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Proceedings Paper

Progress report on Safe VISITOR: approaching a practical instrument for terahertz security screening
Author(s): Erik Heinz; Detlef Born; Gabriel Zieger; Torsten May; Torsten Krause; Andre Krüger; Marco Schulz; Solveig Anders; Viatcheslav Zakosarenko; Hans-Georg Meyer; Michael Starkloff; Mario Rößler; Guenter Thorwirth; Ulf Krause
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Paper Abstract

As reported before,1, 2 Safe VISITOR (Safe VISible, Infrared and Terahertz Object recognition) is a German project to build a passive security camera which visualizes sub-mm wavelengths using cooled bolometer arrays. This camera could be used for a variety of application scenarios, such as airport screenings or to protect military camps. In all cases, a practical instrument requires ease of use, in particular a flexible installation and a straightforward usage by the security personnel. Here we present a new generation of Safe VISITOR designed to meet these requirements. The main condition for an effective operation is a high frame rate of the imager. Safe VISITOR is able to record videos up to 10 Hz, using a small array of superconducting bolometers in combination with an opto-mechanical scanner. The required cooling of the detector array is provided by a commercial pulse tube cooler with a second, self-contained cooling stage. The cooling cycle is completely automated; after 10 hours of initial cooling from room temperature the system can operate quasi-continuously. For imaging, a 50 cm diameter optics is used which is able to provide an object resolution of approximately 1.5 cm at 8 m distance. For a flexible installation, the object distance can be tuned manually between 7 and 10 m. Additionally, video streams from two commercial cameras are fused with the sub-mm stream: a CCD for visible light and a microbolometer for far infrared (14 μm). This combines the ability of identification of the person under test with the unprecedented temperature resolution at infrared and the almost perfect transmission at sub-mm. To assist a security official, all image data are displayed in various graphic renditions by a unified system software.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 April 2010
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 7670, Passive Millimeter-Wave Imaging Technology XIII, 767005 (27 April 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.852558
Show Author Affiliations
Erik Heinz, IPHT Jena (Germany)
Detlef Born, IPHT Jena (Germany)
Gabriel Zieger, IPHT Jena (Germany)
Torsten May, IPHT Jena (Germany)
Torsten Krause, IPHT Jena (Germany)
Andre Krüger, IPHT Jena (Germany)
Marco Schulz, IPHT Jena (Germany)
Solveig Anders, IPHT Jena (Germany)
Viatcheslav Zakosarenko, IPHT Jena (Germany)
Hans-Georg Meyer, IPHT Jena (Germany)
Michael Starkloff, Supracon AG (Germany)
Mario Rößler, Jena-Optronik GmbH (Germany)
Guenter Thorwirth, Jena-Optronik GmbH (Germany)
Ulf Krause, Jena-Optronik GmbH (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7670:
Passive Millimeter-Wave Imaging Technology XIII
David A. Wikner; Arttu R. Luukanen, Editor(s)

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