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Douglas T. Petkie

Dr. Douglas T. Petkie

Associate Professor of Physics and Electrical Engineering
Wright State University

Department of Physics
3640 Colonel Glenn Highway

Dayton OH 45435-0001
United States

tel: 937 775 3124
fax: 937 775 2222
E-mail: doug.petkie@wright.edu
Web: https://www.wright.edu/~doug.petkie/

Area of Expertise

Millimeter-wave, submillimeter-wave and terahertz science and technology for spectroscopy, radar and imaging applications


Douglas T. Petkie received a B.S. in Physics from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA in 1990 and a Ph.D. in Physics from Ohio State University in Columbus, OH in 1996. He is currently an Associate Professor of Physics and Electrical Engineering at Wright State University in Dayton, OH, where he is currently the director of the Engineering Physics Program and the Faculty Program Director of Emerging Technologies for the Wright State Research Institute. His research interests include the development of millimeter-wave and terahertz systems for in-situ and remote sensing applications that utilize spectroscopy, imaging and radar techniques based on electronic multiplication techniques from the microwave region. He has pioneered the development of the FASt Scanning Submillimeter-wave Spectroscopic Technique (FASSST) that is a revolutionary gas phase molecular spectrometer in terms of speed, sensitivity, spectral bandwidth and specificity. He has extensive experience in modeling spectra and has contributed to three international high resolution spectral databases: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Submillimeter, Millimeter, and Microwave Spectral Line Catalog, HITRAN and GEISA. His research group and collaborators also study the phenomenology associated with sensing and imaging applications to develop non-destructive evaluation techniques that leverage the transmissive properties of most dielectrics common to the microwave region with the imaging capabilities common to the infrared region. More recently, his research group has developed a millimeter-wave radar system capable sensing displacements down to 20 micrometers that can monitor respiration and heart rates at distances of 50 meters. He has also been active in science education programs for future K-12 teachers and has directed several programs to provide undergraduate students in STEM fields with research opportunities to better prepare them for graduate school and the workforce. He is a member of the SPIE, IEEE, APS, OSA, and AAPT.

Lecture Title(s)

Millimeter-wave and Submillimeter-wave Molecular Spectroscopy
The millimeter-wave and submillimeter-wave region of the electromagnetic spectrum has a long and rich history in the area of high resolution molecular spectroscopy based on well-established fundamental theories in quantum mechanics and the continuous advancement of technology for the past 40 years. This talk will discuss the factors involved in laboratory molecular spectroscopy of gas phase molecules and the numerous ground and satellite based programs that remotely sense molecules in Earth's upper atmosphere as well as in molecular clouds in the interstellar medium.

Millimeter-wave and Terahertz Radar
Highly coherent continuous-wave radar systems provide a method to accurately measure phase shifts associated with small displacements of an object. Characteristics of mmw/THz radars include transmission through the atmosphere and dielectric obscurants, well-collimated beams, and sensitivity to small displacements, making them an ideal platform for sensing physiological and behavior motions of the human body. When a subject is at rest, a focused radar beam can be used to measure the movement of the chest wall due to respiration and the more subtle motion of the body due to the cardiopulmonary system. The micro-Doppler signatures of moving subjects can provide behavioral biometrics through gait analysis. This talk will discuss the general operating principles of a mmw/THz radar system for such studies and the performance of the system under a variety of operating conditions.

Millimeter-wave and Terahertz Imaging
The mmw/THz spectral range has received considerable attention for the development of standoff imaging systems for security and non-destructive evaluation applications. This is due to the unique combination of attributes that include high transmission through most dielectric materials along with the ability to develop imaging systems, properties associated with the microwave and infrared/optical regions of the spectrum, respectively. A THz imaging system can provide a non-destructive, standoff imaging technique capable of detecting concealed objects, corrosion on metallic surfaces under obscurants and defects in composite materials. This talk will discuss the tradeoffs that result from the phenomenology associated with a particular signature of interest as a function of systems modality, such as operating frequency, the optical system, and the illumination strategy. Several applications will be discussed.

Millimeter-wave and Terahertz Science and Sensing Applications
The millimeter-wave and terahertz regions of the electromagnetic spectrum have a long and rich history in the area of high-resolution, gas-phase molecular spectroscopy that is based on well-established physics and the continuous advancement of technology over the past 40 years. This has led to the detection of molecules in space and the ability to monitor molecules in the upper atmosphere that are associated with stratospheric ozone chemistry. This spectral region also possesses a unique combination of attributes that include high transmission through most dielectric materials along with the ability to develop imaging systems, properties associated with the microwave and infrared/optical regions of the spectrum, respectively. Due to these advantages, several terrestrial applications under development include radar systems for the standoff detection of human vital signs for triage and imaging systems for non-destructive evaluation.
However, progress in the development of these applications remains slow due to the lack of affordable commercial technologies, leading to both technological and scientific gaps. This talk will discuss the basic underlying physics for each of these applications as well as a discussion of emerging technologies and commercial opportunities.

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