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Proceedings Paper

Circularly polarized millimeter-wave imaging for personnel screening
Author(s): David M. Sheen; Douglas L. McMakin; Wayne M. Lechelt; Jeffrey W. Griffin
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Paper Abstract

A novel polarimetric millimeter-wave imaging technique has been developed at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) for concealed weapon detection applications. Wideband millimeter-wave imaging systems developed at PNNL utilize low-power, coherent, millimeter-wave illumination in the 10-100 GHz range to form high-resolution images of personnel. Electromagnetic waves in these frequency ranges easily penetrate most clothing materials and are reflected from the body and any concealed items. Three-dimensional images are formed using computer image reconstruction algorithms developed to mathematically focus the received wavefronts scattered from the target. Circular polarimetric imaging can be employed to obtain additional information from the target. Circularly polarized waves incident on relatively smooth reflecting targets are typically reversed in their rotational handedness, e.g. left-hand circular polarization (LHCP) is reflected to become right-hand circular polarization (RHCP). An incident wave that is reflected twice (or any even number) of times prior to returning to the transceiver, has its handedness preserved. Sharp features such as wires and edges tend to return linear polarization, which can be considered to be a sum of both LHCP and RHCP. These characteristics can be exploited for personnel screening by allowing differentiation of smooth features, such as the body, and sharper features present in many concealed items. Additionally, imaging artifacts due to multipath can be identified and eliminated. Laboratory imaging results have been obtained in the 10-20 GHz frequency range and are presented in this paper.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 May 2005
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 5789, Passive Millimeter-Wave Imaging Technology VIII, (19 May 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.606825
Show Author Affiliations
David M. Sheen, Pacific Northwest National Lab. (United States)
Douglas L. McMakin, Pacific Northwest National Lab. (United States)
Wayne M. Lechelt, Pacific Northwest National Lab. (United States)
Jeffrey W. Griffin, Pacific Northwest National Lab. (United States)

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

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