A millimeter wavelength (MMW) measurement system for remote detection of object characteristics and methods for detecting such characteristics. The MMW measurement system comprises a front-end and an optional signal conditioning component. The MMW front-end includes an oscillator, a transceiver portion, and an antenna for focusing a detection component comprising micrometer level wavelength electromagnetic radiation onto the object. A portion of the electromagnetic radiation reflected by the object is received by the MMW measurement system, which is indicative of a displacement of the object. The MMW system may be configured to detect micrometer level displacement of the object disposed tens of meters from the MMW measurement system. In various embodiments the object may be a natural object, including a human, and the displacement may be indicative of a heart rate and/or a respiratory function.
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