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There has been intense interest in the use of millimetre wave and terahertz technology for the detection of concealed weapons, explosives and other threats. Radiation at these frequencies is safe, penetrates barriers and has short enough wavelengths to allow discrimination between objects. In addition, many solids including explosives have characteristic spectroscopic signatures at terahertz wavelengths which can be used to identify them. This paper reviews the progress which has been made in recent years and identifies the achievements, challenges and prospects for these technologies in checkpoint people screening, stand off detection of improvised explosive devices (lEDs) and suicide bombers as well as more specialized screening tasks.
Date of Conference: 5-7 Sept. 2007