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DARPA Wants to Collect ‘Physiological Signals’ at a Distance and Through Walls

cryptogon.com [1]
November 21, 2011

Via: Office of the Secretary of Defense / DARPA [2]:

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Information Systems, Biomedical, Electronics, Battlespace

OBJECTIVE: Demonstrate the ability to collect, localize, and evaluate physiological signals (e.g., heart rate) at distances greater than 10 meters, non-line-of-sight, and through solid objects (walls, rock, concrete, etc.).

DESCRIPTION: There is a need to remotely detect, collect, and evaluate physiological signals of interest. Applications and concepts-of-operations (CONOPs) that would benefit from this capability include, but are not limited to: building-clearing, warfighter health monitoring or battle damage assessment and triage, situational awareness and assessment. Existing micro-impulse radar (MIR) and ultra-wideband (U) technologies have the capability of detecting heartbeat and respiration at distances up to- 8 meters (1) but are limited in at greater distances and in challenging environments, such as penetration through thick or multiple walls, concrete, and RF-noisy environments. There is interest in counting and localizing the sources of multiple physiological signatures in a cluttered environment. For example, in a building that has experienced a catastrophic event (fire, earthquake, etc.), the detection of survivors and assessment of their medical condition, in addition to their location to within 1 meter accuracy, would improve the likelihood of recovery of personnel and their survivability. Additionally in a crowded environment it is highly challenging to uniquely identify persons based on collection of physiological signatures, such as electrocardiograms (ECGs). It is possible that high-frequency ECGs or other signals could improve the confidence level in unique identification. Approaches using “on body” sensors that transmit signals to remote locations will NOT be considered.