Modern trends in Short and Medium range sensing

The scope of this focus group within the EMSIG network is to bring together academics, industrialists, and potential end-users working on development of radar technologies intended to provide sensing and, ultimately situational awareness  at short ranges, from tens of cm to ranges of an order of a kilometre.

Key players in global race for autonomy are actively seeking technologies, which can deliver situational awareness and mission planning through imaging, detection, tracking, positioning, classification by fusing diverse technologies, including machine learning and development of adaptive computing platforms to monitor and to respond intelligently to the changing environment.

Maturity of technologies to provide mm and sub-mm devices means that future development will take advantage of more compact and therefore more easily deployable systems for short-range applications, mounted on smaller platforms operating intended for  ground, maritime or airspace operations for both defence (missile seekers,  sensing for unmanned platforms, for instance considering automotive sensors to be a cost- and resource-effective modern solution to some defence modern challenges – in particularly ability to be mounted and operate from  "micro" and "nano" platforms, etc) and civil sectors (autonomous sensing and navigation, privacy-keeping activity monitoring, healthcare, search and rescue). This somewhat contrasts the stereotype of radar as a bulky technology only for long-range, defence, and remote sensing related applications. These emerging technologies will define wider civilian applications, many of which now exploit only electro-optical devices, but with rising demand on robustness in short range sensing and privacy in activity monitoring, radar are the only mean to provide solutions relevant to a wide range of applications.​

Areas of interest for this focus group include, but are not limited to different aspects of RF sensing, from the hardware design of the individual sensor to the system architecture and resource management through algorithm development, signal and image processing, data fusion, calibration methods and techniques for testing and validation.

The group will focus on identifying current challenges and gaps, defining perspective directions of research and successful strategies for collaboration, the complementarity of the expertise within the group, knowledge exchange One of the intension of the group activities is to form a recognized expert structure which can be involved in policymaking and regulatory activities within the UK and internationally.

Applications can include but are not limited to the following:

  • RF sensing for supporting autonomy, be ground-based vehicles as automotive radar, drones, and unmanned boats, as well as humanoid robots.

  • RF sensing for supporting healthcare, both for the contactless detection of vital signs such as heartbeat and breathing rate and for the identification of daily activity patterns and critical events such as falls in the context of ambient assisted living.

  • RF sensing for supporting interaction with smart devices, whereby applications can include recognition of different human gestures, and enabling natural interaction through contactless and non-verbal communication.

  • RF sensing for screening and checking through materials, leveraging on the penetration properties through optically opaque materials that RF waveforms can exhibit.


Ana Stroescu

Classification of High Resolution Automotive Radar Imagery for Autonomous Driving Based on Deep Neural Networks

Ana Stroescu, Mikhail Cherniakov, Marina Gashinova

Best Student Paper,

IRS 2019

Ana Stroescu

Combined Object Detection and Tracking on High Resolution Radar Imagery for Autonomous Driving Using Deep Neural Networks and Particle Filters

Ana Stroescu, Liam Daniel, Marina Gashinova


3rd Prize, Student Paper Competition

IEEE RadCon, 2020



Marina Gashinova

Marina Gashinova received the M.Sc. degree in math from Saint Petersburg State University in 1991 and the Ph.D. degree in physics and mathematics from Saint Petersburg Electrotechnical University, Russia, in 2003. In 2006, she joined the Microwave Integrated Systems Laboratory, University of Birmingham, where she is currently a Professor in radar and RF sensors, leading the research group on passive and active bistatic radar, terahertz radar imaging, and automotive sensors. She has authored or co-authored over 80 publications in peer-reviewed journals and conferences and presenter of several invited and focused talks on forward scatter radar at international conferences, workshops, and seminars.

Duncan Robertson

Duncan A. Robertson holds a B.Sc. (Hons.) in Physics and Electronics and a Ph.D. in millimetre wave physics from the University of St Andrews, Scotland. For most of his career he has been with the Millimetre Wave Group at the University of St Andrews working on battlefield systems, passive imaging, electron spin resonance spectroscopy instrumentation, and millimetre wave radar for remote sensing and security applications. His research interests include submillimetre wave radar for high resolution imaging, radar detection of drones, radar remote sensing of volcanoes, glaciers, clouds and volcanic ash. He leads a research group which specialises in the development of sub/millimetre wave radar systems and the construction and field deployment of advanced concept demonstrators at frequencies spanning 24 to 340 GHz.

Dimitrios Tzagkas

Dimitrios Tzagkas holds a B.Sc. in Physics and Electronics and an M.Sc. in Electronics and Communications from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece. He continued his studies with a Ph.D. in Radar Systems from the University of Birmingham, focusing on Passive Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), Signal Processing and Coherent Change Detection. He has also worked on projects relating to passive radars and maritime moving target detection. He is currently working on automotive radar system projects, in the Research Autonomy team at Jaguar Land Rover.

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