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Millimeter Wave Antennas for Homeland Security Detection and Imaging Applications

Funding Agency: RFTONICS

Status: Completed (April 2015)

The detection of people carrying concealed weapons, such as knives, and guns, is becoming increasingly relevant in the field of policing and security. There is an increasing need for an effective non-ionizing imaging system, and millimeter (mm)-wave imaging systems are considered potential candidates. Recently, there has been increasing interest in millimeter (mm)-wave antennas and devices for use in short-range communications, sensors and/or imaging systems. Millimeter-wave-based imaging systems have good characteristics including high penetration ability for different types of clothes, very low penetration for living tissues, less physical personal intrusion and safer doses of radiation. These systems could be used instead of traditional X-ray systems, which have higher levels of radiation and thus limited use per person. Millimeter-wave antenna design is considered as the first step for realizing the imaging system. Not only improving the gain but also reducing the size and employing a suitable impedance-matching bandwidth are considered critical design requirements.

The development of mm-wave antennas requires concurrent research in both electromagnetic and antenna theory together with the setup of a fabrication and measurement facility for mm-wave frequency applications. This proposed research project addresses challenges associated with the design and implementation of mm-wave antennas and how their performance can be measured, assessed and improved.  The main goal is to design, implement and evaluate mm-wave antenna candidates for use in mm-wave imaging systems for potential use in homeland security applications.