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Proceedings Paper

Illumination strategies to achieve effective indoor millimeter wave imaging for personnel screening applications
Author(s): Rory Doyle; Brendan Lyons; Alan Lettington; Tony McEnroe; John Walshe; John McNaboe; Peter Curtin
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Paper Abstract

The ability of millimetre-waves (mm-wave) to penetrate obscurants, be they clothing, fog etc., enables unique imaging applications in areas such as security screening of personnel and landing aids for aircraft. When used in an outdoor application, the natural thermal contrast provided by cold sky reflections off of objects allow for direct imaging of a scene. Imaging at mm-wave frequencies in an indoor situation requires that a thermal contrast be generated in order to illuminate and detect objects of interest. In the case of a portal screening application the illumination needs to be provided over the imaged area in a uniform, omni-directional manner and at a sufficient level of contrast to achieve the desired signal to noise ratio at the sensor. The primary options are to generate this contrast by using active noise sources or to develop a passive thermally induced source of mm-wave energy. This paper describes the approaches taken to developing and implementing an indoor imaging configuration for a mm-wave camera that is to be used in people screening applications. The camera uses a patented mechanical scanning method to directly generate a raster frame image of portal dimensions. Imaging has been conducted at a range of frequencies with the main focus being on 94GHz operation. Experiences with both active and passive illumination schemes are described with conclusions on the merits or otherwise of each. The results of imaging trials demonstrate the potential for using mm-wave imaging in an indoor situation and example images illustrate the capability of the camera and the illumination methods when used for personnel screening.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 May 2005
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 5789, Passive Millimeter-Wave Imaging Technology VIII, (19 May 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.603456
Show Author Affiliations
Rory Doyle, Farran Technology Ltd. (Ireland)
Brendan Lyons, Farran Technology Ltd. (Ireland)
Alan Lettington, The Univ. of Reading (United Kingdom)
Tony McEnroe, Farran Technology Ltd. (Ireland)
John Walshe, Farran Technology Ltd. (Ireland)
John McNaboe, Farran Technology Ltd. (Ireland)
Peter Curtin, Farran Technology Ltd. (Ireland)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5789:
Passive Millimeter-Wave Imaging Technology VIII
Roger Appleby; David A. Wikner, Editor(s)

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