Detection and upconversion of three-dimensional MMW/THz images to the visible Academic Article uri icon


  • We present an inexpensive technique to obtain a three-dimensional (3D) millimeter wave (MMW) and terahertz (THz) image using upconversion. In this work we describe and demonstrate a method for upconversion of MMW/THz radiation to the visual band using a very inexpensive miniature glow discharge detector (GDD) and a silicon photodetector. We present MMW/THz upconversion images based on measuring the visual light emitting from the GDD rather than its electrical current. The results show better response time and better sensitivity compared to the electronic detection performed previously. Furthermore, in this work we perform frequency modulation continuous wave (FMCW) radar detection based on this method using a GDD lamp, with a photodetector to measure GDD light emission. By using FMCW detection, the range in addition to the intensity at each pixel can be obtained, thus yielding the 3D image. The GDD acts as a heterodyne mixer not only electronically but also optically. The suggested 3D upconversion technique using the GDD is simple and inexpensive and has better performance compared to other MMW/THz imaging systems suggested in the literature. This method provides minimum detectable signal power that is about 6 orders of magnitude better than similar plasma systems due to the very large internal signal gain deriving from the much smaller electrode separation and resulting in much higher plasma electric field.

publication date

  • January 1, 2016