Afghan War - Breathe And US
Hi-Tech Machines Might Find You
By Lisa Hoffman
Scripps Howard News Service

U.S. forces are using an array of sophisticated gizmos to look for Osama bin Laden and his cronies in suspected Afghanistan hideouts.
On its combat debut, the Air Force's Global Hawk unmanned spy drone is beaming real-time video of wide swaths of territory, while satellites are providing images of cave and tunnel openings. U.S. commandos on the ground also are serving as sentinels for American bombers who are pounding the hiding places with 500-pound - and bigger - bombs.
Other high-tech detection devices being used include:
- Infrared light detectors that can find heat energy emitted from cave entrances, ventilation shafts and humans breathing. These can spot variations in temperature over distances as great as 30 miles, with the largest sensors on aircraft also able to make out a person otherwise obscured by five miles of dust.
The cold of winter only enhances the accuracy of these devices.
- Battlefield computers that can analyze the chemical composition of emissions from a distant object are so fine-tuned they can distinguish between a soldier's breath and the exhaust from a tank.
- Scanners capable of picking up weak magnetic fields generated by metal weapons or supplies hidden as deep as 100 feet underground.
- Seismic devices that send sound waves underground and listen for echoes from caves, along with ground-penetrating radar that similarly analyzes returning noise.
- Microgravity machines that measure minute changes in gravity's pull over caves.

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