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Occupancy and Motion Detectors

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September 11 has changed the way people think about airport, aviation, and security in general. The threat is expanding interest in more reliable systems to detect presence of people within the protected perimeters. The occupancy sensors detect the presence of people (and sometimes animals) in a monitored area. Motion detectors respond only to moving objects. A distinction between the two is that the occupancy sensors produce signals whenever an object is stationary or not, while the motion detectors are selectively sensitive to moving objects. The applications of these sensors include security, surveillance, energy management (electric lights control ), personal safety, friendly home appliances, point-of-sale advertisements, interactive toys, novelty products, etc.


  • Light Emit Diode
  • Motion Detector
  • Doppler Frequency
  • Fresnel Lens
  • Pyroelectric Sensor

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4419-6466-3_6
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  1. 1.

    Perhaps just steering up some suspicion about living in a haunted house.

  2. 2.

    A very nice movie “How to Steal a Million” (1966) was based on a plot where multiple false-positive alarms were so irritating that officials disabled the electronic protection system, exactly what the perpetrator was looking for.

  3. 3.

    During Doppler times, the acoustical instruments for precision measurements were not available yet. To prove his theory, Doppler placed trumpeters on a railroad flatcar and musicians with a sense of absolute pitch near the tracks. A locomotive engine pulled the flatcar back and forth at different speeds for two days. The musicians on the ground “recorded” the trumpet notes as the train approached and receded. The equations held up.

  4. 4.

    At 40 MHz, the dielectric constant of muscle, skin, and blood is about 97. For fat and bone, it is near 15.

  5. 5.

    Here, by “earth” we mean any large object, such as the earth, lake, metal fence, car, ship, airplane, and so forth.

  6. 6.

    This device was developed for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory by M.S. Katow at Planning Research Corp.

  7. 7.

    Many “man-made” objects are made by women, so do not look for any sexism here.

  8. 8.

    In a differential sensor, as described below, two “pixels” are employed.

  9. 9.

    “Motion Switch” of Fig. 6.14a for some time was manufactured by Intermatic, Inc.


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Correspondence to Jacob Fraden .

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Fraden, J. (2010). Occupancy and Motion Detectors. In: Handbook of Modern Sensors. Springer, New York, NY.

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