Abstract

Active imaging can provide significantly larger signal margins in the millimeter-wave spectral region than passive imaging, especially indoors—an important application for which there is no cold sky illumination. However, coherent effects, such as speckle, negate much of this advantage by destroying image clarity and target recognition. Moreover, active imaging demonstrations often use strategically chosen target orientations to optimally reflect power from the active illuminator back to the imaging receiver. In this paper we will discuss and show experimental results for a new active imaging approach that largely eliminates coherent effects and the need for optimized target orientation. The work described uses a synthesized harmonic multiplier chain to drive a 5 W extended interaction klystron at 218.4 GHz, a mechanical mode mixer to illuminate and modulate many modes, and a heterodyne receiver coupled into a 60 cm scanning mirror. Large signal margins were obtained in this 50m range work, showing paths to imaging at 1km, imaging with considerably less powerful illuminators, and the use of focal plane arrays.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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