Radar-based noncontact sensing of life sign signals is often used in safety and rescue missions during disasters such as earthquakes and avalanches and for home care applications. The radar returns obtained from a human target contain the breathing frequency along with its strong higher harmonics depending on the target's posture. As a consequence, well understood, computationally efficient, and the most popular traditional FFT-based estimators that rely only on the strongest peak for estimates of breathing rates may be inaccurate. The paper proposes a solution for correcting the estimation errors of such single peak-based algorithms. The proposed method is based on using harmonically related comb filters over a set of all possible breathing frequencies. The method is tested on three subjects for different postures, for different distances between the radar and the subject, and for two different radar platforms: PN-UWB and phase modulated-CW (PM-CW) radars. Simplified algorithms more suitable for real-time implementation have also been proposed and compared using accuracy and computational complexity. The proposed breathing rate estimation algorithms provide a reduction of about 81% and 80% in the mean absolute error of breathing rates in comparison to the traditional FFT-based methods using strongest peak detection, for PN-UWB and PM-CW radars, respectively.

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Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/9891852
Journal Journal of Sensors
Mabrouk, M. (Mohamed), Rajan, S, Bolic, M. (Miodrag), Forouzanfar, M. (Mohamad), Dajani, H.R. (Hilmi R.), & Batkin, I. (Izmail). (2016). Human Breathing Rate Estimation from Radar Returns Using Harmonically Related Filters. Journal of Sensors, 2016. doi:10.1155/2016/9891852