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Proceedings Paper

Active millimeter-wave video rate imaging with a staring 120-element microbolometer array
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Paper Abstract

Passive indoors imaging of weapons concealed under clothing poses a formidable challenge for millimeter-wave imagers due to the sub-picowatt signal levels present in the scene. Moreover, video-rate imaging requires a large number of pixels, which leads to a very complex and expensive front end for the imager. To meet the concealed weapons detection challenge, our approach uses a low cost pulsed-noise source as an illuminator and an array of room-temperature antenna-coupled microbolometers as the detectors. The reflected millimeter-wave power is detected by the bolometers, gated, integrated and amplified by audio-frequency amplifiers, and after digitization, displayed in real time on a PC display. We present recently acquired videos obtained with the 120-element array, and comprehensively describe the performance characteristics of the array in terms of sensitivity, optical efficiency, uniformity and spatial resolution. Our results show that active imaging with antenna-coupled microbolometers can yield imagery comparable to that obtained with systems using MMIC amplifiers but with a cost per pixel that is orders of magnitude lower.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 August 2004
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 5410, Radar Sensor Technology VIII and Passive Millimeter-Wave Imaging Technology VII, (12 August 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.543488
Show Author Affiliations
Arttu Luukanen, National Institute of Standards and Technology (United States)
Aaron J. Miller, National Institute of Standards and Technology (United States)
Erich N. Grossman, National Institute of Standards and Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5410:
Radar Sensor Technology VIII and Passive Millimeter-Wave Imaging Technology VII
Robert Trebits; Roger Appleby; David A. Wikner; James L. Kurtz; Neil N. Salmon, Editor(s)

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