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Proceedings Paper

Development of an ultra wide band microwave radar based footwear scanning system
Author(s): Nacer Ddine Rezgui; Nicholas J. Bowring; David A. Andrews; Stuart W. Harmer; Matthew J. Southgate; Dean O'Reilly
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Paper Abstract

At airports, security screening can cause long delays. In order to speed up screening a solution to avoid passengers removing their shoes to have them X-ray scanned is required. To detect threats or contraband items hidden within the shoe, a method of screening using frequency swept signals between 15 to 40 GHz has been developed, where the scan is carried out whilst the shoes are being worn. Most footwear is transparent to microwaves to some extent in this band. The scans, data processing and interpretation of the 2D image of the cross section of the shoe are completed in a few seconds. Using safe low power UWB radar, scattered signals from the shoe can be observed which are caused by changes in material properties such as cavities, dielectric or metal objects concealed within the shoe. By moving the transmission horn along the length of the shoe a 2D image corresponding to a cross section through the footwear is built up, which can be interpreted by the user, or automatically, to reveal the presence of concealed threat within the shoe. A prototype system with a resolution of 6 mm or less has been developed and results obtained for a wide range of commonly worn footwear, some modified by the inclusion of concealed material. Clear differences between the measured images of modified and unmodified shoes are seen. Procedures for enhancing the image through electronic image synthesis techniques and image processing methods are discussed and preliminary performance data presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 October 2013
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 8900, Millimetre Wave and Terahertz Sensors and Technology VI, 89000A (18 October 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2030836
Show Author Affiliations
Nacer Ddine Rezgui, Manchester Metropolitan Univ. (United Kingdom)
Nicholas J. Bowring, Manchester Metropolitan Univ. (United Kingdom)
David A. Andrews, Manchester Metropolitan Univ. (United Kingdom)
Stuart W. Harmer, Manchester Metropolitan Univ. (United Kingdom)
Matthew J. Southgate, Manchester Metropolitan Univ. (United Kingdom)
Dean O'Reilly, Manchester Metropolitan Univ. (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8900:
Millimetre Wave and Terahertz Sensors and Technology VI
Neil Anthony Salmon; Eddie L. Jacobs, Editor(s)

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