From Fatigue to Fevers, Sensors Keep Us Safe

Sensors can help avoid a car crash, but can they help surgeons know when they’re too tired or dehydrated to operate? MITRE researchers developed an optical monitoring system that—without touching a person—can assess their temperature, heart rate, and respiratory rate. Together, the data can determine the likelihood of fatigue.

We were testing this sensor system at the Mayo Clinic when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Immediately, our researchers recognized a new application for the technology: monitoring people’s temperatures remotely. This data is key, as a fever is one of the main symptoms that many people with SARS-CoV2 experience.

We rapidly prototyped a thermal imaging system, using long-wavelength infrared technology, to remotely determine a person’s temperature. medical staff wearing masks We first tested this system in our own offices to ensure its accuracy. Next, we partnered with other public and private sector organizations, including the Transportation Security Administration and Veterans Affairs, to modify the capability to meet their mission needs. MITRE’s independent R&D program largely focuses on the government’s future needs, but we can quickly pivot our research to meet rapidly emerging needs. Our aim is to put new—and timely—solutions into the hands of our sponsors and stakeholders to enable their critical missions.

We’ve applied our deep expertise in technology development—including sensors and advanced electronics systems—to create innovative solutions in ever-evolving fields, from aviation to cybersecurity to healthcare.

We’re adapting sensor technology to remotely detect fever and fatigue.

It’s one of the many ways our research helps keep people safe.

CubeSat Technology

Faster Access to Satellite Data Connecting More Users


Analytical Space Inc. (ASI) is launching a technology demonstration spacecraft intended to pave the way for users on the ground to gain faster to satellite data.

Fuse Antenna

MITRE’s novel wideband phased array antenna enhances the CubeSat’s capacity to communicate with other satellites and ground users.


ASI’s 3U CubeSat, dubbed Meshbed, will perform on-orbit testing of MITRE’s  Frequency-scaled Ultra-wide Spectrum Element (FUSE) antenna.

On-Orbit Demo

Meshbed and FUSE will benefit a wide range of commercial and
military applications.

The MITRE innovation ecosystem connects our research, laboratories, platforms, and sponsor work in a virtuous circle, with each area feeding the others.

Dr. Jay Schnitzer
MITRE Chief Technology Officer and Chief Medical Officer

Where do people, processes, and technologies come together to transform transportation? MITRE’s state-of-the-art IDEA lab, where we run complex simulations and experiments to solve global challenges in aerospace and transportation.

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