Aims and objectives of the project

This JRP aims to provide the necessary metrology for the new emerging security technologies like scanning systems, active imaging, ultra-wideband radar and spectrometers operating in the sub-Terahertz and Terahertz frequency range between 20 GHz and 5 THz. In particular, the JRP has the following scientific and technical objectives:

  • To have extended existing capabilities for characterization and calibration of sources and detectors traceable to the SI units from 2.52 THz right now to a wide frequency range between 20 GHz and 5 THz.
  • To have established traceability of amplitude, phase and frequency for pulsed time-domain, VNA based and FTIR spectrometers and to have developed reference materials for spectrometer validation.
  • To have assessed the performance of pulsed time-domain, VNA based and FTIR spectrometers by comparison of their uncertainty.
  • To have assessed the radiated power flux densities of different types of microwave and THz scanners and to have used the results for realistic dosimetry by development of numerical skin models and phantoms as a basis both for performance and safety evaluation of such systems.

Expected impact

The proposed research topic will cause environmental/health impact, industry/financial impact and quality of life/social impact by substantially improving the measurement capabilities in the THz frequency range and therefore making the relevant quantities of THz systems used in security applications reliably accessible.

A successful implementation of the project will initiate first standardisation activities for spectrometers and scanners in the millimetre wave and THz region of the electromagnetic spectrum, and, thus, pave the way for reliable measurements in this wavelength range. It will further improve the generic standards IEC/EN 62479 and IEC/EN 62311 that regulate the requirements for electromagnetic installations and devices with regard to the protection of humans in electromagnetic fields in case no product standard exists. This is a prerequisite for new hardware developments and a public acceptance of new technologies using millimeter and sub-millimetre waves. It provides the metrology needed to prove compliance with the requirements of the European Directive 2004/40/EC “Physical Agents Directive” which sets exposition limits for working personnel between 2 GHz and 300 GHz (50 W/m2 in controlled environments) and all other national and international guidelines such as that of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).