Microwave imaging systems have seen growing interest in recent decades for applications ranging from security screening to space/earth observation. However, hardware architectures commonly used for this purpose have not seen drastic changes. With the advent of metamaterials a wealth of opportunities have emerged for honing metasurface apertures for microwave imaging systems. Recent thrusts have introduced dynamic reconfigurability directly into the aperture layer, providing powerful capabilities from a physical layer with considerable simplicity. The waveforms generated from such dynamic metasurfaces make them suitable for application in synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and, more generally, computational imaging. In this paper, we investigate a dynamic metasurface aperture capable of performing microwave imaging in the K-band (17.5–26.5 GHz). The proposed aperture is planar and promises an inexpensive fabrication process via printed circuit board techniques. These traits are further augmented by the tunability of dynamic metasurfaces, which provides the dexterity necessary to generate field patterns ranging from a sequence of steered beams to a series of uncorrelated radiation patterns. Imaging is experimentally demonstrated with a voltage-tunable metasurface aperture. We also demonstrate the aperture’s utility in real-time measurements and perform volumetric SAR imaging. The capabilities of a prototype are detailed and the future prospects of general dynamic metasurface apertures are discussed.
Timothy Sleasman, Mohammadreza F. Imani, Michael Boyarsky, Laura Pulido-Mancera, Matthew S. Reynolds, and David R. Smith, "Reconfigurable metasurface aperture for security screening and microwave imaging," Proc. SPIE 10189, Passive and Active Millimeter-Wave Imaging XX, 101890G (Presented at SPIE Defense + Security: April 13, 2017; Published: 11 May 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2262848.
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