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Proceedings Paper

Passive millimeter-wave imaging for concealed article detection
Author(s): John A. Lovberg; Joseph A. Galliano; Stuart Enz Clark
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Paper Abstract

Passive-millimeter-wave imaging (PMI) provides a powerful sensing tool for law enforcement, allowing an unobtrusive means for detecting concealed weapons, explosives, or contraband on persons or in baggage. Natural thermal emissions at millimeter wavelengths from bodies, guns, explosives, and other articles pass easily through clothing or other concealment materials, where they can be detected and converted into conventional 2-dimensional images. A new implementation of PMI has demonstrated a large-area, near- real-time staring capability for personnel inspection at standoff ranges of greater than 10 meters. In this form, PMI does not require operator cuing based on subjective 'profiles' of suspicious appearance or behaviors, which may otherwise be construed as violations of civil rights. To the contrary, PMI detects and images heat generated by any object with no predisposition as to its nature or function (e.g. race or gender of humans). As a totally passive imaging tool, it generates no radio-frequency or other radiation which might raise public health concerns. Specifics of the new PMI architecture are presented along with a host of imaging data representing the current state- of-the-art.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 February 1997
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 2938, Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence Systems for Law Enforcement, (18 February 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.266730
Show Author Affiliations
John A. Lovberg, ThermoTrex Corp. (United States)
Joseph A. Galliano, ThermoTrex Corp. (United States)
Stuart Enz Clark, ThermoTrex Corp. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2938:
Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence Systems for Law Enforcement
Edward M. Carapezza; Donald Spector, Editor(s)

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