An enhanced MMW and SMMW/THz imaging system performance prediction and analysis tool for concealed weapon detection and pilotage obstacle avoidance
The U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) has continued to develop and enhance a millimeter-wave (MMW) and submillimeter- wave (SMMW)/terahertz (THz)-band imaging system performance prediction and analysis tool for both the detection and identification of concealed weaponry, and for pilotage obstacle avoidance. The details of the MATLAB-based model which accounts for the effects of all critical sensor and display components, for the effects of atmospheric attenuation, concealment material attenuation, and active illumination, were reported on at the 2005 SPIE Europe Security and Defence Symposium (Brugge). An advanced version of the base model that accounts for both the dramatic impact that target and background orientation can have on target observability as related to specular and Lambertian reflections captured by an active-illumination-based imaging system, and for the impact of target and background thermal emission, was reported on at the 2007 SPIE Defense and Security Symposium (Orlando). Further development of this tool that includes a MODTRAN-based atmospheric attenuation calculator and advanced system architecture configuration inputs that allow for straightforward performance analysis of active or passive systems based on scanning (single- or line-array detector element(s)) or staring (focal-plane-array detector elements) imaging architectures was reported on at the 2011 SPIE Europe Security and Defence Symposium (Prague). This paper provides a comprehensive review of a newly enhanced MMW and SMMW/THz imaging system analysis and design tool that now includes an improved noise sub-model for more accurate and reliable performance predictions, the capability to account for postcapture image contrast enhancement, and the capability to account for concealment material backscatter with active-illumination- based systems. Present plans for additional expansion of the model's predictive capabilities are also outlined.