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Harmonic RF sensing from indoor localization to vital signs monitoring


“When wireless is perfectly applied, the whole earth will be converted into a huge brain, which in fact it is all things being particles of a real and rhythmic whole.” For almost a century, electrical engineers are endeavoring to approach what Nikola Tesla predicted in 1926 for a “World Wireless System”. However, as of today, many hurdles remain when we think of all things connected rhythmically with interaction and links between the cyber and the physical worlds, because sensing of the “things”, especially “living things”, is still heavily constrained. The location and shape of objects, as well as the vital signs of people and animals are critical information to the overall systems.  

In this talk, I will first highlight our solutions of highly reliable and accurate indoor RF ranging, localization and imaging. The demonstrated radio frequency (RF) localization method bypasses the Uncertainty-Principle mathematical model commonly seen in the radar-like system, so that the high temporal (kHz) and spatial (microns) resolutions can be achieved simultaneously with ~915 MHz signals which have deep penetration to many dielectrics of interests such as building materials and living tissues. Vital-sign monitoring is the second part of the talk, including the heartbeat dynamics, respiration, and blood pressures of both central and pulmonary circulations, with the new near-field coherent sensing (NCS) approach, which not only provides unparalleled RF vital-sign signal quality and sensing capability, but also does not require skin touch or motion restraint to greatly improve the applicability to people and animals. The systems in this talk can be implemented in the applications of high precision indoor locating, assisted living, RF bio-tomography, biometrics for security, wearable sensors, and clinical researches. The talk will include the supporting RF theory, the design methods and the hardware/software experimental system, but its content will be aimed for the general audience in engineering.


Xiaonan Hui is a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cornell University. He works with Prof. Edwin Kan and focuses on radio-frequency systems for Cyber Physical System (CPS) and Internet of Things (IoT) applications. His recent works on vital-sign acquisition for people as well as animals were published on high-impact journals and conferences, attracting not only more than 30 news agencies, but also generating broad industrial interests for automotive, medical, pharmaceutical, and digital agricultural applications. Moreover, his high-precision indoor localization works provide an innovative method for IoT tracking, robotic localization, and civil structure integrity monitoring. He is the principal investigator of Cornell Scale-up and Prototype Grants, the winner of Cornell ECE Outstanding Ph.D. Thesis Research Award, and other 3 fellowships. He also serves as the reviewer for Springer Nature, IEEE journals and conferences in the areas of electromagnetic systems, vital-sign sensing and wireless communications. 

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