Device-free sensing for personnel detection in a foliage environment

Yi Zhong, Yang Yang, Xi Zhu, Eryk Dutkiewicz, Zheng Zhou, Ting Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


In this letter, the possibility of using device-free sensing (DFS) technology for personnel detection in a foliage environment is investigated. Although the conventional algorithm that based on statistical properties of the received-signal strength (RSS) for target detection at indoor or open-field environment has come a long way in recent years, it is still questionable if this algorithm is fully functional at outdoor with the changing atmosphere and ground conditions, such as a foliage environment. To answer this question, a variety of the measured data have been taken using different targets in a foliage environment. Applying these data along with support vector machine, the impact on detection accuracy due to different classification algorithms is studied. An algorithm that based on the extraction of the high-order cumulant (HOC) of the signals is presented, while the conventional RSS-based one is used as a benchmark. The measurement results show that the classification accuracy of the HOC-based algorithm is better than the RSS-based one by at least 17%. Moreover, to ensure the reliability of the HOC-based approach, the impact on classification accuracy due to different numbers of training samples and different values of signal-to-noise ratio is extensively verified using experimentally recorded samples. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that a DFS-based sensing approach is demonstrated to have a potential to distinguish between human and small-animal targets in a foliage environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)921-925
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Device-free sensing (DFS) technology
  • feature extraction
  • high-order cumulant (HOC)
  • impulse-radio ultrawideband (IR-UWB)
  • support vector machine (SVM)


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