Passive WiFi Radar for Human Sensing Using A Stand-Alone Access Point

Robert J Piechocki, Wenda Li*, Karl Woodbridge, Kevin Chetty

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


Human sensing using WiFi signal transmissions is attracting significant attention for future applications in ehealthcare, security and the Internet of Things (IoT). The majority of WiFi sensing systems are based around processing of Channel State Information (CSI) data which originates from commodity WiFi Access Points (AP) that have been primed to transmit high data-rate signals with high repetition frequencies. However, in reality, WiFi APs do not transmit in such a continuous uninterrupted fashion, especially when there are no users on the communication network. To this end, we have developed a passive WiFi radar system for human sensing which exploits WiFi signals irrespective of whether the WiFi AP is transmitting continuous high data-rate OFDM signals, or periodic WiFi beacon signals whilst in an idle status (no users on the WiFi network). In a data transmission phase, we employ the standard cross ambiguity function (CAF) processing to extract Doppler information relating to the target, whilst a modified version is used for lower data-rate signals. In addition, we investigate the utility of an external device that has been developed to stimulate idle WiFi APs to transmit usable signals without requiring any type of user authentication on the WiFi network. In the paper we present experimental data which verifies our proposed methods for using any type of signal transmission from a stand-alone WiFi device, and demonstrate the capability for human activity sensing.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Aug 2020

Structured keywords

  • Digital Health


  • WiFi Sensing
  • Doppler Radar


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