Millimeter wave-based patient setup verification and motion tracking during radiotherapy

Max Bressler, Jingxuan Zhu, Joshua Olick-Gibson, Jonathan Haefner, Shuang Zhou, Qinghao Chen, Thomas Mazur, Yao Hao, Paul Carter, Tiezhi Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Position verification and motion monitoring are critical for safe and precise radiotherapy (RT). Existing approaches to these tasks based on visible light or x-ray are suboptimal either because they cannot penetrate obstructions to the patient's skin or introduce additional radiation exposure. The low-cost mmWave radar is an ideal solution for these tasks as it can monitor patient position and motion continuously throughout the treatment delivery. Purpose: To develop and validate frequency-modulated continuous wave (FMCW) mmWave radars for position verification and motion tracking during RT delivery. Methods: A 77 GHz FMCW mmWave module was used in this study. Chirp Z Transform-based (CZT) algorithm was developed to process the intermediate frequency (IF) signals. Absolute distances to flat Solid Water slabs and human shape phantoms were measured. The accuracy of absolute distance and relative displacement were evaluated. Results: Without obstruction, mmWave based on the CZT algorithm was able to detect absolute distance within 1 mm for a Solid Water slab that simulated the reflectivity of the human body. Through obstructive materials, the mmWave device was able to detect absolute distance within 5 mm in the worst case and within 3.5 mm in most cases. The CZT algorithm significantly improved the accuracy of absolute distance measurement compared with Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) algorithm and was able to achieve submillimeter displacement accuracy with and without obstructions. The surface-to-skin distance (SSD) measurement accuracy was within 8 mm in the anterior of the phantom. Conclusions: With the CZT signal processing algorithm, the mmWave radar is able to measure the absolute distance to a flat surface within 1 mm. But the absolute distance measurement to a human shape phantom is as large as 8 mm at some angles. Further improvement is necessary to improve the accuracy of SSD measurement to uneven surfaces by the mmWave radar.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2967-2974
Number of pages8
JournalMedical physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2024


  • CZT algorithm
  • mmWave radar
  • motion tracking
  • patient motion


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