Intellectual Merit: This proposal addresses a new method of integrated design and implementation of an external passive radiometer for monitoring internal body temperature. The goal for the proposed research is to develop a temperature-monitoring device with a potential of being wearable, disposable and inexpensive. The motivating applications are in several areas: (1) medical diagnostics, e.g. monitoring infant brain damage, arthritis, detecting localized tumors and monitoring temperature rise during hyperthermia treatment; (2) monitoring people under stress, e.g., athletes during training/competition, emergency workers and military personnel in hazardous conditions; and (3) manufacturing, e.g., monitoring internal temperature of foods during the manufacturing process. The specific issues addressed in the project are the basic understanding of principles and limitations of near-field microwave radiometry, an engineering approach for monitoring internal body temperature in an environment with radio interference. The anticipated result of the research is development of a wearable and ultimately disposable radiometric thermometer for a wide range of applications, with a spatial resolution on the order of 1cm and temperature resolution of 0.1K. The radiometer data can easily be transmitted using a low-power wireless transceiver for further off-body processing.
Broader Impacts: The broader impacts of the proposed research are transformative in several areas. The technical goal of providing a new method of non-invasive monitoring of internal temperature, when applied to a human body, can lead to on-time preventive treatment. Not having access to internal body temperature is not only a problem for various diseases, but also has a considerable impact in national security (military personnel under heavy training; emergency personnel in hazardous conditions). In terms of education and outreach, the broader impacts include multi-disciplinary education at the undergraduate and graduate level, spanning areas of high-frequency analog circuit design, electromagnetic simulations, and metrology. An impact on the institution will be development of core competency in the field and interactions with existing research projects. The PI has been active in outreach, and related to this proposed work plans to add a new module to the existing K-12 outreach, entitled Hot inside?, where children can use a radiometer to ?see? a hot spot inside an object. A collaboration with NIST-Boulder will enhance the metrology component of the research. The international component of the proposed effort includes a collaboration with ETH-Zurich (Switzerland), in the form of student exchanges, software donations and no-cost participation.