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Carolina Gouveia won the 2nd place in the Fraunhofer Portugal Challenge 2018


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2018/10/31: Carolina Gouveia won the 2nd place in the Fraunhofer Portugal Challenge 2018 on the MSc category with the dissertation entitled “Bio-Radar”. The Fraunhofer Portugal Challenge awards practical research in the areas of Information and Communication Tecnhologies (ICT), Multimedia or other related sciences. This is a great achievement for Carolina, her supervisors José M. N. Vieira and Pedro Pinho (IT-ISEL), for IEETA and University of Aveiro.

The Bio-Radar is a system capable of monitoring vital parameters, such as respiratory and cardiac rhythms, without requiring any kind of contact with the human body, i.e. without the use of electrodes. This wireless monitoring system has several applications that aim to improve the quality of life in everyday situations, such as the continuous monitoring of bedridden patients, for example in hospital burn units where direct contact with patients is not recommended, sleeping monitoring for Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome patients or even for rescuing people from collapsed buildings. The developed Bio-Radar prototype can measure the respiration rate at more than 2 meters. This system uses the Doppler effect principle that relates the received signal properties with the distance change between the radar antennas and the person’s chest-wall. It is composed by a continuous wave radar, that generates digitally a sinusoidal signal, modulates it in phase and quadrature with a carrier equal to 5,8 GHz and then transmits it towards the target, which is the patient’s chest. The received signal will be a phased modulate version of the transmitted signal which occurs due to the chest-wall motion while the patient is breathing. This motion changes the travelled distance of the electromagnetic waves causing the phase modulation. The prototype was developed with focus in real-time acquisition and processing of the respiratory signal. It is composed by a front-end based in Software Defined Radio and two antennas for transmission and reception, respectively. Then, the acquired signals are processed using the LabVIEW software from National Instruments, where an algorithm is implemented with the purpose to extract the vital signals accurately.