Detecting vital life-signs by Radar


The basic idea of radar is to send out electromagnetic pulses and measure the time of the echo to hit the antenna. This basic idea is now taken to a new level by making the pulse very short and integrating the major functions into a single chip.

By making the analog part of the radar very small and move critical function into the digital domain the power consumption is in the range of 100 mW. This opens up for battery drive devices with long lifetime.


Swedish Adrenaline is developing a radar sensor targeting the health care market based on the Ultra Wideband Radar technology. This radar sensor is able to detect respiration rate and heart rate of a person at a range of up to 2 m. This opens up for new non‐intrusive surveillance of elderly in a home care situation.



There is strong a wish to enable elderly people to live at home to a greater extent with good quality of life. A big number of elderly needs supervision at night in their home. The care providers in Sweden travel to elderly at night to check on their status. This causes disturbed night sleep of the elderly and very high costs for the care provider. The costs for night visits are in Sweden alone is a number of billion SEK.


This calls for innovative sensing technologies that facilitate monitoring the condition of patients. We will introduce the new radar technology that can work as a basis for monitoring the condition of people indoors and outdoors without imposing on their integrity.


The most significant features of this radar sensor are:


‐ The ability to position objects with approx. 4 mm accuracy

‐ Read heart rate and respiration rate at approx. 2 m range

‐ Real‐Time tracking of moving objects

‐ Ultra low power consumption enables battery‐powered devices

‐ Positioning range: 15 m

‐ The radar penetrates walls and thus has unique detection ability


Although the health technology applications are primary, the radar sensor has potential to revolutionize other areas such as secure transportations, security alarms and positioning in both industry and sports.