Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Noninvasive Detection of Weapons of Mass Destruction Using Terahertz Radiation

Published

Author(s)

M B. Campbell, Edwin J. Heilweil

Abstract

The growing and immediate threat of biological and chemical weapons has placed urgency on the development of chemical and biological warfare agent (CWA/BWA) and explosive material screening devices. Specifically, the ability to detect CWA/BWA or explosives prior to deployment is paramount to mitigating the threat without exposing individuals to its effects. SPARTA, Inc., and NIST are currently investigating the feasibility of using terahertz radiation to non-invasively and non-destructively detect and identify threats inside the mail or in sealed containers, such as bottles or hand-carried items. Small-to-medium sized molecules (3 atoms to 100 atoms) in gas, liquid and solid phases consistently exhibit identifiable spectral features in the far-IR portion of the spectrum. Many compounds associated with weapons of mass destruction/effect are made up of molecules of this size. Because 0.3-20 THz light partially transmits through many common materials, transmission measurements of THz light can potentially be used to detect the presence of CWA/BWA and explosives in the pathway of a THz radiation beam.
Proceedings Title
Terahertz for Military and Security Applications, Conference | | Terahertz for Military and Security Applications | SPIE
Volume
5070
Conference Dates
April 21-25, 2003
Conference Location
Undefined
Conference Title
Proceedings of SPIE--the International Society for Optical Engineering

Keywords

containers, non-invasive, terahertz spectroscopy, THz, THz detection, weapons of mass destruction

Citation

Campbell, M. and Heilweil, E. (2003), Noninvasive Detection of Weapons of Mass Destruction Using Terahertz Radiation, Terahertz for Military and Security Applications, Conference | | Terahertz for Military and Security Applications | SPIE, Undefined, [online], https://tsapps.nist.gov/publication/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=841730 (Accessed April 24, 2024)
Created June 30, 2003, Updated October 12, 2021