most Canadian combat experience was in the countryside. The extended deployment to
Europe that committed Canadian troops to NATO forces in Germany and Norway also emphasised
operations in a countryside where the cities and towns were places to be avoided.
The experience of Peace Support Operations (PSO) has involved Canadian soldiers in both rural and urban
settings. The incidence of the deployment of troops within urban areas is increasing. It is necessary to
review a number of issues both doctrinal and technological for future considerations of equipment for
20 Barry, John. “The New Urban Battlefield”, Newsweek, February 21, 2000.
21 Op. Cit.
22 Ibid..
23 Halton, David. “Return to Ortona A Battlefield Redemption.” Accessed 20 May 2000. Available
from http://tv.cbc.ca/national/pgminfo/ortona/index.html<; Internet.
operations and training. Initially, it is necessary to arrive at an appreciation of the nature of military
operations in urban terrain (MOUT).
Wars tend to draw troops into urban areas. Cities have historically played an important role in military
campaigns because roads and rail lines usually intersect in cities, and ports and airfields are frequently
located near major metropolitan centers. Movement into a theater through ports and airfields, or within a
theater on roads or rail, requires the control of major cities.
THE CHALLENGES OF OPERATIONS IN AN URBAN ENVIRONMENT
Urban warfare poses a different set of challenges than those that confronted the Canadian military for
nearly forty years. During the Cold War Canada within the NATO alliance prepared to fight a numerically
superior foe, in armoured warfare, on relatively open terrain, with long-range precision weapons. A clash
between NATO and the Warsaw Pact would have required the coordination of several corps of NATO
ground forces. In urban terrain, by contrast, engagements occur at short-range, manoeuvre and command
and control are difficult, and battles are typically fought at the section and platoon level without substantial
coordination or fire support from higher echelons. Finally, urban operations raise political risks that were
less relevant in Cold War scenarios.
For years the main focus of military technology has been working to detect and kill the enemy at longer
range than the enemy could target our forces. The goal behind these efforts was to force the enemy to cross
a ‘killing zone’ before they could engage with their shorter-range systems. In urban terrain, however, longrange
weapons are less useful. Long-range target acquisition is difficult because obstacles obstruct line-ofsight
and because enemy infantry hide in and move through buildings. A skillful enemy will deploy his
forces in ways that prevent long-range direct fire engagements. Indirect fire support is difficult in urban
terrain, too. Most artillery shells and many air-to-ground weapons fall at too shallow an angle to be
effective in densely built up areas. Furthermore, low flying aircraft are vulnerable to shoulder-fired surfaceto-
air missiles (SAMs) and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs). And because engagements are fought at very
short range, the dangers of friendly fire from artillery or air support are multiplied. The navigation and
communication difficulties resulting from urban terrain (described below) further complicate effective fire
support as units have difficulty knowing or reporting their own positions or the positions of friendly and
enemy forces. The long range of Western high-tech weapons is negated in a dense urban environment.
Urban terrain also makes manoeuvre difficult. Streets canalize the movement of ground vehicles. Because
ground routes are predictable, cities offer ideal terrain for setting ambushes. The Russian Army learned this
lesson in Chechnya. Their armored thrust into Grozny was anticipated by Chechen irregulars who
ambushed the Russians from the sides, rear, and above. The narrow streets, soon blocked by burning
Russian vehicles, made it difficult for the embattled Russian armored columns to advance, countermanoeuvre,
or even withdraw.
Urban terrain impedes command, control, communications and intelligence (C3I) more than most other
types of terrain. Navigation is difficult in dense urban areas. Global positioning system (GPS) navigation
devices require contact with at least three satellites to generate a location, and this is often impossible either
inside buildings or outside among high-rise structures. Even when ground forces can determine their exact
position in a city, communicating this information to their superiors is not simple. Radios rely on line-ofsight
transmissions that are obstructed in built-up areas, especially inside buildings.
An American writer on futuristic military affairs, Lt. Col. Ralph Peters argues: “The future of warfare lies
in the streets, sewers, high-rise buildings, and sprawl of houses that form the broken cities of the world.”24
Peters was writing in reaction to a small-scale military disaster that had occurred in Mogadishu, Somalia. In
a battle in the back alleys of Mogadishu, an elite US Ranger Company suffered 18 killed and 73
wounded—a 60 percent casualty rate. All the high-tech equipment that the Rangers were meant to have at
their disposal—satellite images, laser-guided munitions and the like—were largely useless in the teeming
streets. After Vietnam, the US military spent billions of dollars developing the kill-at-a-distance weapons.
24 Peters, Ralph. “The Human Terrain of Urban Operations”. Parameters, Summer 2000.
Without question, these weapons were devastatingly effective in the desert fighting of the gulf war.
Nonetheless, such weaponry does little to no good when an enemy soldier is just a few feet away. A 1994
Pentagon study after Mogadishu baldly concluded, “Our current capability was developed for a massive,
rural war… Since the future looks much different, new capabilities will have to be developed.” 25
Finally, urban terrain raises political problems for a Canadian expeditionary force. First, the Ortona model
reflected in our doctrine notwithstanding, using massive firepower to overwhelm enemy positions can
cause substantial physical damage to a city including the destruction of vital infrastructure and cultural
sites. Enemies who sense Canadian reluctance to destroy these sites may strategically locate their forces
near these locations. Second, urban operations can easily kill large numbers of non-combatants. Given
smoke, dust and obscurants and night time operations, civilians are difficult to distinguish from enemy
infantry. If enemy forces are not ‘in uniform’, the risk to civilians is even greater.
In sum, urban areas deny to Canadian and allied forces many of the technological advantages that were
developed during the Cold War, they constrain manoeuvre, they strain C3I systems, and they raise
substantial political problems by putting non-combatants and non-military targets in the way of military
forces.
THE TYPES OF URBAN OPERATIONS
Urban terrain creates significant problems for standard western military forces. What can be done to equip
the Canadian soldiers who must operate in this environment irrespective of diplomatic and political
considerations? To assess these issues we may subdivide “urban operations” into the different types of
operations that the Canadian Army might be asked to perform in urban terrain. These categories were
proposed by Daryl G. Press26, specifically for the US Armed Forces, to help identify the conditions under
which urban operations might make sense, the types of operations that forces should prepare to conduct,
and the feasibility of U.S. forces developing dominance over enemies in urban terrain.
Press identifies three types of urban operations: policing operations, raids, and sustained urban conflict. The
three categories of urban operations and their salient features are summarized in the table on the next page.
Each of these operations is described and distinguished from the others by the mission’s goals, strategic
importance, the nature of the adversary, and the difficulty.
25 Cited in United States Foreign Military Studies Office (FMSO), Grau, Lester W. and Kipp, Dr.
Jacob W. “Urban Combat: Confronting the Specter,” first published in Military Review, July-
August 1999.
26 Press, Daryl G. “Urban Warfare: Options, Problems And The Future” January 1999, summary
of a conference sponsored by the MIT Security Studies Program. Held May 20, 1998
Type Goals Strategic
Importance
Military
Risks
Recent
Examples
Policing Operations Deter violence Low Low Haiti, Bosnia
Early Somalia
Raids
Evacuation of
Embassies
Seize Ports and Airfields
Counter WMD
Seize Enemy Leaders
Seize or interdict
facilities,
personnel or
materiel
Low to high Low to high Liberia,
Albania,
Sierra Leone
Panama
Bosnia,
Somalia (late)
Sustained Urban
Combat
Defeat enemy
forces
very high Very high Grozny,
no recent CA
or Allied
example
The first category of urban operations is “policing operations”, in Canadian terms these cover the spectrum
within Peace Support Operations (PSO) from Peace Keeping to Peace Making operations. Like domestic
policing, the primary goal of international policing is to prevent the outbreak of violence. Canadian
peacekeeping operations in Haiti are an example of a policing mission. Policing missions usually face only
scattered and uncoordinated opposition. Adversaries are often irregular forces who are less skilled than fulltime
military units. The key to success, as in domestic policing, involves maintaining presence throughout
the area of operations, using speed to concentrate overwhelming force against troublemakers, and
separating these troublemakers from the general population as soon as possible.
Peace Support missions frequently involve low strategic stakes for the participating countries. These
missions are usually intended to promote the United Nations’ charter and values rather than protect a given
country’s strategic interests; as a result, the Canadian government and public are unwilling to sustain many
casualties on Peace Support Operations. Success in these missions is possible, however, because Canada’s
low casualty tolerance is offset by the low risks that these missions tend to pose. The greatest cost of
policing operations is the effect of lengthy deployments on the morale, readiness, and retention rates in the
Canadian Forces.
The second type of mission liable to occur in an urban setting, the “raid”, is a broad category that spans the
Canadian doctrinal spectrum from Peace Making to Peace Enforcement. Peace Enforcement can have
many different goals, for example evacuating foreign citizens and embassies, rescuing hostages, arresting
enemy leaders, neutralizing the ‘warfighting’ potential of belligerent powers, seizing port facilities or
airfields, or taking control of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) sites. The common characteristics of
these missions are the rapid insertion of forces into enemy, or disputed territory, the completion of some
mission at the target site (e.g. evacuation of friendly personnel, or destruction of WMD equipment) and the
extraction of friendly forces. The insertion and extraction of forces is often the hardest part of operations in
urban areas. The proliferation of shoulder-fired SAMs and hand-held anti-armor weapons has made the
insertion and extraction of forces very dangerous.
In many cases, since the UN would proclaim its intent in these scenarios, the tactical considerations involve
avoiding being surprised rather than in attaining surprise. Therefore, the importance of handheld, close
range surveillance systems must not be underestimated.
The third category of urban operations is sustained urban combat. The goals of sustained urban combat are
to hold a city, take a city, or destroy enemy military forces that are using a city for shelter. Canadian forces
have not been engaged in sustained urban combat for fifty-five years — since the last fighting in the
German cities of Emden and Bremerhaven in May 1945 at the very end of the Second World War. The
Russian assault into Grozny is the most recent example of sustained urban fighting.
Sustained urban combat could be waged against forces with skill levels that range from poorly trained
civilians to regular military forces. For the reasons described earlier, it is one of the most difficult and
costly types of military operations. Even irregular forces can inflict substantial losses on an attacking force
in sustained urban combat.
It is unlikely that Canada and any coalition we were acting with would embark on sustained urban combat
unless significant national and coalition interests were at stake. For example, in a conventional war between
NATO and the Warsaw Pact, a 10:1 exchange ratio in NATO’s favor would have been a tremendous
victory for the West. But in a conflict in 1993 between U.S. soldiers and Somali gunmen, a 25:1 exchange
rate in America’s favor was considered to be a terrible defeat. The difference between these two scenarios is
obvious: Americans believed that defending NATO from a Soviet attack was worth the lives of thousands
of Americans; arresting the Somali Warlord Mohammed Farrah Aidid, on the other hand, did not merit the
loss of even eighteen soldiers.27 Undoubtedly, Canadian governmental and public opinion would react in a
similar way. It is probable that improved doctrine, specialized equipment, and realistic training can reduce
the risks of various types of urban operations, but these missions will still be unpalatable if the risks remain
high, if the interests at stake are small. Therefore, a system such as the passive, millimeter wave radar
detector becomes invaluable if it prevents our troops from being surprised and avoids the perception of
mission failure due to the incidence of casualties.
27 National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA), Stanton, John J. “Training Marines for War in
the City Drills in Simulated Urban Zones Underscore Need for New Equipment,” (undated); and
Loeb, Vernon. “After-action Report”, The Washington Post, Sunday, February 27, 2000.
Peace Support Operations generate missions that can usually be carried out within acceptable levels of risk,
and they can become easier with improvements in training and doctrine. New technologies might reduce
the risks of policing operations further. Sniper detection will help soldiers detect enemy snipers. Improved,
lightweight body armor will provide soldiers increased protection from handgun rounds and fragments
from explosive munitions. Optical equipment that allows troops to look around corners without exposing
themselves will give them greater protection. Given the extreme close quarters of urban fighting and the
presence of obscurants such as smoke from burning buildings and smoke shells, a system that allows the
soldier to “see” through structures and obscurants will save lives and set our soldiers up favourably for
decisive engagements.
THE WORST CASE SCENARIO REVISITED
At present it appears most unlikely that Canadian Forces troops will become involved in sustained urban
combat in the next decade. But should such fighting occur, it would imply very high Canadian casualties.
Furthermore, minimizing Canadian casualties may require taking steps that increase civilian casualties and
collateral damage. Canada would find it very difficult if not impossible to tolerate the losses resulting from
‘favourable’ exchange ratios, and perhaps not the civilian casualties either, unless important national
interests were at stake, which could not be attained in a cheaper way. In this desperate scenario the use of
millimeter wave detection and surveillance equipment would undoubtedly serve to lessen Canadian
casualties and assist greatly in avoiding the engagement of nonmilitary personnel.
PREPARING FOR FUTURE OPERATIONS IN URBAN TERRAIN
It is evident from American operational research, that the United States Army and Marine Corps are
equipping and training U.S. troops for urban operations.28 Given that the U.S. military is likely to spend far
more time in the next decade engaged in urban operations than destroying armored formations in open
terrain so will the militaries of their allies, including Canada’s. The question remains as to what type of
operations should the Canadian Forces prepare for?
In his summary to the MIT Securities Studies Program conference (20 May 98), Daryl G. Press posits that
U.S. military forces should be “prepared to conduct embassy evacuations and hostage rescue missions in
urban areas. They should also prepare for ‘policing’ operations. Although policing missions are rarely in
America’s interests — our humanitarian goals can be achieved more effectively with less risk to U.S.
soldiers through non-military alternatives — this mission continues to be common. Until this pattern
changes, U.S. troops should prepare for urban policing missions.”
On the other hand, Press states that the “the United States has not sent troops into sustained urban combat
for thirty years, and it is difficult to imagine future scenarios that would justify the substantial costs which
these missions entail. There are other ways of disarming enemy forces that have entrenched themselves in a
city. Although these alternatives are not ideal, they are far better than the likely consequences of sustained
urban combat.”
28 The MOUT Homepage – Technology, Weapons, Equipment, accessed 20 May 2000.
Available from http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/6453/techa.html; Internet; and articles such as
Center for (US) Army Lessons Learned (CALL), “Military Operations In Urban Terrain,” Light
Infantry In Action Part II Newsletter No. 2-88, (undated) and Center for (US) Army Lessons
Learned, Mordica, George J. “It’s a dirty Business, but somebody has to do it. (URBAN
COMBAT).” (undated).
CONCLUDING MATERIAL
There are reasons to believe that future conflicts will involve more urban operations than those in the past.
First, the world is becoming more urban. About half of the world’s population lives in cities today; 70%
will live in urban areas in 25 years. As the number and size of cities grow, so will the frequency that
overseas wars involve urban fighting. Second, cities are the political and economic centers of modern
countries. Wherever fighting occurs in future decades, the chances are good that it, and the people who
control it, will be located in cities.
Finally, United States led coalitions will frequently be drawn into cities because no enemy’s military can
compete with U.S. forces in open terrain. Urban terrain, for reasons described below, negates many U.S.
advantages and capitalizes on the general unwillingness on the part of western countries to kill noncombatants.
Enemies will put their forces — conventional or irregular — in cities to fight on the most
advantageous ground possible.
It is difficult to build and maintain MOUT training facilities that reflect all of the types of urban terrain the
Canadian Forces are likely to encounter. Another commonly perceived drawback is that mock-up villages
are inherently expensive, high-maintenance and too small. Thirty buildings do not constitute a city.29 Given
the almost personal nature of urban combat, it is probably unnecessary to develop specific drills above the
level of Platoon and perhaps even Section.30 For higher levels of command, simulations can play a
valuable role in training unit and formation commanders and staffs for modern urban combat and for the
29 National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA), Stanton, John J. “Training Marines for War in
the City Drills in Simulated Urban Zones Underscore Need for New Equipment,” (undated).
United States Foreign Military Studies Office (FMSO), Grau, Lester W. and Kipp, Dr. Jacob W.
“Urban Combat: Confronting the Specter,” first published in Military Review, July-August 1999.
30 See Army Lessons Learned Centre (CA), “Zero Template House Clearing Range,” The Bulletin.
Vol 2. No. 2., this article provides a useful model of a training facility for Section Tactics in MOUT
and would be ideal for training with handheld millimeter wave systems.
tactical training of small units in this demanding environment. In urban warfare computerized war games, a
world-class opposing force should contest Blue Forces for the loyalty and support of the indigenous
population. Computerized training systems, such as JANUS, should incorporate city models that allow
interaction at ground level, at various building heights and in subterranean passages. Computerized training
models that currently generate all locations using the UTM system should incorporate nonstandard location
systems.
It is evident that Canada will do its utmost to avoid involvement in major conflict. Nonetheless, the
Canadian Forces will become involved in military operations, which in the future will reside within
coalitions and be focused at the tactical level of command. It is also evident that these operations will
increasingly occur within urban terrain and therefore all possible measures must be taken to increase the
effectiveness and survivability of Canadian Forces soldiers and enable them to engage targets minimizing
collateral damage and the chances of killing or wounding noncombatants. In future, this most assuredly
includes the acquisition and employment of handheld millimeter wave systems at Section level and below.
The Canadian Forces must train and equip today to conduct difficult urban missions; it would be best if this
training and equipment enabled us to avoid the heavy casualties of some future Ortona.
CHAPTER 4 – MILLIMETER WAVES
Millimeter waves are electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths in the range 10mm to 1mm with
corresponding frequencies of 30 to 300 GHz, located between the microwave and infrared portions of the
electromagnetic spectrum.31
Radar applications seem to have particular frequency bands to which they are suited best. Although there
has been much interest in exploring the potential of radar at millimeter wavelengths, it has not been
practical for most applications because of high attenuation even in the “clear” atmosphere. It is difficult to
31 Liu, Yonghua, ed. Radar Principles and Applications, Lecture Notes for Land Force Technical
Staff Course. (Kingston, Ontario: Royal Military College of Canada, 1996), CH10-10.
use millimeter-wave radar for anything other than short range (a few kilometers) within the atmosphere.
For deployment in outer space where there is no atmosphere to attenuate these frequencies, millimeterwave
radar, however, can be considered.32
The advantages of millimeter waves include their ability to provide accurate, excellent image identification
and resolution. They also provide remote measurements while operating through smoke, dust, fog or rain.
At the same time, millimeter waves can be vulnerable to absorption by certain atmospheric and
meteorological activity. Different millimeter-wave frequencies work best for particular tasks. Scientists at
the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI)33 have identified and refined windows of attenuation, the
frequencies that mitigate atmospheric interference with the signals. Atmospheric attenuation of millimeter
waves is shown on the chart below.34
Millimeter wave research at the GTRI has been an ongoing process of discovering the appearance of
objects from tanks to raindrops when viewed by high-frequency waves. Researchers have also determined
the types of data, specifically the absorption and reflection characteristics they can derive from the
interaction of those objects with the waves. In the process, they have pioneered the fundamental science of
the millimeter wave environment, while inventing the hardware, such as antennas, receivers and
transmitters, to use that end of the spectrum.
32 “Radar,” Encyclopædia Britannica Online, accessed 20 May 2000. Available from
http://www.eb.com:180/bol/topic?eu=117367&sctn=10; Internet.
33 “Millimeter Wave Radar”, Research Horizons, Georgia Tech Research Institute, accessed 20
May 2000. Available from http://www.gtri.gatech.edu/rh-sf99/t-wave.html; Internet.
34 Liu, Yonghua, ed. Radar Principles and Applications, Lecture Notes for Land Force Technical
Staff Course. Kingston, Ontario: Royal Military College of Canada, 1996.
The GTRI built the first military-designation millimeter wave radar in the late 1950s, followed by a
succession of increasingly advanced models. By the 1980s, research to build a radar with a wavelength as
near to 1 millimeter as possible culminated in development of the world’s highest-frequency microwave
radar, operating at 225 GHz. The device can provide useful imaging with an antenna less than 30
centimeters in diameter and is coherent meaning it can detect Doppler returns from moving targets.35
Meanwhile, millimeter-wave systems are increasingly being used in various battlefield scenarios for
tracking functions, since they have an advantage over optical systems in that they can penetrate fog and
smoke. In many such applications, where systems are operated close to the earth’s surface, multipath
interference from the ground can confound target detection and cause erratic tracking. Such interference
not only depends on the system geometry, such as transmitter and receiver height, and system parameters
such as antenna beam width, but also on the terrain type and condition.
Characterization of millimeter-wave multipath is essential for an accurate estimation of angular errors in
tracking scenarios. It is also important to separate the multipath interference signal into its specular and
diffuse components. Scientists at the University of Nebraska Lincoln36 measured the specular and diffuse
reflection coefficients of a variety of terrain types using the phase-interference method based on heightgain
curves. These measurements were made at a frequency of 95 GHz at low grazing angles in the range
0.5 degrees to 2 degrees with transmit-receive antenna separations of 250-500 m.
They also developed a technique to separate the specular and diffuse components by filtering in the spatial
Fourier Transform domain by appropriate choice of filter frequencies obtained from system geometry
considerations. Concrete and packed-snow surfaces show moderate-to-high specular reflection
coefficients, while wet melting snow, gravel and asphalt surfaces have lower values. Grass-covered terrain
showed no specular reflection. On the other hand, rough melting snow and gravel show high values for the
diffuse reflection coefficient, while these values are moderate-to-high for packed snow, asphalt and
concrete, and low for grass.37
Research by the late Jim Gallagher in millimeter spectroscopy paved the way for exploiting millimeter
waves for measurements in radio astronomy, satellite-based studies of the upper atmosphere, climate,
rainfall and vegetation patterns, and a host of other environmental concerns.38
Georgia Tech scientists have also achieved a number of firsts in millimeter characterization of clutter and
targets, essential data for reliable millimeter radar systems. Since the 1960s, more than a dozen projects
have provided millimeter measurements of foliage and rain, the ocean, snow-covered ground, the desert,
and a variety of military vehicles. In the 1980s, GTRI researchers conducted a comprehensive study of the
image-quality effects of atmospheric turbulence and precipitation on millimeter wave propagation.39
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Research and Technology Organization (RTO) has
formed the scientific Technical Group 14 (TG 14), a body of interested member countries whose role is to
collaborate on research into millimeter wave radiation. On 7 February 2000, the TG 14 met at the Defence
Research Establishment Valcartier to report on the status of member country research. The United States,
Great Britain, the Netherlands, Germany and Canada were represented.
The largest research effort by far, is being conducted in the United States. The focus of the United States
Army Research Laboratory (ARL) is “strategic dominance across the entire spectrum of operations.” Their
vision is to integrate multiple Radio Frequency (RF) functions to reduce the cost, complexity, volume, and
35 Ibid.
36 Terrestrial Remote Sensing Page, accessed 20 May 2000. Available from
http://doppler.unl.edu/html/terr-projects.html; Internet.
37 Ibid.
38 “Millimeter Wave Radar”, Research Horizons, Georgia Tech Research Institute, accessed 20
May 2000. Available from http://www.gtri.gatech.edu/rh-sf99/t-wave.html; Internet.
39 Ibid.
number of electronic systems on lightweight, highly mobile future battlefield weapons and platforms. The
US Army millimeter wave research topics include millimeter wave targeting and imaging systems for RF
imaging, and frequency control and super resolution for scanning radar antenna in millimeter wave low
angle tracking. To date, the ARL has developed a polarimetric ISAR instrumentation device, which
operates at 8-18, 34, and 94GHz. It has also developed a 35GHz polarimetric monopulse instrumentation
radar, and a 95GHz polarimetric monopulse instrumentation radar.40
The Millimeter-Wave Branch at the ARL is also investigating polarimetric effects in passive millimeter
wave imaging. This research supports the American defence aviation and surveillance communities, which
can use this technology to detect enemy targets through fog and clouds without transmitting. The purpose
of the current work is to investigate the ways in which the passive polarimetric signature of targets in
clutter can be exploited to enhance contrast in airborne imagery.41
The Munition Directorate of the United States Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is conducting
research into active and passive millimeter-wave seeker sensors. The research objective of the
Hammerhead Program is to demonstrate synthetic aperture radar guidance through precision impact against
fixed high value ground targets. The potential advantages of a millimeter-wave synthetic aperture radar
seeker include adverse weather imaging, precision guidance, autonomous operation, and pre-briefed and
real time mission planning. The AFRL is also researching passive millimeter wave technology. A
Radiometric One Second Camera (ROSCAM) has been developed. It is a single element passive
millimeter wave imager, which detects at 95GHz. The intended eventual use for ROSCAM will be on
helicopters, fixed wing aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles and direct attack and broad area search
munitions.42
95 GHz Passive Images
The British research effort has several thrusts. These include passive millimeter wave imaging at short (0-
100m) and medium (100-10000m) ranges, active millimeter wave radar imaging of fixed ground targets,
relocatable ground targets, mines and extensive ground truth, and active millimeter wave imaging seekers
for future ground attack weapons.
For the British, the challenge of passive detection is to produce real time millimeter wave images at the
right cost whilst maintaining image quality. They do not have the resources to develop a short-range
passive imager, however, for medium range imaging they have developed the “MITRE” 94GHz 8 channel
passive imager.43
In conjunction with its other European research partners from Germany, France, the Netherlands, Britain
conducted a Millimeter Wave Imaging Experiment (MIMEX) in 1999. Each participating nation used its
own experimental millimeter wave imager to detect fixed and relocatable ground targets with great success.
40 United States Army Research Laboratory, Millimeter Wave Research Presentation, 7 February
2000.
41 Ibid.
42 Smith, Roger. MMW R & D. United States, Air Force Research Laboratory Munition
Directorate, 7 February 2000.
43 Appleby, Dr. Roger. UK Strategy, Passive Millimeter Wave Imaging. United Kingdom, DERA,
January 2000.
According to Dr. Roger Appleby of DERA, a preliminary database of target profiles was created from
which further experimentation will be based.44
British research into active millimeter wave seekers is aimed at exploiting high spatial resolution imagery
to maximize performance of the seeker. The research thrust is centred on system design, algorithm
development and performance assessment. The ultimate goal according to Dr. Adrian Britton is to develop
common seeker elements for many applications.45
Dutch research into millimeter waves is limited to synthetic aperture imaging radar, radar signatures and
modeling, radar target acquisition and surveillance and antenna design.46
The German research effort into millimeter waves includes passive millimeter wave imaging and active
millimeter wave radar. The thrusts of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) are to develop airborne passive
imaging line scanners and seekers, to improve the spatial and radiometric resolution, to investigate fully
polarimetric signatures and to detect mines.47
German active millimeter wave research includes the imager on the CL-289 Reconnaissance Drone, the
AAMIS Minesearch Demonstrator, the TAIFUN Attack Drone, the SMART Sensor Fuzed Munition for
Artillery, and SEAD Suppression of Enemy Air Defence guided weapons.48
Canada’s military millimeter wave research is conducted at the Defence Research Establishment Valcartier
(DREV) and is focussed on maritime and land force applications. The maritime thrust includes defence
against millimeter wave guided threats, detection of submarine periscopes, surveillance of small boat traffic
and surveillance of shores. The land thrust includes target acquisition and identification, defensive aid
suites (DAS) and identification friend or foe (IFF).
DREV has developed the Common Aperture Multi-Sensors (CAMUS) device, which operates in the Ka
and W Bands. It is Frequency Modulated (FM) and Continuous Wave (CW), and has a resolution of 20
cm. The present R & D priorities for DREV include integrated Infrared millimeter wave FMCW radar for
fire control through data fusion, integrated Infrared millimeter wave radar for surveillance in both clear and
limited visibility conditions, target identification using holographic neural network technology, and target
characterization from polarimetric features.49
Millimeter waves have the very interesting capability of “seeing through” most packaging, clothing, and
many wall materials, while still providing sufficiently detailed images. They are therefore ideally suited for
use in security and emergency applications. Unlike ionizing x-ray and gamma ray radiation, millimeter
waves cannot penetrate human skin thus security systems based on millimeter wave technology are
completely people safe.
It is particularly interesting that human skin is naturally highly emissive in the millimeter wavelength
region, allowing sensors to distinguish between people and other items in a scene. This is an important
feature for many applications. These natural emissions make it possible to create completely passive
44 Appleby, Dr. Roger. NATO Research: Millimeter Wave Imaging. United Kingdom, DERA,
January 2000.
45 Britton, Dr. Adrian. MMW Imaging Seekers for Future Ground Attack Weapons. United
Kingdom, DERA, February 2000.
46 Van Den Broek, Bert. Radar Defence research at TNO-FEL. TNO-FEL, The Hague, The
Netherlands, 7 February 2000
47 Peichl, Markus and Sub, Helmut. DLR Activities on Passive MMW Imaging for Military
Applications. Institute of Radio Frequency Technology and Radar Systems, German Aerospace
Center, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany, February 2000.
48 Schimf, H. Application of Millimeter Wave Techniques for Ground Surveillance GE Activities.
Germany, FGAN, 7 February 2000.
49 De Villiers, Dr. Yves. Millimeter-Wave R & D Projects at DREV. Valcartier, Canada, Defence
Research Establishment Valcartier, 7 February 2000.
sensors that rely solely on detecting the existing radiation in a scene, further ensuring user acceptance and
safety.50
CHAPTER 5
PASSIVE MILLIMETER WAVE TECHNOLOGY
“Between microwave and infrared lies the millimeter waveband. This littleheralded
portion of the electromagnetic spectrum turns out to be perfect
for ‘remote frisking’. Millitech Corporation (now Millivision LLC) has
designed a camera to accomplish just that. The idea calls for measuring
the time delay and intensity of millimeter wave energy that radiates
naturally. At millimeter wavelengths, people are good emitters, while
metals are very poor. Dielectric objects, such as plastics, ceramics and
powdered drugs, are somewhere in between. Clothing and building
materials, such as wallboard, are virtually transparent.”
“Frisking From Afar” Popular Mechanics October 199551
Commercial development of millimeter wave technology is leading to a new generation of security and
safety products. These products will also be extremely useful during military and security force operations
in urban terrain. Millimeter waves can pass through walls, clothing, and packaging to allow detection of
hidden people and objects. Not limited to metal, millimeter-wave-based systems allow the detection of
ceramic weapons, plastic explosives, drugs, and other contraband.
The safety of victims, hostages or security forces placed at risk often depends on the ability to assess
situations quickly and accurately. For example, hostage and terrorism situations require knowledge of
building interiors and the location and identification of individuals. Fire fighters need methods to determine
whether or not burning buildings are occupied. Search and rescue teams must be able to locate hidden
survivors in debris or other materials. Military forces fighting in built up areas must be able to determine
where the enemy is, and distinguish combatants from non-combatants.
Regardless of the case, it is vital that this assessment be carried out remotely so as to avoid endangering
more people. Many dangerous situations also require that assessment be done discretely so as to not alert
criminals or the enemy to the intentions of security force personnel.
50 Millivision Homepage, accessed between September 1999 and May 2000. Available from
http://www.millivision.com/; Internet.
51 White, Eleanor, P Eng. The State of Unclassified and Commercial Technology
Capable of Some Electronic Mind Control Effects, accessed 20 May 2000. Available from
http://www.raven1.net/uncom.htm#TWRAD; Internet.
Another desirable capability is the monitoring and surveillance of activities within a specific area.
Businesses must provide building security, law enforcement personnel need to monitor suspects, and
government agencies and the military must protect sensitive areas.
This wide variety of surveillance applications presents a diverse set of needs. In many cases, the subjects of
the surveillance must remain unaware of being monitored, requiring the covert installation of equipment.
Safety and discretion requirements may mandate monitoring under reduced visibility conditions, such as in
darkness or through smoke or fog. The detection of concealed contraband or other threats demands
capabilities beyond simple visual surveillance.
Millimeter wave imaging systems move beyond traditional surveillance cameras to provide the answer to
these needs. These devices permit the discrete, non-intrusive surveillance of people entering courtrooms,
schools, banks, airports, political meetings, or other sensitive areas. Using the millimeter band of the
spectrum permits imaging impossible for standard surveillance cameras, such as through dense fog or in
complete darkness.
Two kinds of sensors, passive and active, provide a wide range of complimentary capabilities. Passive
sensors rely solely on the natural existing radiation in a scene, ensuring complete safety while making them
difficult to detect and countermeasure. Many wall and most clothing materials are transparent to millimeter
waves, allowing for covert installation and the detection of items hidden on the person.
In addition to valuing our collective safety, our society also values individual liberties. Thus, although
frisking might provide an effective search technique, it is unacceptable in terms of invasion of privacy in
many situations. X-rays can provide an effective search of luggage and other items, but perceived health
risks due to their ionizing effects make them unacceptable for searching for weapons concealed on a
person.
The possible danger posed by the presence of concealed weapons is felt in many areas of our society. From
airports and courthouses to schools and amusements parks, we are now confronted with the need to search
individuals for concealed weapons to ensure public safety. Such searches must be efficient, accurate, and
involve minimal inconvenience for the individuals being searched.
Traditional searches for concealed weapons are limited
by many factors. Metal detectors, the current choice for
many applications, are limited to detecting metal
objects, allowing dangerous items such as non-metal
guns, ceramic knives, and plastic explosives to go
undetected. The high rate of false alarms and the lack
of location information also limit the effectiveness of
metal detectors for this purpose.
Passive millimeter waves sensors, combined with advanced imaging software, are ideally suited to the task
of concealed weapons detection. Able to “see through” most clothing materials, such sensors also provide
shape and location information to aid in determining whether a detected item poses a threat. By using only
the natural existing emissions in the scene, passive systems guarantee safe and non-invasive operation with
as much discretion as the situation requires.
Undetected contraband poses a security risk and financial threat to many of today’s businesses and
government agencies. High-tech companies worry about theft and corporate espionage, border crossing
agents watch for the illegal importation or exportation of goods, and prisons must control contraband to
ensure the safety of both personnel and inmates. Whether concerned with preventing theft, uncovering
smuggling attempts, or eliminating the threat posed by concealed weapons or drugs, these institutions all
require the ability to detect contraband quickly, effectively, and safely.
Traditional contraband detection technology limits the
effectiveness of these operations. X-rays are useful for
searching luggage and other containers, but again,
safety issues restrict use on people and can create
health concerns for operators. Metal detectors are
limited to detecting metal objects and provide no
information on the identity or location of detected items.
Visual and physical searches are slow and intrusive and
may place the searcher at risk.
Millimeter wave imaging systems overcome these problems to provide safe, effective, remote detection of
contraband hidden on the person. Inanimate objects emit different radiation signatures than living beings,
making attempts to disguise contraband ineffective. Passive millimeter wave systems use only natural
existing emissions, guaranteeing safe and non-invasive operation. By being able to “see through” most
clothing materials, millimeter wave systems can provide discrete remote sensing capabilities, minimizing
operator risk while maintaining subject privacy. As an imaging system, millimeter wave sensors cannot
determine chemical composition, but when combined with advanced imaging software they can provide
valuable shape and location information, helping to distinguish contraband from permitted items.
Millivision LLC of Massachusetts is leading industry in the development of passive millimeter-wave
detectors that are non-invasive to the human body, that are safe for operators, subjects and bystanders, and
that are difficult to countermeasure. Millivision is presently developing and producing three prototypes of
millimeter wave detector products, a Gateway Scanner, a Handheld Scanner and a Surveillance Camera.52
The Gateway Scanner is presently under development and in limited use in a number of American airports.
It will check for concealed weapons and other contraband hidden under the clothing of people entering
sensitive areas through well-defined portals. It will use the naturally occurring millimeter wave emissions
from humans entering the scanner to detect metallic and non-metallic weapons, plastic explosives, drugs,
and other contraband hidden under multiple layers of clothing without the necessity of a direct physical
search. The passive image
52 Millivision Homepage, accessed between September 1999 and May 2000. Available from
http://www.millivision.com/; Internet.
formation technique uses no man-made radiation, ensuring complete safety for operators, subjects, and
bystanders.
Civilian applications include security at airports, courtrooms, correctional facilities, government and
commercial office buildings, schools, banks and other financial institutions, high-value manufacturing
plants, and other areas where metal detectors are in use today. Military applications include the protection
of secure facilities and the screening of civilians for concealed weapons and explosives at border crossings
and security checkpoints.
The Gateway Scanner will use a multiple-line millimeter wave sensor capable of producing moderately
high resolution, line-scanned images. The software component of the system will compose these lines into
a complete, calibrated image, perform object-detection, and optionally alert operators to the potential
existence of concealed items. This imaging software will also be used to correct for small movements by
the subject, enhance image quality, and help preserve privacy, making it an essential component of the
system.
The Handheld Scanner will be a portable device, similar to a “radar gun,” used to scan individuals for
concealed weapons or other contraband. It can supplement existing walk-through metal detectors, or be
used alone in security situations where its portability and small size make it more convenient than a fixed
device. It is designed to be especially useful in situations that may require an impromptu search, such as in
military and civilian policing activities.
Like Millivision’s other passive millimeter wave products in development, the Handheld Scanner relies
solely on the existing natural millimeter wave emissions from subjects and objects in the scene. By not
exposing the subject, operator, or any bystander to any man-made radiation, complete safety is ensured.
Using millimeter wave imaging techniques allows the device to detect metallic and non-metallic weapons,
plastic explosives, drugs, and a wide variety of other contraband.
The Handheld Scanner will be a manually operated, self-contained, battery-powered device consisting of a
sensor mounted in a housed assembly with a pistol grip and LCD display mounted on the rear of the unit.
Planned options include a bore-sighted visual TV camera to provide visible light images, which can be used
for visualization and to protect subject privacy. Scanned over a subject, in much the same manner as a
flashlight is scanned over a large object, the Handheld Scanner will generate a sequence of sub-images of
the subject. Integrated imaging software then constructs complete images from this sequence of subimages,
identifies suspect objects in the image, and highlights these objects in the display.
The Handheld Scanner is in development with emphasis on refining the small, lightweight, robust
components required for successful field application while maintaining reasonable per-unit cost.
The Surveillance Camera will provide remote monitoring and surveillance,
including concealed weapons and contraband detection, in a loosely structured
indoor or outdoor environment. It will use passive imaging techniques, ensuring
complete safety for operators, subjects, and bystanders, while making the
system difficult to countermeasure. The ability of millimeter waves to pass
through many wall materials will permit either overt or covert installation.
Each unit will be largely self-contained, with built-in positioning device, a separate power supply that can
be mounted near the camera unit, and a two-way communication link to a central monitoring point.
Because the human body is opaque at millimeter wavelengths, at least two cameras will be required to
provide complete coverage of a given area. A typical installation would involve several cameras, remotely
monitored by an operator, deployed to cover one or more monitored areas. The units may optionally
include a coaxial bore-sighted visual TV camera to provide additional information to the system and its
operators.
Planned options include integrated image understanding software to aid the operator by identifying and
highlighting suspicious objects carried on a person. This software will help ensure subject privacy by
displaying only these suspicious objects, possibly overlaid on the visual image. The Surveillance Camera
is in development with emphasis on generating video frame rate images and providing a large field of view.
Passive millimeter wave technology has great potential to improve the capabilities of security forces in a
wide variety of short-range static circumstances. However, the development of this technology is still in its
early stages. Also under development are a number of active millimeter-wave radar systems, which in the
hands of security forces will provide a capability to detect human presence where that intelligence is
needed.
CHAPTER 6
ACTIVE MILLIMETER WAVE TECHNOLOGY
When millimeter wave signals are received they are so small that they can display a two-dimensional
outline of an object. Lower frequency radar can only show a one-dimensional blip, which indicates an
object’s presence or motion, but not it’s outline. A millimeter wave antenna acts like a camera lens to
focus incoming signals on to a plate with a two-dimensional array of elements sensitive to millimeter wave
frequencies, in exactly the same way a camera focuses light onto a piece of film. Each of the sensitive
elements is scanned in a definite order, just like a TV camera and screen, and a picture showing the outline
of an object is formed. When radio waves are transmitted the emitter is referred to as being active.
Active (radar) millimeter wave imaging systems are able to “see through” most wall materials, providing
the technology of choice for developing situation assessment systems. Such systems extend the ability of
users to view activities from one or two rooms away, or from the outside of a building into its interior.
Using this technology, hostage, terrorism, demolition, and other unlawful and dangerous situations can be
assessed remotely and evaluated for action.
Millimeter wave radar imaging systems can be made extremely sensitive to movement, even to the level of
detecting heartbeats. This makes them ideally suited for search and rescue and other applications where
individuals may be alive, but unable to respond to rescuers. Millimeter waves are non-ionizing and are
incapable of penetrating human skin thus making them completely safe for use. Images from active
systems can be used to form 3-dimensional images of hidden scenes, which could be used to identify and
locate people and major furnishings within a concealed room. Sensitivity to minute motion makes active
systems especially valuable for determining the location and activities of people in a scene.
Three high-tech labs are in the final stages of developing millimeter wave radar devices that can see
through walls by broadcasting radio signals across broad bands of the spectrum to pinpoint a hidden
suspect. Time Domain is an Alabama company that has developed a through-the-wall surveillance system
called Radar Vision. Raytheon has adapted military missile guidance technology into its MARS system, or
Motion and Ranging Sensor. The company promises MARS will spot a lurking fugitive 100 feet away.
That kind of range is enough to find someone hiding two stories up inside a building. Scientists at Georgia
Tech are working on a third system, which is a lightweight through-the-wall radar system that fits inside a
flashlight. With a range of about 40 feet, the radar flashlight displays less information than the other two
devices.
Time Domain
Time Domain has a radical new technology called time-modulated ultra-wide band (TM-UWB)
transmission. It opens up virtually infinite bandwidth in the existing electromagnetic spectrum, according to
Interval Research physicists and other experts. TM-UWB technology was patented in 1987 by engineer
Larry Fullerton the chief technology officer of Time Domain, a small Huntsville, Alabama company. TMUWB
uses precisely timed, extremely short, coded pulses transmitting over a wide range of frequencies.
The company claims on its web site that these can carry orders of magnitude more data than conventional
communications systems, can support an essentially unlimited number of users and are virtually impossible
to jam or detect. This makes them ideal for a wide range of applications from networking to through-thewall
radar and secure communications systems.53
Most conventional radar systems use continuous signals at a fixed frequency or set of frequencies. TMUWB
technology uses a series of short pulses that are billionths of a second or less in duration. The pulses
are transmitted at ultra-precise, nearly random intervals and frequencies to convey the information, using a
technique called pulse-position modulation. The receiver has to be programmed with the right code to
translate the series of pulses into digital ones and zeros. A “zero” might be indicated by transmitting the
pulse 100 picoseconds (trillionths of a second) early and a “one” indicated by transmitting it 100
picoseconds late. A receiver without the right code will only hear noise.
TM-UWB systems are also resistant to “multipath interference” caused by signals bouncing off objects,
such as the “ghosts” seen on old TV sets. As a result, TM-UWB users can operate in the same location
without interfering with one another.
Time Domain plans to license its technology for cutting-edge applications like communications within
buildings, precise determination of the distance between objects, security systems, underground imaging to
rescue people buried in earthquakes, secure military communications and through-the-wall radar.
53The Time Domain Corporation Homepage, accessed 20 May 2000. Available from
http://www.time-domain.com/; Internet.
Radar Vision by Time Domain54
The U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Army are testing radios that can transmit millions of coded pulses
each second over 2 gigahertz (2 billion hertz, or cycles) of bandwidth for covert communications. Time
Domain literature claims that transmissions from the radios, which operate with just 5 milliwatts spread
over more than 2 gigahertz of bandwidth, are “virtually indistinguishable from noise” and can only be
detected by a matched receiver. They can also pinpoint the location of other members of the unit.55
John B. Geiger, vice president of R&D for San Rafael-based Geisas Technology, funded Time Domain to
develop a high-bandwidth digital RF communications link for the Immigration and Naturalization Service
several years ago. He also plans to use TM-UWB technology as an imaging-radar for another U.S.
government agency. The device is capable of digitally mapping structure interiors in real time for law
enforcement agencies. He also hopes to use the technology to build radar to detect non-metallic antipersonnel
land mines. “The U.N. says 26 people are killed or mutilated by land mines every hour
worldwide,” says Geiger.56
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is evaluating Time Domain’s technology in underground
radar units that can locate victims trapped under rubble. UWB technology is superior to conventional radar
systems because it doesn’t suffer from multipath problems (multiple reflections that limit imaging and
ranging precision), according to company literature.57
54 Ibid.
55 Angelica, Amara D. “Powered By Pulse – More than a pipe dream, a new technology could
revolutionize wireless communications.” From Tech Week, 3 May 1999, accessed 20 May 2000.
Available from http://www.techweek.com/articles/5-3-99/pulse.htm; Internet.
56 Ibid.
57 Barnes, Mark A. Covert Range Gated Wall Penetrating Motion Sensor Provides Benefits for
Surveillance and Forced Entries. Huntsville, Alabama, Time Domain Corporation, 1999.
The federally funded Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, tried to license a similar radar technology that it
claims to have invented called “micropower impulse radar.” The U.S. Patent Office rejected Livermore’s
four core patent claims citing original concept rights to Larry Fullerton of Time Domain. Clearly the
competition to develop this technology is fierce.58
Raytheon
The United States National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is sponsoring a demonstration of a portable, briefcasesized,
through-the-wall surveillance device developed by Raytheon (formerly Hughes Missile Systems).
This device is a modification of a commercial motion detector sold by Hughes. It operates using millimeter
wave radar that can locate and track an individual through concrete or brick walls. It measures and displays
the distance to that individual, a capability improvement over the commercial device.
This device was successfully demonstrated with the Los Angeles County (California) Sheriff’s Department
and Albuquerque (New Mexico) Police Department under quasi-operational conditions. It demonstrated
the ability to consistently track the activity of an individual moving behind an eight-inch thick concrete
wall to a range of more than 75 feet from the radar. The NIJ plans on repackaging the device, to make it
more suitable for operational evaluation, and procuring a number of them for operational evaluation with
law enforcement agencies nationwide in 2000. NIJ anticipates receiving a number of prototypes of the
redesigned device, before the end of FY2000. A nationwide demonstration of the system is planned for
FY2001.59
Georgia Tech Research Institute
The radar flashlight developed at Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) is one example of the versatility
of millimeter wave technology. It is a device that detects respiration at a distance, and it may prove useful
in situations where access is difficult, such as a collapsed building following an earthquake.60
In their ongoing search for more applications of millimeter wave technology, GTRI scientists are
examining its potential for an automatic target-recognition system, as well as in various electronic
countermeasures and counter- countermeasures. These include decoy beacons, threat assessment,
reconnaissance and signal disruption.
58 Angelica, Amara D. “Powered By Pulse – More than a pipe dream, a new technology could
revolutionize wireless communications.” From Tech Week, 3 May 1999, accessed 20 May 2000.
Available from http://www.techweek.com/articles/5-3-99/pulse.htm; Internet.
59 Nacci, Dr. Pete. Project Title: Radar-Based Through-the-Wall Surveillance System, accessed
20 May 2000. Available from http://www.nlectc.org/; Internet.
60 Greneker, Eugene F. Radar Flashlight For Through-The-Wall Detection of Humans, accessed
20 May 2000. Available from http://www.raven1.net/radflas2.htm; Internet.
GTRI is currently designing and refining the first prototype unit. A laboratory test area has been
constructed consisting of a section of home siding and drywall, a wooden front door, and a section of brick
and mortar. The laboratory model was able to detect individuals through each of these materials. It also
demonstrated the ability to detect an individual through the laboratory’s cinder block walls. GTRI is
working to combine the two parts of this device into a single unit. NIJ plans on demonstrating the Radar
Flashlight with law enforcement agencies through its National Law Enforcement and Corrections
Technology Center (NLECTC) (Southeast Regional Center) before the end of 1999.61
Also known as the Life Assessment Detector System (LADS), the radar Flashlight is a millimeter wave
Doppler movement measuring device that can detect human body surface motion, including heartbeat and
respiration, at ranges up to 135 feet (41.15 meters).62 The primary function of the LADS is to provide a
reliable method by which medical and emergency personnel can locate personnel buried in building
collapses or injured on the military battlefield. LADS can detect such signs of life as movement, heartbeat,
or respiration. Originally designed to detect heartbeat and respiration of military personnel wearing
chemical-biological warfare protective over-garments, the LADS has been restructured, greatly increasing
its operational range and providing a means for eliminating “nuisance alarms” which could mimic human
life signs, such as fans, wind drafts, or swaying trees. This is accomplished through neural network
technology, which “trains” the system to recognize human motion and heartbeat/respiration functions. If
these functions are not detected, the reasonable assumption is that there are no survivors. Operating under
such an assumption, the rescue team can now proceed without fear of further loss of life meaning that
rescue and medical personnel and equipment can be deployed more effectively and efficiently.
The LADS consists of a sensor module, a neural network module, and a control and monitor module. The
sensor module is an x-band (10 GHz) transceiver with a nominal output power of 15 milliwatts operating in
the continuous wave (CW) mode. The neural network module device can store many complex patterns
such as visual waveforms and speech templates, and can easily compare input patterns to previously
“trained” or stored patterns. The control and monitor module provides the LADS’ instrument controls, such
as on-off switches, circuit breakers, and battery condition, as well as motion, heartbeat waveform, pulse
strength, and pulse rate displays. The LADS provides life assessment capabilities for battlefield casualties
in a chemical or biological warfare environment. It will also detect people who are trapped in building
rubble, victims of airline, train, or automobile crashes, people trapped in an avalanche, mud slide or trapped
on a mountain ledge, and it will detect people trapped under a collapsed tent structure or hostages being
held in a non-metallic room.63
Patriot Scientific Corporation
61 Nacci, Dr. Pete. Project Title: Radar Flashlight, accessed 20 May 2000. Available from
http://www.nlectc.org/; Internet.
62 “Millimeter Wave Radar”, Research Horizons, Georgia Tech Research Institute, accessed 20
May 2000. Available from http://www.gtri.gatech.edu/rh-sf99/t-wave.html; Internet.
63 Greneker, Eugene F. Radar Flashlight For Through-The-Wall Detection of Humans, accessed
20 May 2000. Available from http://www.raven1.net/radflas2.htm; Internet.
There is one other company involved with the development of millimeter wave, through-wall radar
technology. Patriot Scientific Corporation has developed radar technologies with a wide range of possible
applications. These include Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR), Communications, Surveillance, Ordnance
Detection, and Stealth Radar.
The development prototype uses a pulse generator to drive the transmit antenna. The pulse is a positive
spike going up to 100V then falling back to ground in one and a half nanoseconds corresponding to a pulse
transmit frequency of 750 MHz. The return signal is read by the receive antenna. At this point some
simple analog processing is done and the signal is digitized at a resolution of 6GHz, and sent to a PC. The
PC correlates the data into a conventional waveform, does some processing, then transmits the data over an
ether net cable to a Pentium workstation. The Pentium workstation is used to apply different digital filters,
combine waveforms, and display the results. This system can be used to demonstrate detection of small
targets buried in sand, people behind walls, and other targets.
Patriot has used its antenna system to demonstrate detection of objects as small as a coke can buried in
sand, through a wall. Even small targets disturb the wave front of the pulse, producing reflections and
modifing the field in measurable ways. Patriot will be testing this technology for suitability for mine
detection.
The key to Patriot’s Radar system is its ability to transmit and receive pulses barely longer than single
cycles at the transmit frequency. The first waveform shown here is a pulse generated by an earlier Patriot
Design, based on “off the shelf” antenna technology. The waveform on the bottom was produced and
received by Patriot’s current design. The current Patriot antenna system produces a pulse at the desired
frequency with little leading or trailing noise. The Patriot antenna system provides many advantages over
pulse-based systems. Patriot originally developed the impulse radar system to allow Time Domain
processing in Patriot’s GPR systems. Because the impulse is extremely short (3 nanoseconds), the time to
return can be used to gauge the distance traveled by the pulse. Furthermore, the transmitting and receiving
antennas are very directional, eliminating much of the multipath components of the return signal. The short
pulse combined with directional transmission and reception to provide a number of important advantages.
These included very low average power during transmission, low interference from other transmitters,
transmission that was invisible to conventional receivers, high bandwidth, digital data transmission and
difficulty in detection by other impulse receivers.64
CHAPTER 7
TOWARD A STATEMENT OF REQUIREMENT
It is an established fact that there is a global demographic trend toward urban agglomeration. In the
developing world the increase in population is greatest in the urban areas both through internal migration
and birth rate. Concomitant with the increase in numbers and concentration of people, crime rates and the
potential for terrorism, and internal and external conflict will also increase.
For the past sixty years, Canadian troops have been deploying to a variety of military operations abroad.
These operations have ranged from observer missions under the United Nations to full scale conventional
warfare during World War II. They have included peacekeeping, peace enforcement, peacemaking,
humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief. Without exception, the operations in which Canada has
participated have all occurred in countries where substantial urban terrain is commonplace.
Clearly there is a capability deficiency that technology might be able to overcome. It is essential to future
operations that Canadian Land Forces possess the capability of seeing through walls and of determining if a
person is armed or not. Before Canada can procure such technology, a statement of requirement must be
developed. To start down the path toward a statement of requirement, the following characteristics would
be operationally useful.
64 Patriot Scientific Corporation, Radar/Antenna, accessed 20 May 2000. Available from
http://www.ptsc.com/radar/index.html; Internet.
a. Ideally the capability will be achieved by a small, hand-held through-wall sensor
capable of rapidly sensing through walls to determine if next room is empty, or occupied
by friend or enemy, or by a combatant or a non-combatant.
b. It should provide the ability to detect weapons (guns and edged weapons) or
survey individuals through walls at a distance, and should detect weapons with little or no
metal content, and explosive materials.
c. One area of interest is the detection of living humans through walls at ranges of
up to 100 feet (30 meters). An awareness of where living people are located within a
building is necessary.
d. The technology should be capable of “seeing through” or penetrating metallic
walls.
e. The technology should identify living humans by such methods as movement,
heart beat, respiration and sound detection.
f. A positive identity tag that could be worn by a person to
provide identification –friend or foe (IFF) capability, should enhance
the technology. The tag could also be used to alleviate some of the
detrimental phenomenological issues associated with various wall
types by reflecting or transmitting a much stronger signal than
would be otherwise be reflected or emitted from the person being
surveyed. An enhancing technology might be a unique approach to
processing that would interpret the sensor data and automatically
decide whether the person had a concealed weapon.
g. The technology should include sensor information management technology that
includes information processing/exploitation/dissemination, and the necessary
telecommunications to enable successful interoperability between special operations units
or law enforcement agencies.
i. The technology should have a self-contained power source.
j. It is desirable that the technology be linked to weapon systems and be effective
to standard battle range of in-service Land Force weapons.
The Canadian Army does not presently have a through-wall surveillance capability, and the technology is
still in the early stages of development. It is recommended that a formal statement of requirement be
initiated, and that the Defence Research Agency be tasked to investigate all pertinent technologies.
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Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (undated).
United Nations, Kharoufi, Mostafa. “Urbanization and Urban Research in the Arab World.” Discussion
Paper Series – No. 11. UNESCO, March 2000.
NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY ORGANIZATION
TECHNICAL GROUP 14 WORKING GROUP 7 FEBRUARY
2000
Appleby, Dr. Roger. UK Strategy, Passive Millimeter Wave Imaging. United Kingdom, DERA, January
2000.
Appleby, Dr. Roger. NATO Research: Millimeter Wave Imaging. United Kingdom, DERA, January 2000.
Britton, Dr. Adrian. MMW Imaging Seekers for Future Ground Attack Weapons. United Kingdom,
DERA, February 2000.
De Villiers, Dr. Yves. Millimeter-Wave R & D Projects at DREV. Valcartier, Canada, Defence Research
Establishment Valcartier, 7 February 2000.
Pace, Paul and Fournier, G.R. Holographic Neural Technology. Valcartier, Canada, Defence Research
Establishment Valcartier, February 2000.
Peichl, Markus, and Sub, Helmut. DLR Activities on Passive MMW Imaging for Military Applications.
Germany, Institute of Radio Frequency Technology and Radar Systems, February 2000.
Peichl, Markus and Sub, Helmut. DLR Activities on Passive MMW Imaging for Military Applications.
Institute of Radio Frequency Technology and Radar Systems, German Aerospace Center,
Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany, February 2000.
Schimf, H. Application of Millimeter Wave Techniques for Ground Surveillance GE Activities. Germany,
FGAN, 7 February 2000.
Smith, Roger. MMW R & D. United States, Air Force Research Laboratory Munition Directorate, 7
February 2000.
United States Army Research Laboratory, Millimeter Wave Research Presentation, 7 February 2000.
Van Den Broek, Bert. Radar Defence research at TNO-FEL. TNO-FEL, The Hague, The Netherlands, 7
February 2000.
ELECTRONIC DOCUMENTS
Angelica, Amara D. “Powered By Pulse – More than a pipe dream, a new technology could revolutionize
wireless communications.” From Tech Week, 3 May 1999, accessed 20 May 2000. Available from
http://www.techweek.com/articles/5-3-99/pulse.htm; Internet.
Army Research Laboratory Homepage, accessed 20 May 2000. Available from http://www.arl.mil/;
Internet.
Fluid Gravity, Ultra Wide Band Radar Techniques, accessed 20 May 2000. Available from
http://www.fges.demon.co.uk/fluidultawideban.html;Internet.
Greneker, Eugene F. Radar Flashlight For Through-The-Wall Detection of Humans, accessed 20 May
2000. Available from http://www.raven1.net/radflas2.htm; Internet.
Hahn, Robert F. and Jezior, Bonnie. “Urban Warfare and the Urban Warfighter of 2025.” From
Parameters, Summer 1999, 74-86. Accessed 20 May 2000. Available from http://carlislewww.
army.mil/usawc/Parameters/99summer/hahn.htm; Internet.
Halton, David. “Return to Ortona A Battlefield Redemption.” Accessed 20 May 2000. Available from
http://tv.cbc.ca/national/pgminfo/ortona/index.html<; Internet.
“Millimeter Wave Radar”, Research Horizons, Georgia Tech Research Institute, accessed 20 May 2000.
Available from http://www.gtri.gatech.edu/rh-sf99/t-wave.html; Internet.
Millivision Homepage, accessed between September 1999 and May 2000. Available from
http://www.millivision.com/; Internet.
MOUT ACTD Operational Requirements, accessed 20 May 2000. Available from
http://mout.actd.org/req.html; Internet.
Nacci, Dr. Pete. Project Title: Radar-Based Through-the-Wall Surveillance System, accessed 20 May 2000.
Available from http://www.nlectc.org/; Internet.
Nacci, Dr. Pete. Project Title: Radar Flashlight, accessed 20 May 2000. Available from
http://www.nlectc.org/; Internet.
Operations Other Than War (OOTW): The Technological Dimension, accessed 20 May 2000. Available
from http://www.ndu.edu/inss/books/ootw/ootwhome.html; Internet.
Patriot Scientific Corporation, Radar/Antenna, accessed 20 May 2000. Available from
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“Radar,” Encyclopædia Britannica Online, accessed 20 May 2000.
Available from http://www.eb.com:180/bol/topic?eu=117367&sctn=10; Internet.
Terrestrial Remote Sensing Page, accessed 20 May 2000. Available from http://doppler.unl.edu/html/terrprojects.
html; Internet.
The MOUT Homepage – Technology, Weapons, Equipment, accessed 20 May 2000. Available from
http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/6453/techa.html; Internet.
The Time Domain Corporation Homepage, accessed 20 May 2000. Available from http://www.timedomain.
com/; Internet.
Through The Wall Surveillance and Concealed Weapons Detection SOL BAA-99-04-IFKPA, accessed 20
May 2000. Available from http://www.ld.com/cbd/archive/1999/06(june)/10-jun-1999/asol005.htm;
Internet.
Ultra Wide Band Working Group Homepage, accessed 20 May 2000. Available from
http://www.uwb.org/; Internet.
White, Eleanor, P Eng. The State of Unclassified and Commercial Technology
Capable of Some Electronic Mind Control Effects, accessed 20 May 2000. Available from
http://www.raven1.net/uncom.htm#TWRAD; Internet.
UNPUBLISHED INTERVIEWS
Mitchell, Lieutenant-Colonel D., Director of Land Requirements 5, National Defence Headquarters,
Interviewed by author, 30 March 2000.

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