Terahertz Whole Body Scanners

Terahertz (THz) non-ionizing radiation bridges the gap between MMWave and infrared on the electromagnetic spectrum (300 GHz to 10 THz).
Terahertz imaging and spectroscopy has been shown to have the potential to use very low levels of this non-ionizing radiation to detect and identify objects hidden under clothing at stand-off distances. It has also been shown to be effective in detecting concealed explosives at a stand-off distance of 1m, both in real time as well as in reflection, and under normal atmospheric conditions.
Further development may lead to a practical application of this system for the detection of suicide bombers and mobile suspects.

The terahertz (THz) region of the electromagnetic spectrum is typically considered to occupy 300 GHz to 10 THz, bridging the gap between millimeter waves and the infrared. Developments during the last decade have started to address the previous lack of THz radiation sources and sensitive detectors in this range.

Electromagnetic Spectrum of the THz-Region.
(Source: Kemp)

These advances have generated considerable interest in terahertz radiation as it may apply to screening technologies.

There are unique properties of THz radiation that make it a potentially powerful technique for people screening including:

  • THz radiation penetrates many everyday physical barriers such as typical clothing and packing materials with modest attenuation.
  • Many chemical substances and explosive materials exhibit characteristic spectral responses at THz frequencies that can be used to identify these threat materials.
  • The low photon energy, sub-millimeter wavelengths THz radiation is non- ionizing in contrast to penetrating radiation using higher energies

More information can be found at: Global People Security Screening: Technologies, Industry & Market – 2015- 2020