A THz active scanned imaging system is developed for detection of concealed threat objects at a stand-off distance of 5 meters. Single pixel, active imaging system utilizes a continuous wave transceiver unit operating at 340 GHz, based on RF components and Schottky diode rectifiers. The transceiver has a heterodyne detection geometry and has 7 mW total power output which is derived from a 3dB directional coupler (25 dB directivity) and a horn antenna. 2D opto-mechanical scanning is performed using two mirror coupled galvanometer scanners to scan 50x50 cm2 field of view at 5 meters stand-off distance. 2 cm resolution is achieved on the target plane. Based on the opto-mechanical scan speed, frame rate is 2 Hz.
340 GHz provides penetration to common barrier objects such as clothing for detection of concealed threats. Here we present imaging capability of the system and its penetration abilities. Effect of barrier objects to the dynamic range is also investigated. To provide real time screening of the target scene for potential threat objects, its visual image is combined with the acquired THz image of the field of view by using image fusion technique.
In this work sub-terahertz imaging using Compressive Sensing (CS) techniques for targets placed behind a visibly opaque barrier is demonstrated both experimentally and theoretically. Using a multiplied Schottky diode based millimeter wave source working at 118 GHz, metal cutout targets were illuminated in both reflection and transmission configurations with and without barriers which were made out of drywall. In both modes the image is spatially discretized using laser machined, 10 × 10 pixel metal apertures to demonstrate the technique of compressive sensing. The images were collected by modulating the source and measuring the transmitted flux through the apertures using a Golay cell. Experimental results were compared to simulations of the expected transmission through the metal apertures. Image quality decreases as expected when going from the non-obscured transmission case to the obscured transmission case and finally to the obscured reflection case. However, in all instances the image appears below the Nyquist rate which demonstrates that this technique is a viable option for Through the Wall Reflection Imaging (TWRI) applications.
Due to the limited number of array detection architectures in the millimeter wave to terahertz region of the electromagnetic spectrum, imaging schemes with scan architectures are typically employed. In these configurations the interplay between the frequencies used to illuminate the scene and the optics used play an important role in the quality of the formed image. Using a multiplied Schottky-diode based terahertz transceiver operating at 340 GHz, in a stand-off detection scheme; the effect of image quality of a metal target was assessed based on the scanning speed of the galvanometer mirrors as well as the optical system that was constructed. Background effects such as leakage on the receiver were minimized by conditioning the signal at the output of the transceiver. Then, the image of the target was simulated based on known parameters of the optical system and the measured images were compared to the simulation. By using an image quality index based on χ2 algorithm the simulated and measured images were found to be in good agreement with a value of χ2 = 0 .14. The measurements as shown here will aid in the future development of larger stand-off imaging systems that work in the terahertz frequency range.