Compact millimeter-wave sensor for remote monitoring of vital signs

Sasan Bakhtiari*, Thomas W. Elmer, Nicholas M. Cox, Nachappa Gopalsami, Appostolos C. Raptis, Shaolin Liao, Ilya Mikhelson, Alan V. Sahakian

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


A compact millimeter-wave (MMW) sensor has been developed for remote monitoring of human vital signs (heart and respiration rate). The low-power homodyne transceiver operating at 94 GHz was assembled by using solid-state active and passive block-type components and can be battery operated. A description of theMMW system front end and the back-end acquisition hardware and software is presented. Representative test case results on the application of various signal processing and data analysis algorithms developed to extract faint physiological signals of interest in presence of strong background interference are provided. Although the laboratory experiments so far have been limited to standoff distances of up to 15 m, the upper limit of the detection range is expected to be higher. In comparison with its microwave counterparts, the MMW system described here provides higher directivity, increased sensitivity, and longer detection range for measuring subtle mechanical displacements associated with heart and respiration functions. The system may be adapted for use in a wide range of standoff sensing applications including for patient health care, structural health monitoring, nondestructive testing, biometric sensing, and remote vibrometry in general.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6084834
Pages (from-to)830-841
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • Biomedical monitoring
  • Millimeter-wave (MMW) sensor
  • Remote sensing
  • Signal processing
  • Vital signs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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