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Proceedings Paper

Towards high-sensitivity and high-resolution submillimeter-wave video imaging
Author(s): Erik Heinz; Torsten May; Detlef Born; Gabriel Zieger; Solveig Anders; Viatcheslav Zakosarenko; Marco Schubert; Torsten Krause; André Krüger; Marco Schulz; Hans-Georg Meyer
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Paper Abstract

Against a background of newly emerged security threats the well-established idea of utilizing submillimeter-wave radiation for personal security screening applications has recently evolved into a promising technology. Possible application scenarios demand sensitive, fast, flexible and high-quality imaging techniques. At present, best results are obtained by passive imaging using cryogenic microbolometers as radiation detectors. Building upon the concept of a passive submillimeter-wave stand-off video camera introduced previously, we present the evolution of this concept in a practical application-ready imaging device. This has been achieved using a variety of measures such as optimizing the detector parameters, improving the scanning mechanism, increasing the sampling speed, and enhancing the camera software. The image generation algorithm has been improved and an automatic sensor calibration technique has been implemented taking advantage of redundancy in the sensor data. The concept is based on a Cassegrain-type mirror optics, an opto-mechanical scanner providing spiraliform scanning traces, and an array of 20 superconducting transition-edge sensors (TES) operated at a temperature of 450-650 mK. The TES are cooled by a closed-cycle cooling system and read out by superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUIDs). The frequency band of operation centers around 350 GHz. The camera can operate at an object distance of 7-10 m. At 9m distance it covers a field of view of 110 cm diameter, achieves a spatial resolution of 2 cm and a pixel NETD (noise equivalent temperature difference) of 0.1-0.4 K. The maximum frame rate is 10 frames per second.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 May 2011
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 8022, Passive Millimeter-Wave Imaging Technology XIV, 802204 (26 May 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.883352
Show Author Affiliations
Erik Heinz, Institute of Photonic Technology (Germany)
Torsten May, Institute of Photonic Technology (Germany)
Detlef Born, Institute of Photonic Technology (Germany)
Gabriel Zieger, Institute of Photonic Technology (Germany)
Solveig Anders, Institute of Photonic Technology (Germany)
Viatcheslav Zakosarenko, Institute of Photonic Technology (Germany)
Marco Schubert, Supracon AG (Germany)
Torsten Krause, Institute of Photonic Technology (Germany)
André Krüger, Institute of Photonic Technology (Germany)
Marco Schulz, Institute of Photonic Technology (Germany)
Hans-Georg Meyer, Institute of Photonic Technology (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8022:
Passive Millimeter-Wave Imaging Technology XIV
David A. Wikner; Arttu R. Luukanen, Editor(s)

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