In recent years, much effort has been invested to develop room temperature inexpensive, but sensitive, millimeter wave (MMW) and terahertz (THz) detectors that can be used as pixels in focal plane arrays, which is important for real-time imaging. A new 18 x 2 neon indicator lamp MMW/THz scanner was developed. The components of the camera include horizontally shifted two-column glow discharge detectors in a scanning array. The detectors, costing about 50 cents each, are wired to a preprocessing card, a VLSI board, and a motor for scanner movement. A description of the VLSI Verilog programmable hardware of the new scanner, the physical architecture, the software user interface, and imaging results at 97 GHz are presented. At this stage, the emphasis is focused on the lamp exposure time and spatial resolution when the scanning is performed horizontally. In the future it is planned to expose all pixels simultaneously for real-time imaging. New software capabilities allow the application of digital image enhancement algorithms. Fast scanning permits obtaining images in 1 to 5 s. Oversampling yields a sharper edge response and a higher signal-to-noise ratio.
- millimeter wave detectors
- millimeter wave image processing
- millimeter wave imaging