Lisa M. Zurk

Date of Award

Winter 2-7-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Electrical and Computer Engineering


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Physical Description

1 online resource (xii, 158 pages)


Terahertz spectroscopy, Synthetic aperture radar, Explosives -- Detection -- Technique, Explosives -- Nondestructive testing




Terahertz (THz) wavelengths have attracted recent interest in multiple disciplines within engineering and science. Situated between the infrared and the microwave region of the electromagnetic spectrum, THz energy can propagate through non-polar materials such as clothing or packaging layers. Moreover, many chemical compounds, including explosives and many drugs, reveal strong absorption signatures in the THz range. For these reasons, THz wavelengths have great potential for non-destructive evaluation and explosive detection. Three-dimensional (3-D) reflection imaging with considerable depth resolution is also possible using pulsed THz systems. While THz imaging (especially 3-D) systems typically operate in transmission mode, reflection offers the most practical configuration for standoff detection, especially for objects with high water content (like human tissue) which are opaque at THz frequencies. In this research, reflection-based THz synthetic-aperture (SA) imaging is investigated as a potential imaging solution. THz SA imaging results presented in this dissertation are unique in that a 2-D planar synthetic array was used to generate a 3-D image without relying on a narrow time-window for depth isolation [1]. Novel THz chemical detection techniques are developed and combined with broadband THz SA capabilities to provide concurrent 3-D spectral imaging. All algorithms are tested with various objects and pressed pellets using a pulsed THz time-domain system in the Northwest Electromagnetics and Acoustics Research Laboratory (NEAR-Lab).

Persistent Identifier