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Proceedings Paper

Robust identification of concealed dangerous substances using THz imaging spectroscopy
Author(s): Helle E. Nystad; Magnus W. Haakestad; Arthur D. van Rheenen
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Paper Abstract

False alarm rates must be kept sufficiently low if a method to detect and identify objects or substances is to be implemented in real life applications. This is also true when trying to detect and identify dangerous substances such as explosives and drugs that are concealed in packaging materials. THz technology may be suited to detect these substances, especially when imaging and spectroscopy are combined. To achieve reasonable throughput, the detection and identification process must be automated and this implies reliance on algorithms to perform this task, rather than human beings. The identification part of the algorithm must compare spectral features of the unknown substance with those in a library of features and determining the distance, in some sense, between these features. If the distance is less than some defined threshold a match is declared. In this paper we consider two types of spectral characteristic that are derived from measured time-domain signals measured in the THz regime: the absorbance and its derivative. Also, we consider two schemes to measure the distance between the unknown and library characteristics: Spectral Angle Mapping (SAM) and Principal Component Analysis (PCA). Finally, the effect of windowing of the measured time-domain signal on the performance of the algorithms is studied, by varying the Blackman-Harris (B-H) window width. Algorithm performance is quantified by studying the receiver-operating characteristics (ROC). For the data considered in this study we conclude that the best performance is obtained when the derivative of the absorbance is used in combination with a narrow B-H window and SAM. SAM is a more straight-forward method and requires no large training data sets and tweaking.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 May 2015
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 9483, Terahertz Physics, Devices, and Systems IX: Advanced Applications in Industry and Defense, 94830T (13 May 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2178024
Show Author Affiliations
Helle E. Nystad, Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (Norway)
Magnus W. Haakestad, Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (Norway)
Arthur D. van Rheenen, Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (Norway)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9483:
Terahertz Physics, Devices, and Systems IX: Advanced Applications in Industry and Defense
Mehdi F. Anwar; Thomas W. Crowe; Tariq Manzur, Editor(s)

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