19 May 2006 A compact real time passive terahertz imager
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Abstract
Passive millimetre wave imaging is now an established and accepted technology that is finding viable commercial applications in many areas, particularly security and border control. The upper frequency of operation has largely been governed by the availability of solid state uncooled detectors to around 100GHz. Passive operation at higher frequencies potentially offers some unique features such as higher optical resolution for a given system size, increased depth of focus and improved scene contrast. However, the technological challenges involved in realising arrays of terahertz detectors with the required sensitivity, packing density, repeatability and reliability are considerable. Nevertheless we have developed such detector arrays and these now provide the core technology base upon which to explore many new commercial applications that require such benefits. The first commercial application for this technology has been in the realisation of a compact passive real time imaging system primarily aimed at the detection of concealed contraband and firearms at a remote distance. This paper describes such an imager. Some of the practical advantages of imagery at these wavelengths, such as the ability to operate un-illuminated either outdoors or indoors, will be described as well as some of the practical system aspects such as bandwidth, scanning methodology and optical design. Examples of typical real time imagery is provided.
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Chris Mann, "A compact real time passive terahertz imager", Proc. SPIE 6211, Passive Millimeter-Wave Imaging Technology IX, 62110E (19 May 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.669850; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.669850
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