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High-Power Lensless THz Imaging of Hidden Objects

: Mansourzadeh, S.; Damyanov, D.; Vogel, T.; Wulf, F.; Kohlhaas, R.B.; Globisch, B.; Schultze, T.; Hoffmann, M.; Balzer, J.C.; Saraceno, C.J.

Volltext ()

IEEE access 9 (2021), S.6268-6276
ISSN: 2169-3536
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer HHI ()

The potential of pulsed THz radiation for time-of-flight imaging applications is well recognized. However, advances in this field are currently severely limited by the low average power of ultrafast THz sources. Typically, this results in impractically long acquisition times and a loss in resolution and contrast. These limitations make imaging of the objects in real-life scenarios impossible. Here, conclusively, the potential of state-of-the-art high-average power THz time-domain spectrometer (TDS), driven by a 100-W class, one-box ultrafast oscillator for imaging applications is shown by demonstrating lensless THz imaging in reflection mode of a dielectric sample with low reflectivity. Images obtained with our home-built 20-mW average power THz-TDS system show a significant contrast enhancement compared to a state-ofthe-art commercial THz-TDS with less than 200 μW of average power. Our unique setup even allows us to obtain images of such an object with high-contrast hidden inside a medium-density fiberboard (MDF) box. This opens the door to THz time-of-flight imaging of concealed objects of unknown shape and orientation in various real-life scenarios which were so far impossible to realize.