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Stationary Human Micro-motion Trajectory

Extraction Based on Edge Detection in


Through-the-wall Radar
Lei Qiu1 , Tian Jin1,2, Biying Lu1 , Zhimin Zhou1
1

College of Electronic Science and Engineering, National University of Defense Technology


Changsha, Hunan, P. R. China, 410073
2
Collaborative Innovation Center of Information Sensing and Understanding
Xi'an, Shaanxi, P. R. China, 710071
Email: qiulei2013@nudt.edu.cn

AbstractStationary human micro-motion trajectory in


slow time range domain provides more original motion
information, including periodical respiration and heart beating,
as well as random body movement and sudden body shaking,
whose range often outstrips the periodical movement. Phase
contour, amplitude contour and peak locus are all the represent
of stationary human micro-motion trajectory. Due to the phase
sudden change from S to - S , the phase contour is more robust
and stable than the other two loci. In this paper, a stationary
human micro-motion trajectory extraction approach based on
edge detection is presented. Firstly, the stationary human micromotion model is established and the effect brought by the wall is
analyzed. Then the phase contour in slow-time range domain is
introduced as a representation of micro-motion trajectory.
Finally, the phase contour extraction based on edge detection is
presented. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed
approach can extract stationary human trajectory correctly and
accurately, after band pass filtering, the vital sign of human
breathing can be extracted effectively.
Index Terms through-the-wall radar (TWR); slow time
range domain; locus extraction; edge detection; vital signs

I. INTRODUCTION
Non-contact human detection behind obstacle is highly
desired in military and civil applications particularly in health
care and disaster rescue. Compared with narrow band
continuous wave (CW) radar, Ultra-wideband (UWB) throughthe-wall radar (TWR) is widely used in human targets
detection due to its high range resolution and good penetration.
For stationary human standing or sitting still, the micro-motion
is caused by vital sign such as periodical respiration and heart
beating [2, 3]. Human targets are likely to be confused by
mechanical vibrating targets such as electric fan, airconditioner etc. As an animate target, besides the periodical
movement of respiration and heart beating, human random
body movement and sudden body shaking are also inevitable
during the observation time, whose range often outstrips the
periodical movement constantly. Nevertheless, mechanical
vibrating targets have an inherent periodical movement
although the periodicity may be complex to interpret.

c
978-1-4673-7297-8/15/$31.00 2015
IEEE

However, the difference of human and mechanical


vibrating target is inconspicuous in range Doppler domain, as
latter may exist frequency component considered as vital
sign[4, 5]. Whats more, the random body movement and
sudden body shaking are quite irregular and unpredicted, thus
the corresponding Doppler frequency extends with a wide
range, mixing with environmental noise and clutter. As a result,
range Doppler domain is not effective anymore to discriminate
human targets in strong clutter circumstance.
If the micro-motion target can be located correctly, the
trajectory in the vicinity of the target represents the target
movement locus accurately, providing more original motion
information than range-Doppler domain. Moreover, the
random body vibration and sudden body shaking have an
evident distinguish with periodical movement in slow time
range domain, thus the trajectory extraction is an important
issue to discriminate human targets.
Phase contour, amplitude contour, and peak locus are all
represents of target micro-motion trajectory. Phase contour
refers to the line connected by same phase value points,
amplitude contour refers to the line connected by same
amplitude value points, and amplitude peak locus refers to the
line connected by the maximum amplitude position of different
frame. They have the similar capability to extract movement
trajectory in high signal-to-clutter-and-noise-ratio (SCNR)
situation. For stationary human target behind wall, the subtle
movement and low reflectivity of human, high signal
attenuation of wall result in low SCNR. Due to the sudden
change of phase from S to - S , the phase contour is high
effective and stable than contour line and peak value.
The contour line referring the micro-motion trajectory, is a
non-closed curve with only one point for every frame, and the
maximum and minimum value of phase are S and - S ,
respectively. In this paper, micro-motion target trajectory based
on edge detection is presented. The remainder of this paper is
organized as follows, in section II, the stationary human micromotion model is presented, and the scenario of a human behind
wall is analyzed, the association between phase contour and
human motion locus is analyzed. In section III, phase contour
of slow time range domain is extracted by the edge detection
through binarization, edge detection and edge thinning in

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angle are considered invariable as the subtle movement, the


time delay caused by the wall is the same of different frame
time, so the wall effect can be ignored in stationary human
micro-motion detection with only a transmitter and a receiver.

H
air

wall

air
x
Tx

Rx

Fig. 1 the scenario of stationary human targets behind wall

procedure. Experiments are performed to test the approach in


section IV, and section V concludes this paper.
II. PHASE CONTOUR OF STATIONARY HUMAN TARGET
A. Stationary Human Micro-Motion Model
For stationary human in regular breathing situation, each
breath may differ from the previous one in terms of amplitude
and duration [6]. Furthermore, random body movement and
sudden body shaking are emerging during the observation time,
to model the micro-motion accurately, the instantaneous
distance R at time t is donated as
R(t ) R0  R1 (ai , Zi , Mi , t , p)  R2 (b j ,W j , t , q)  n t (1)

R consists of four parts: R0 is the average distance from the


radar to human; R1 is the periodical movement part, including
respiration, heart beating, and periodical body movement,
whose parameter includes amplitude ai ,frequency Zi , initial
phase Mi , and p is the total frequency number; R2 is random
body movement and sudden body shaking part, with
parameters including amplitude bj , duration time W j , and q is
the total number of sudden body shaking; n(t ) is clutter and
noise. The model described by (1) is more close to realistic
human movement than just considering respiration and heart
beating.
One transmitter and one receiver is applied to explore
human target behind wall, denoted as Tx and Rx , respectively,
as shown in Fig. 1. H is a stationary human behind wall.
d and H are the wall thickness and dielectric constant.
The signal transmitting path for H is Tx o H o Rx ,
assuming Rh is the half range of equivalent distance from Tx
to H and from H to Rx , the time delay caused by the wall
effect is related to incidence angle T , wall thickness d and
dielectric constant H , Rh is described as[7]
Rh

1
(r1  d ( H  sin 2 T1  cos T1 ))  (r2  d ( H  sin 2 T 2  cos T 2 ))

(2)

where T1 and T 2 are the incidence angle of the transmitting


path and receiving path, r1 and (r1  d ( H 2  sin 2 T1  cos T1 ))
are the direct and equivalent electrical distance from Tx to H .
r2 and (r2  d ( H 2  sin 2 T 2  cos T 2 )) are the direct and

equivalent electrical distance from H to Rx .


When not considering the wall effect, i.e. H =1, the signal
transmitting path is equal to the direct path. d and H are
constant value during the observation time, and the incidence

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B. Phase Contour of Micro-Motion Target


Stepped frequency continuous wave (SFCW) TWR is
applied with frequency from f0 to f P at step 'f . T is the
pulse interval time and N is the total frequency number.
fc ( f0  f p ) 2 is the center frequency. The transmitter
signal s(t ) for the nth frequency is expressed as

s t exp j 2S f0  n'f t , n 0,1, , N  1 (3)


where t is the fast time. Neglecting the transmitting loss, the
received signal sr (t ) is described as
sr t exp j 2S f 0  n'f t  2R(t ) c

(4)

where c is the speed of light in free space, and R (t ) is the


instantaneous distance. After mixing, filtering and sampling
with T interval, High resolution range profiles (HRRP) are
achieved by performing the inverse fast Fourier transform
(IFFT), the phase of mth frame is
4 m, k k (N  1)/K  2f cW
(5)
where W (m, n) R((m  1) NT  nT ) c , m 1, 2, , M is the
slow-time index, n 0,1, , N  1 is frequency index,
k 0,1, 2, , K 1 is the range cell index.
when 4 is constant, k varies along with R (t ) , so the
phase contour of HRRP changes in linear with R (t ) in the
vicinity of the micro-motion target, and phase contour is the
representation of target micro-motion locus. Due to the sudden
change from S to - S , phase contour line is stable and robust
to noise. The distance of phase from - S to S is Oc , and
Oc c f c is the wavelength of central frequency, when
f c =2GHz, Oc =15cm. for stationary human, the micro-motion
range is often satisfy the constraint.
III. MICRO-MOTION TRAJECTORY EXTRACTION
In this section, the phase contour extraction based on edge
detection is presented. Firstly, the grayscale phase image is
converted to binary image with a global threshold, then
Laplacian of a Gaussian (LoG) operator is implemented to
extract the binary image edge, followed by the thinning of
extracted edge to insure only one point in every frame.
A. Binaryzation of the Phase image
The pixel value of phase increases linearly with distance
and a sudden change from S to S periodically. Compared
with grayscale image, binary image discards the unnecessary
information, thus accelerating the edge detection with low cost.
The binary image edge is step edge, whose value change from
1 to 0 or from 0 to 1. The line connected by the sudden change
points is the phase contour.
to the convenience of edge detection in low SCNR
situation, zero is a proper threshold to make sure the segmented

2015 IEEE 5th Asia-Pacific Conference on Synthetic Aperture Radar(APSAR)

image edge away from each other, as zero is the average value
of the phase image. The original grayscale phase contour is
denoted as I (m,n) , the binary image I B (m, n) is calculated by

IB (m, n)

if I(m, n) t 0
if I(m, n) d 0

(6)

B. Edge Detection
The main challenge of image edge detection is the edge
ambiguity caused by clutter and noise. Differential operators
are the most popular methods to detect image edge, including
one-order and two-order differential operators. However, the
differential is sensitive to noise, resulting the edge broaden or
interrupted, so it is essential to reducing the noise before edge
detection.
Laplacian of Gauss (LoG) operator [8] combines gauss
filter and Laplacian transform together. Gauss low pass filter is
performed to eliminate noise without losing the edge character,
while Laplacian transform to detect the edge. To simplify the
process, LoG operator is usually accomplished by the step:
Laplacian transform of gauss filter is performed firstly, then the
convolution of image and the Laplacian transform of gauss
function is implemented to generate the edge. The gauss
function is
1
x2  y 2
(7)
exp(
)
G ( x, y )
2
2SV
2V 2
The Laplican transform of Gauss function is donated as
x 2  y 2  2V 2
x2  y 2
(8)
'G
exp(

)
2SV 2
2V 2
For image donated as f ( x, y ) , the LoG operator is operated by
LoG( f )( x, y) '(G f ) 'G f
(9)

Slow time Range


Phase
Edge Thinning
Target
Localization
Trajectory Output
Image
Binarization
Life signal
Output
Edge Detection

Fig. 2 the procedure of micro-motion target trajectory

(a)
(b)
Fig 3 (a) Phase of the slow-time range domain (b) binary image

(a)

C. Edge Thinning
A consecutive edge is obtained after edge detection,
thinning of edge in every frame is implemented to insure only
one point in a frame. Considering the particular trajectory, the
thinned edge is calculated by the average of each point in a
frame, the thinned edge is defined as
(n | IB (m, n) ! 0)
(10)
g (m)
(1| IB (m, n) ! 0)
and g (m) is the thinned edge with only one point in the edge
for every frame, referring tothe target position of each frame .
As an extended target with a width of about 0.5m in the range
direction, human target keeps location unvaried during the
survey time, so human target has the same range in range
dimension, thus the accumulation in slow time dimension is
reasonable, one dimensional CFAR in range dimension is
performed to detect the micro-motion human targets. As
depicted in Fig.2, the phase contour is obtained by the
binarization, edge detection and edge thinning in sequence.
A micro-motion target located at 10m away from the
antenna, moves periodically with frequency 0.35Hz and
amplitude 2cm in range direction. The echo is set to 10dB with
addictive white gauss noise. Fig. 3(a) is the phase image
formed by the phase of slow-time range domain. Fig. 3(b) is

(b)

(c)
(d)
Fig. 4 (a) Phase of the slow-time range domain (b) binary image of the slowtime range domain(c) extracted edge by LoG operator (d) thinned edge

the binarization image. Fig. 4 depicts the experimental results


as shown in section 4.1, when the human facing the radar. Fig
4(a) and Fig. 4(b) are the phase image and binary image
respectively. Stationary human micro-motion trajectory is not
periodical any more, the edge between 5.2m and 5.3m in range
detected by LoG operator, as shown in Fig. 4(c), and the
thinned edge is depicted in Fig. 4(d).
IV. EXPERIMENTS AND RESULTS
In this section, experiments are performed to verify the
proposed approach using a transmitter and a receiver. SFCW is
used with frequency from 2.15 GHz to 2.746 GHz and
frequency step 4 MHz. The frame frequency is 5 Hz, so the

2015 IEEE 5th Asia-Pacific Conference on Synthetic Aperture Radar(APSAR)

735

(a)

(b)

(c)
(d)
Fig. 5 (a) the scenario of stationary human detection (b)extracted trajectory (c)
extracted trajectory after BPF (d)FFT of the trajectory

maximum unambiguous frequency is 2.5Hz. To validate the


effective of the proposed approach, human targets in the space
and behind wall are both tested. The target behind wall is
firstly detected by 1-D CFAR in slow time dimension, the
trajectory extraction is performed in the vicinity of the target in
range direction without wall effect compensation.
A. Stationary Human Micro-Motion Trajectory in Free Space
In the first experiment, a man with the height of 1.76 m
stands at a distance of 5.5 m with front, side, and back facing
the radar. As depicted in Fig. 5(a), where a humans stands still
with side facing the multiple-input and multiple-output radar,
and only one transmitter and one receiver is concerned. The
extracted stationary human micro-motion trajectories are
shown in Fig.5(b). Random body movement and sudden body
shaking occur irregular and unpredicted during the observation
time, and overwhelm the respiration and hearting beating
signal. Band pass filter(BPF) and fast Fourier transform (FFT)
are performed sequentially to generate the frequency of human
respiration and heart beating. Fig. 5 (c) is the trajectory after
BPF with passband from 0.2Hz to 1.5Hz, and the FFT result is
depicted in Fig. 5 (d). As an animate target, human random
body movement and sudden body shaking are time varying
with no regular pattern, and even for the periodical breathing
movement, the frequency differs along with time.
B. Stationary Human Micro-Motion Trajectory Behind Wall
The scenario of stationary human micro-motion trajectory
behind wall is depicted in Fig. 6. A man with a height of 1.80
m stands at a distance of 1.6m from the concrete wall, and wall
the thickness is 30 cm, The antenna is 0.1m away from the
front wall. The edge extraction results are depicted in Fig. 7.
Fig. 7(a) and 7(b) are the amplitude of slow-time range
domain before and after MTI, respectively. The couple clutter
signal and strong wall reflection signal are eliminated after
MTI, and the position of the extended human in HRRP is
located. Fig. 7(c) shows the extracted phase contour of human

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Fig 6 the scenario of stationary human detection behind wall

(a)

(b)

(c)
(d)
Fig 7 (a) the amplitude of slow-time range domain(b) the amplitude of slowtime range domain after MTI(c) the extracted phase contour (d) FFT of the
trajectory

target. The extension of the micro-motion is about 3cm due to


random body movement, after BPF with passband from 0.2Hz
to 1.5Hz, and the micro-motion frequency is shown in Fig. 7(d),
there are multiple frequency peak value expanded from 0.29Hz
to 0.78Hz. These frequency peak values are caused by the
random body movement and sudden body shaking together
with breath and heartbeat, all of these are the vital signs of
human body.
V. CONCLUSION
This paper focuses on the extraction of stationary human
micro-motion trajectory based on edge detection. The
stationary human micro-motion model includes periodical
movement of respiration and heart beating, as well as random
body movement and sudden body shaking, model is more close
to the real, and is verified by multiple experimental results both
in free space and behind wall. The trajectory is the reflection of
human micro-motion locus, and phase contour is the
representation of human trajectory. Human micro-motion
trajectory is extracted based on phase image edge detection
correctly and accurately through binarization, edge detection
and edge thinning.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT
This work was supported in part by the National Natural
Science Foundation of China under Grant 61271441 and the
research project of NUDT under Grant CJ12-04-02.

2015 IEEE 5th Asia-Pacific Conference on Synthetic Aperture Radar(APSAR)

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