We've already seen radars
come in handy when dodging
impending attacks and avoiding
accidents, but researchers at MIT
are utilizing the technology to make sure our roadways and structures aren't pushed beyond their limits. A newfangled handheld device uses FAR-NDT (far-field airborne radar nondestructive testing) in order to "see through the fiberglass-polymer wrapping often used to strengthen aging concrete columns to detect damage behind the wrapping not visible to the naked eye." Furthermore, the technique can be executed from about 30 feet away and "requires no dismantling or obstruction of the infrastructure" in order to provide instant feedback. Unsurprisingly, creators are suggesting that it will be best used on bridges
and piers which are typically difficult to carefully inspect, and while there's no word on when this stuff will hit DOT offices nationwide, current prototypes are panning out quite well.