Classification of human motions using empirical mode decomposition of human micro-doppler signatures

Dustin P. Fairchild, Ram M. Narayanan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

155 Scopus citations


The ability to identify human movements can serve as an important tool in many different applications such as surveillance, military combat situations, search and rescue operations and patient monitoring in hospitals. This information can provide soldiers, security personnel and search and rescue workers with critical knowledge that can be used to potentially save lives and/or avoid dangerous situations. Most research involving human activity recognition employs the short-time Fourier transform (STFT) as a method of analysing human micro-Doppler signatures. However, the STFT has time-frequency resolution limitations and Fourier transform-based methods are not well-suited for use with non-stationary and non-linear signals. The authors approach uses the empirical mode decomposition to produce a unique feature vector from the human micro-Doppler signals following which a support vector machine is used to classify human motions. This study presents simulations of simple human motions, which are subsequently validated using experimental data obtained from both an S-band radar and a W-band millimetre wave (mm-wave) radar. Very good classification accuracies are obtained at distances of up to 90 m between the human and the radar.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)425-434
Number of pages10
JournalIET Radar, Sonar and Navigation
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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