Published 6 December 2005

Terahertz radiation imaging, if harnessed, holds promise of precise detection

We have reported on the promise that terahertz technology holds [refer to issues 93 here and 95 here], so it is good to note that DHS has allocated money to fund development of a miniature laser based on the technology for anti-terrorism applications. DHS Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA) has awarded Bedford, Massachusetts-based Spire Corporation (Nasdaq: SPIR) a $750,000 Phase II Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) project to develop a terahertz-based stand-off detection imager which emits terahertz “light” and then detects the signal reflected from individuals or objects, imaging hidden weapons or explosives that they might be carrying.

Phase I of this program identified critical atmospheric terahertz transmission windows and defined the best candidate imaging system. Spire will develop this imager in collaboration with the University of Massachusetts Lowell Submillimeter Wave Technology Laboratory.

-read more in this Spire news release More

Terahertz radiation is like light but it lies in a region of the electromagnetic spectrum between microwaves and infrared radiation. Specifically, radio waves sent at terahertz frequencies are in the region of the light spectrum between 300 gigahertz (3x1011 Hz) and 3 terahertz (3x1012 Hz), corresponding to the wavelength range starting at submillimeter (