As the problem of identifying suicide bombers wearing explosives concealed under clothing becomes increasingly important, it becomes essential to detect suspicious individuals at a distance. Systems which employ multiple sensors to determine the presence of explosives on people are being developed. Their functions include observing and following individuals with intelligent video, identifying explosives residues or heat signatures on the outer surface of their clothing, and characterizing explosives using penetrating X-rays, terahertz waves, neutron analysis, or nuclear quadrupole resonance. At present, mm-wave radar is the only modality that can both penetrate and sense beneath clothing at a distance of 2 to 50 meters without causing physical harm. Unfortunately, current mm-wave radar systems capable of performing high-resolution, real-time imaging require using arrays with a large number of transmitting and receiving modules; and, therefore, these systems present undesired large size, weight and power consumption, as well as extremely complex hardware architecture.
The overarching goal of this thesis is the development and experimental validation of a next generation inexpensive, high-resolution radar system that can distinguish security threats hidden on individuals located at 2-10 meters range. In pursue of this goal, this thesis proposes the following contributions: (1) Development and experimental validation of a new current-based, high-frequency computational method to model large scattering problems (hundreds of wavelengths) involving lossy, penetrable and multi-layered dielectric and conductive structures, which is needed for an accurate characterization of the wave-matter interaction and EM scattering in the target region; (2) Development of combined Norm-1, Norm-2 regularized imaging algorithms, which are needed for enhancing the resolution of the images while using a minimum number of transmitting and receiving antennas; (3) Implementation and experimental validation of new calibration techniques, which are needed for coherent imaging when using multistatic configurations; and (4) Investigation of novel compressive antennas, which spatially modulate the wavefield and use compressive sensing algorithms in order to enhance the information transfer efficiency between sampling and imaging regions.
- Professor Jose Martinez (Advisor)
- Professor Carey Rappaport
- Professor Edwin Marengo