Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

A cheaper device to scan for concealed objects

As the EU prioritises the protection of its citizens from terrorist threats, it has funded research into a low-cost scanning technology. The scanner would be used at small transport hubs such as train stations.
A cheaper device to scan for concealed objects
Millimetre wave scanners are primarily used in airports to detect concealed objects, particularly on people. At the moment, these devices are often limited to major transport hubs because of the high cost of the imaging module.

The IMAGINE project aimed to reduce the cost per pixel from EUR 1 125 to EUR 150. The project consortium brought experts in the security, scanning, semi-conductor and liquid-crystal polymer industries together to achieve this goal.

Their approach to the problem included incorporating a low-noise amplifier and detector on one chip and optimising the semiconductor construction. They also worked to develop new functional casing that incorporates an antenna, and they took steps to automate the assembly process.

Most of these innovations were successfully attained. A new detector diode and low-noise amplifier were constructed and incorporated into one semi-conductor chip. In addition, a broadband antenna was designed and built as part of the casing for the device.

These advances represent several major technical breakthroughs in millimetre wave scanning technology. The research team were able to build a new, compact device and the commercial consortium partners have undertaken to test the system further.

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