Passive Submillimeter-wave Stand-off Video Camera for Security Applications

Abstract

We present the concept and experimental set-up of a passive submillimeter-wave stand-off imaging system for security applications. Our ambition is the design of an application-ready and user-friendly camera providing high sensitivity and high spatial resolution at video frame rates. As an intermediate step towards this goal, the current prototype already achieves a frame rate of 10 frames per second and a spatial resolution below 2 cm at 8 m distance. The camera is the result of a continuous development and a unique concept that yielded first high-resolution passive submillimeter-wave images provided by cryogenic sensors in May et al. (2007). It is based on an array of 20 superconducting transition-edge sensors operated at a temperature of 450 mK, a closed-cycle cooling system, a Cassegrain-type optics with a 50 cm main mirror, and an opto-mechanical scanner. Its outstanding features are the scanning solution allowing for high frame rates and the compact and integrated system design.

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Acknowledgements

The authors greatly wish to thank E. Kreysa and H.-P. Gemünd from Max-Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, Bonn for support and helpful discussions. This work has been partially funded by the German Ministry of Research and Education (BMBF) under contract numbers 13N9307.

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Correspondence to Erik Heinz.

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Heinz, E., May, T., Born, D. et al. Passive Submillimeter-wave Stand-off Video Camera for Security Applications. J Infrared Milli Terahz Waves 31, 1355–1369 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10762-010-9716-y

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Keywords

  • THz
  • Submillimeter-wave
  • Imaging
  • Camera
  • Bolometer
  • TES