If you want to see through objects, you could call Superman — or ask some engineers for help.

A team of engineers led by University of Delaware professor Dennis Prather, a recent inductee to the National Academy of Inventors, has developed a camera-like device that generates and detects millimeter waves to “see” through solid objects.

These high-frequency waves, which are more energetic than microwaves but less energetic than infrared waves, are not visible to the naked eye. The device developed by Prather’s team “sees” millimeter waves, producing images as energy is reflected from objects in its path. Like a portable version of the scanners at airport security checks, this device can see through non-metallic objects and detect concealed objects. For example, if someone is hiding a metallic weapon under their clothing, this device will spot it — a functionality that could be useful for military operations and improved security in airports, schools, restaurants and more.

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