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Proceedings Paper

Real-time image processing for passive mmW imagery
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Paper Abstract

The transmission characteristics of millimeter waves (mmWs) make them suitable for many applications in defense and security, from airport preflight scanning to penetrating degraded visual environments such as brownout or heavy fog. While the cold sky provides sufficient illumination for these images to be taken passively in outdoor scenarios, this utility comes at a cost; the diffraction limit of the longer wavelengths involved leads to lower resolution imagery compared to the visible or IR regimes, and the low power levels inherent to passive imagery allow the data to be more easily degraded by noise. Recent techniques leveraging optical upconversion have shown significant promise, but are still subject to fundamental limits in resolution and signal-to-noise ratio. To address these issues we have applied techniques developed for visible and IR imagery to decrease noise and increase resolution in mmW imagery. We have developed these techniques into fieldable software, making use of GPU platforms for real-time operation of computationally complex image processing algorithms. We present data from a passive, 77 GHz, distributed aperture, video-rate imaging platform captured during field tests at full video rate. These videos demonstrate the increase in situational awareness that can be gained through applying computational techniques in real-time without needing changes in detection hardware.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 May 2015
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 9462, Passive and Active Millimeter-Wave Imaging XVIII, 94620L (19 May 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2177395
Show Author Affiliations
Stephen Kozacik, EM Photonics, Inc. (United States)
Aaron Paolini, EM Photonics, Inc. (United States)
James Bonnett, EM Photonics, Inc. (United States)
Charles Harrity, Phase Sensitive Innovations, Inc. (United States)
Daniel Mackrides, Phase Sensitive Innovations, Inc. (United States)
Thomas E. Dillon, Phase Sensitive Innovations, Inc. (United States)
Richard D. Martin, Phase Sensitive Innovations, Inc. (United States)
Christopher A. Schuetz, Univ. of Delaware (United States)
Eric Kelmelis, EM Photonics, Inc. (United States)
Dennis W. Prather, Univ. of Delaware (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9462:
Passive and Active Millimeter-Wave Imaging XVIII
David A. Wikner; Arttu R. Luukanen, Editor(s)

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