Non-Contact Vital Signs Detection with UAV-Borne Radars

27 Nov 2020  ·  Yu Rong, Richard M. Gutierrez, Kumar Vijay Mishra, Daniel W. Bliss ·

Airborne radar carried on-board unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) is serving as the harbinger of new remote sensing applications for security and rescue in inclement environments. The mobility and agility of UAVs along with intelligent on-board sensors (cameras, acoustics, and radar) are more effective during the early stages of disaster response. The ability of radars to penetrate through objects and operate during low visibility conditions enables detection of occluded human subjects on and under debris when other sensing modalities fail. Recently, radars have been deployed on UAVs to measure minute human physiological parameters such as respiratory and heart rates while sensing through clothing and building materials. Aggregating radar measurements with the information from other sensors is broadening the applications of drones in life-critical situations. Signal processing techniques are critical in enabling UAV-borne radars for human vital sign detection (VSD) in multiple operation modes. Novel radar configurations such as in a UAV swarm and tethered UAVs are required to facilitate multi-tasking and high endurance, respectively. This paper provides an overview of recent advances in UAV-borne VSD with a focus on deployment modes and processing methods.

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