Spire Corporation has been awarded a $750,000 Phase II Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) project from the US Department of Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA) to develop a terahertz-based standoff detection imager.
The imager would emit terahertz radiation and then detect the signal reflected from individuals or objects, imaging hidden weapons or explosives that they might be carrying.
Terahertz radiation is yet to be exploited for such applications because of the lack of terahertz radiation sources. Spire’s Bandwidth Semiconductor subsidiary has been developing tiny, gallium arsenide based devices called quantum cascade lasers using nanotechnology semiconductor material growth to address this market need.
Phase I of the program identified critical atmospheric terahertz transmission windows with high precision, defined the best candidate imaging system, and carried out an analysis of this system resulting in detailed system performance predictions.