THz standoff detection and imaging of explosives and weapons

John Federici, Dale Gary, Robert Barat, David Zimdars

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Recently, there has been a significant interest in employing Terahertz (THz) technology, spectroscopy and imaging for standoff detection applications. There are three prime motivations for this interest: (a) THz radiation can detect concealed weapons since many non-metallic, non-polar materials are transparent to THz radiation, (b) target compounds such as explosives, and bio/chemical weapons have characteristic THz spectra that can be used to identify these compounds and (c) THz radiation poses no health risk for scanning of people. This paper will provide an overview of THz standoff detection of explosives and weapons including discussions of effective range, spatial resolution, and other limitations. The THz approach will be compared to alternative detection modalities such as x-ray and millimeter wave imaging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number16
Pages (from-to)75-84
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2005
EventOptics and Photonics in Global Homeland Security - Orlando, FL, United States
Duration: Mar 29 2005Apr 1 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Explosive
  • Imaging
  • Interferometric
  • Stand-off
  • Synthetic aperture
  • Terahertz
  • Weapon


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