German Research Foundation (DFG)

Mobile material characterization and location by electromagnetic scanning (MARIE)

Special research fields - Transregio 196

Support Code: TRR 196/1 2017

Project Initiator:

  • Universitat Duisburg-Essen (UDE), Faculty of Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Information Technology Department
  • Ruhr-Universitat Bochum (RUB), Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Sciences
  • Bergische Universitat Wuppertal (BUW), School of Electrical, Information and Media Engineering
  • Technische Universitat Darmstadt (TUD), Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology
  • Fraunhofer lnstitut tor Hochfrequenzphysik und Radartechnik (FHR), Wachtberg
  • Fraunhofer lnstitut tor Mikroelektronische Schaltungen und Systeme (IMS), Duisburg

Project Objectives:

It is the objective of this project to use the naturally occurring radiation denoted as passive imaging in the millimeter-wave (mm-wave) and sub-millimeter-wave (submm-wave) region of the electromagnetic spectrum to (i) locate objects under conditions of low visibility, and (ii), to provide information about their material composition. The low visibility may be subject to smoke, haze, fog, clouds, or sandstorms, whereas the latter one, include material specific properties such as the specific emissivity, e.g. how much a surface behaves as a blackbody, the absorptivity, reflectivity, and transmissivity. The proposed methods of ultimately enable passive video-rate imaging in a portable lightweight room-temperature passive imager with additional functionality of polarimetric measurements and passive frequency filtering (color filtering) over a decade of bandwidth 0.15-1.5 THz. The project builds up on the preliminary work on active THz cameras, which are wideband, but lack the required sensitivity for passive imaging using the natural ambient terahertz illumination. In the mm-wave band, fundamentally operated circuits relying on the availability of high-gain low-noise amplifiers (LNAs) will be investigated, whereas, the non-quasistatic direct detector operation will be exploited at the higher submm-wave band. Major scientific breakthroughs include unseen sensitivity for silicon-based room-temperature operated radiometers (NETD of <0.5 K or NEP <1 pW/√Hz) and multi-band radiometers for the measurement of the spectral radiance of bulk materials in an optimum number of frequency bands (number of colors) over a decade of bandwidth from 0.15-1.5 THz (up to 4 THz in phase III). In the long-term this goal is technology-aided by the semiconductor industry by continue lateral scaling of semiconductor devices (more Moore) and the research on emerging devices (beyond CMOS). On the other hand, this long-term goal becomes conceivable by advanced co-design methodologies among circuits, antennas, and optics, which will be applied for global optimization of the imager performance.


Project duration:
Jan 2017 - Dec 2024

German Research Foundation (DFG)

passive THz-Imaging, polarimetric measurements, lightweight room-temperature passive video imager

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