Radar sensitivity to human heartbeats and respiration

Aardal, Øyvind
Brovoll, Sverre
Paichard, Yoann
Berger, Tor
Lande, Tor Sverre
Hamran, Svein-Erik
Øyvind Aardal ; Sverre Brovoll ; Yoann Paichard ; Tor Berger ; Tor Sverre Lande, et al. " Radar sensitivity to human heartbeats and respiration ", Proc. SPIE 9461, Radar Sensor Technology XIX; and Active and Passive Signatures VI, 946119 (May 21, 2015)
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Human heartbeats and respiration can be detected from a distance using radar. This can be used for medical applications and human being detection. It is useful to have a system independent measure of how detectable the vital signs are. In radar applications, the Radar Cross Section (RCS) is normally used to characterize the detectability of an object. Since the human vital signs are seen by the radar as movements of the torso, the modulations in the person RCS can be used as a system independent measure of the vital signs detectability. In this paper, measurements of persons seated in an anechoic chamber are presented. The measurements were calibrated using empty room and a metallic calibration sphere. A narrowband radar operating at frequencies from 500 MHz to 18 GHz in discrete steps was used. A turntable provided measurements at precise aspect angles all around the person under test. In an I & Q receiver, the heartbeat and respiration modulation is a combination of amplitude and phase mod- modulations. The measurements were filtered, leaving the modulations from the vital signs in the radar recordings. The procedure for RCS computation was applied to these filtered data, capturing the complex signatures. It was found that both the heartbeat and respiration detectability increase with increasing frequency. The heartbeat signatures are almost equal from the front and the back, while being almost undetectable from the sides of the person. The respiration signatures are slightly higher from the front than from the back, and smaller from the sides. The signature measurements presented in this paper provide an objective system independent measure of the detectability of human vital signs as a function of frequency and aspect angle. These measures are useful for example in system design and in assessing real measurement scenarios. © (2015) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
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