27 April 2010 Status of VESAS: a fully-electronic microwave imaging radiometer system
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Abstract
Present applications of microwave remote sensing systems cover a large variety. One utilisation of the frequency range from 1 - 300 GHz is the domain of security and reconnaissance. Examples are the observation of critical infrastructures or the performance of security checks on people in order to detect concealed weapons or explosives, both being frequent threats in our world of growing international terrorism. The imaging capability of concealed objects is one of the main advantages of microwave remote sensing, because of the penetration performance of electromagnetic waves through dielectric materials in this frequency domain. The main physical effects used in passive microwave sensing rely on the naturally generated thermal radiation and the physical properties of matter, the latter being surface characteristics, chemical and physical composition, and the temperature of the material. As a consequence it is possible to discriminate objects having different material characteristics like ceramic weapons or plastic explosives with respect to the human body. Considering the use of microwave imaging with respect to people scanning systems in airports, railway stations, or stadiums, it is advantageous that passively operating devices generate no exposure on the scanned objects like actively operating devices do. For frequently used security gateways it is additionally important to have a high through-put rate in order to minimize the queue time. Consequently fast imaging systems are necessary. In this regard the conceptual idea of a fully-electronic microwave imaging radiometer system is introduced. The two-dimensional scanning mechanism is divided into a frequency scan in one direction and the method of aperture synthesis in the other. The overall goal here is to design a low-cost, fully-electronic imaging system with a frame rate of around one second at Ka band. This frequency domain around a center frequency of 37 GHz offers a well-balanced compromise between the achievable spatial resolution for a given size, and the penetration depth of the electromagnetic wave, which are conflictive requirements.
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Eric Schreiber, Eric Schreiber, Markus Peichl, Markus Peichl, Helmut Suess, Helmut Suess, } "Status of VESAS: a fully-electronic microwave imaging radiometer system", Proc. SPIE 7670, Passive Millimeter-Wave Imaging Technology XIII, 767006 (27 April 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.852562; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.852562
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