Detecting the Presence of Electronic Devices in Smart Homes Using Harmonic Radar


Beatrice Perez, Gregory Mazzaro, Timothy J. Pierson, and David Kotz. Detecting the Presence of Electronic Devices in Smart Homes Using Harmonic Radar. Remote Sensing, volume 14, number 2, article 327, 18 pages. MDPI, January 2022. doi:10.3390/rs14020327. ©Copyright open-access (Creative Commons Attribution). Special issue on Nonlinear Junction Detection and Harmonic Radar.


Data about users is collected constantly by phones, cameras, Internet websites, and others. The advent of so-called ‘Smart Things' now enable ever-more sensitive data to be collected inside that most private of spaces: the home. The first step in helping users regain control of their information (inside their home) is to alert them to the presence of potentially unwanted electronics. In this paper, we present a system that could help homeowners (or home dwellers) find electronic devices in their living space. Specifically, we demonstrate the use of harmonic radars (sometimes called nonlinear junction detectors), which have also been used in applications ranging from explosives detection to insect tracking. We adapt this radar technology to detect consumer electronics in a home setting and show that we can indeed accurately detect the presence of even ‘simple’ electronic devices like a smart lightbulb. We evaluate the performance of our radar in both wired and over-the-air transmission scenarios.

Citable with [BibTeX]

Projects: [splice]

Keywords: [sensors] [wifi]

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[Kotz research]