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Optical Engineering

Toward high-sensitivity and high-resolution submillimeter-wave video imaging
Author(s): Erik Heinz; Torsten May; Detlef Born; Gabriel Zieger; Guenter Thorwirth; Solveig Anders; Viatcheslav Zakosarenko; Torsten Krause; André Krüger; Marco Schulz; Hans-Georg Meyer; Marco Schubert; Michael Starkloff
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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 into 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 image generation software. The camera concept is based on a Cassegrain-type mirror optics, an optomechanical scanner, an array of 20 superconducting transition-edge sensors operated at a temperature of 450 to 650 mK, and a closed-cycle cryogen-free cooling system. The main figures of the system include: a frequency band of 350±40 GHz, an object distance of 7 to 10 m, a circular field of view of 1.05 m diameter, and a spatial resolution in the image center of 2 cm at 8.5 m distance, a noise equivalent temperature difference of 0.1 to 0.4 K, and a maximum frame rate of 10 Hz.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 November 2011
PDF: 9 pages
Opt. Eng. 50(11) 113204 doi: 10.1117/1.3654089
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 50, Issue 11
Show Author Affiliations
Erik Heinz, Institut für Photonische Technologien e.V. (Germany)
Torsten May, Institut für Photonische Technologien e.V. (Germany)
Detlef Born, Institut für Photonische Technologien e.V. (Germany)
Gabriel Zieger, Institut für Photonische Technologien e.V. (Germany)
Guenter Thorwirth, Jena-Optronik GmbH (Germany)
Solveig Anders, Institut für Photonische Technologien e.V. (Germany)
Viatcheslav Zakosarenko, Institut für Photonische Technologien e.V. (Germany)
Torsten Krause, Institut für Photonische Technologien e.V. (Germany)
André Krüger, Institut für Photonische Technologien e.V. (Germany)
Marco Schulz, Institut für Photonische Technologien e.V. (Germany)
Hans-Georg Meyer, Institut für Photonische Technologien e.V. (Germany)
Marco Schubert, Supracon AG (Germany)
Michael Starkloff, Supracon AG (Germany)


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