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Hyper-Spectral Imaging and Sensing in the THz Frequency Range

Final Report Summary - HYPERIAS (Hyper-Spectral Imaging and Sensing in the THz Frequency Range)

The HYPERIAS project is designed to exploit the advantages of combining efficient THz generation from tuneable sources with direct detection using silicon CMOS technology to construct a THz system for hyper-spectral imaging and identification of materials, including explosives in near-field and stand-off modes. Hyper-spectral imaging within HYPERIAS is supported by imaging algorithms suitable for the focal-plane CMOS arrays. The combination of these activities will result in self-contained systems suitable for a variety of terahertz sensing and imaging applications.

The goals of the project have been to:

1. Exploit the knowledge gained by M Squared Lasers (M2) in developing a widely tuneable THz source based on novel, highly efficient intra-cavity optical parametric oscillator (OPO) technology and combine it with the CMOS THz Detector technology from Goethe University Frankfurt (GUF) to create a unique, room temperature, compact system configuration.
2. Investigate the suitability of the system for hyperspectral imaging and sensing of different materials and develop suitable algorithms to support system performance in targeted applications with knowledge from M Squared Lasers, the Goethe University Frankfurt, and the University of Siegen.
3. Research and evaluate the applicability of developed systems for several THz application areas, particularly for the detection of explosives and other hazardous materials in stand-off and proximity sensing/imaging modes of operation with knowledge from the University of Siegen in cooperation with M Squared Lasers.

Since the project kicked-off in March 2013, the planned work programme has been largely delivered based on the successful cohort of Marie Curie fellows that have been seconded between Scotland and Germany, along with the recruits into M Squared and Siegen from France and the USA respectively. The use of extended secondments between the partners has provided some substantial knowledge transfer opportunities and key developments. A major outcome from the project has been the establishment of a German subsidiary to M Squared Lasers in Siegen, based on an earlier secondment of a fellow from Siegen to M Squared.

The technical highlights have been the substantial updates to M Squared’s Firefly-THz source in WP1, the detector developments at the Goethe University Frankfurt and subsequent demonstrations of the source with a variety of these novel detector units. The advances demonstrated to date have enabled significant progress towards the proposed imaging system development. Validation experiments undertaken by the project fellows have shown spectroscopic measurements of relevant substances, along with imaging demonstrations using the emergent systems.

For further information and contact details the project website is