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Spectral decomposition of ultra-wide-band terahertz imagery



Erich N. Grossman, Charles Dietlein, Jonathan Chisum, A. Luukanen, J. E. Bjarnason, E. R. Brown


We investigate the spectral response of a THz imaging system based on ultrawideband cryogenic microbolometers. The bandwidth if this system, nominally 0.2 - 1.8 THz, is broad enough to span large variations (>10 dB) in clothing transmittance and diffraction-limited spatial resolution (factor of x8), factors that are presumably partly responsible for the unusually high quality of the images taken with it. The chief tools we have used for this are a simple THz monochromator based on a specially designed frequency selective surface, and a specially designed blackbody source that provides an accurately known power spectral density over the full bandwidth of the imager. Two completely independent measurements of the microbolometer's spectral response, in the first case using a filtered blackbody and in the second using an ultrabroadband, THz photomixer, referred to a Golay cell, agree within 5%. Evidence of frequency-dependent scattering from ordinary clothing material, distinct from simple linear attenuation, is presented from an idealized laboratory experiment. However, the scattering is relatively weak, and unlikely to have a significant effect in practical THz imaging scenarios, particularly with ultrawide bandwidths.
Conference Dates
April 9-13, 2007
Conference Location
Orlando, FL, USA
Conference Title
SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering, Defense & Security Symposium


bolometer, concealed weapons, imaging, millimeter-wave, terahertz, ultrabroadband


Grossman, E. , Dietlein, C. , Chisum, J. , Luukanen, A. , Bjarnason, J. and Brown, E. (2007), Spectral decomposition of ultra-wide-band terahertz imagery, SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering, Defense & Security Symposium, Orlando, FL, USA, [online], (Accessed April 20, 2024)
Created April 8, 2007, Updated October 12, 2021