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Terahertz

Terahertz

Luna Terahertz systems measure the physical properties of optically opaque materials. Luna develop and manufacture disruptive sensing technologies for manufacturing applications - providing industrial systems for process control, non-destructive testing, and security applications.

Terahertz Technology

What is Terahertz (THz)?

Terahertz radiation is part of the electromagnetic spectrum lying between microwaves and the far-IR. This region has frequencies ranging from 0.1 – 10 THz and wavelengths from 3 mm to 0.03 mm. This spectral region is often referred to as the “Terahertz gap” as these frequencies fall between electronic (measurement of field with antennas) and optical (measurement of power with optical detectors) means of generation. Historically, little study of the interactions between these wavelengths and matter has been undertaken. The reason for this was the difficulty in generating and detecting terahertz.

Terahertz EMS

Recent advances in combining optical and electronic methods have allowed for generation and detection of very high signal-to-noise ratio and high data acquisition rates of 0.1 – 3 THz frequencies. Consequently, a surge of interest in and study of the terahertz region is underway.

Terahertz system applications

Terahertz technologies for process control, non-destructive testing, research and security applications.

Imaging through material

Similar to x-ray images, terahertz wavelengths penetrate through most materials and can easily reveal imperfections such as voids, cracks, and density variations. Terahertz offers some advantages over x-ray including that the radiation is non-ionizing and thus is completely safe. Example imaging applications include flaw detection in the sprayed-on-foam-insulation (SOFI) for the space shuttle program, detection of threat objects in checked airline baggage and stand-off detection of threat objects in packages or on people.

Imaging through material

Spectroscopic measurements

Time-domain pulsed terahertz energy sources contain broadband frequency content. Thus, spectroscopic determinations (fingerprints) are possible allowing the identification of objects of interest (e.g., explosives, biological agents). Using spectroscopic analysis results to generate images is an especially powerful application of terahertz. Astronomy studies have used terahertz spectroscopy for a number of years.

Advances in terahertz spectroscopic analysis includes innovations in the following areas:

  • Threat material detection (e.g., explosives, weapons)
  • Environmental sensing (especially gas detection)
  • Biomedical applications (e.g., skin cancer detection)
  • Moisture content in consumer products
Spectroscopic measurements

Material characterisation

The energies of terahertz photons allow the probing and study of low energy transitions (molecular rotations, protein folding, phonons in solid state materials, electrical circuit characteristics).

  • Density
  • Basis weight
  • Structural integrity
  • Single and multilayer thickness
  • Product uniformity
  • Chemical analysis
Material characterisation

Market applications

Luna and the Picometrix line of THz products are ready to supply complete solutions into research, industrial and specialty markets. With a suite of easy-to-use products and accessories, application development can be a focus to solve measurement and investigation problems never before achievable. Systems have been deployed worldwide in many applications for a variety of markets.

Process Control

Process Control

The Picometrix T-Gauge® Sensor is capable of online measurements with real-time feedback for controlling raw material inputs. This feedback can reduce costs and control throughput.

  • Commercial roofing
  • Plastic extrusion
  • Plastic thermo-forming
  • Paper
  • Foam
  • Asphalt shingles
  • Paint
Quality Control

Quality Control

The Picometrix T-Gauge® Sensor is capable of online, at-line and offline measurements to ensure quality control. The system is able to examine products inside their packages and make measurements such as conformity, weight, moisture content, thickness and identify contaminants. Flaws, delaminations and corrosion under opaque items can also be located by the T-Gauge® Sensor for identifying areas in need of repair.

  • Aircraft coatings
  • Packaged goods examination
  • Radome inspection
  • Pipeline repair inspection
Research

Research

The T-Ray® 5000 is a versatile and reliable instrument that allows the researcher to focus on application development instead of terahertz generation and detection. The time-domain terahertz system generates short pulses having frequency content for .05 THz up to 2.5 THz or more. This very short pulse can be used in the time domain to study the internal structure of objects (much as an ultrasound pulse is used), or, the wide bandwidth can be used as a broadband source to look at the spectral response of materials or image inside of optically opaque items.

  • Time-domain terahertz
  • Spectroscopy
  • Imaging
  • Art conservation
Security

Security

Security of passengers and transportation infrastructure is a continual challenge in the world today. Terahertz technology has the promise of being able to provide higher resolution, physical safety, and better differentiation than existing solutions. The T-Ray® 5000 with its associated transmitters, receivers and scanners is ideal for investigation and development of advanced security applications.

  • Baggage inspection
  • Shoe inspection
  • Security portals

T-Gauge Sensor Solution

The T-Gauge Sensor is the world’s first terahertz sensor for online process control, quality control, and non-destructive testing. The T-Gauge Sensor provides an alternative to legacy technologies that require excessive regulation and control. Unlike x-rays the T-Gauge® does not emit ionizing radiation and unlike nuclear gauges is not radioactive. Terahertz energy will penetrate opaque materials, allowing measurements to be performed on any non-conductive material.

T-Gauge

The T‑Gauge® Control Unit (TCU) is the central component of the T‑Gauge® family of products and serves as the source of the optical and electrical signals necessary to generate and detect terahertz. The TCU also transforms analog data into a digital signal that can be analyzed using the onboard processor and interacts with the wide variety of THz accessories.

The TCU is a 19 inch (483 mm) rack, wall, or table mountable instrument, consisting of an ultrafast laser, high-speed optical delay, ranging optical delay, power supplies, and signal conditioning electronics, with connectors for convenient interfacing to various optical and electronic components. The high-speed delay included in the TCU can be chosen from a number of delay length and speed options. When utilized in conjunction with T-Gauge® accessories, the TCU enables the user to generate and detect pulsed terahertz energy for a wide variety of measurements.

T‑Gauge

T-Ray 5000

The T-Ray® 5000 product family allows state of the art terahertz research to be performed quickly and easily. The modular construction and patented fiber-coupling of the T-Ray® 5000 allow experiments to be rearranged to perform a large number of experiments.

Measurement performance:

Range Tolerance: 5 cm
Measurement Rate: 100 or 1000 per second
Basis Weight Range: 10 to 10000+ gsm (2.5 to 2500+ #/ream)
BW Precision: ± 1 gsm (2σ)
Caliper Range: 25 to 15000+ μm (1 to 600+ mils)
Caliper Precision: ± 2 μm (2σ)
% Moisture Range: 2.5% to >>50%
% Moisture Precision: > ± 0.1% (2σ)
Measurement Footprint: 3 mm2
CD Streak Resolution: 2mm @ 200 mm/sec
Spectroscopic measurements

Saf-T-Chek Anomaly Detection System (ADS)

The Saf-T-Chek Anomaly Detection System (ADS) is designed for use by domestic or international governments and businesses for security screening of personnel. The Saf-T-Chek ADS® is primarily for detection of anomalous items in the head-region concealed by religious headgear, wigs, hats, caps or scarves. It will allow a security officer to provide targeted screening of personnel with minimal equipment footprint, exceptional ease of use, and light enough to be portable.

The Saf-T-Chek ADS® is a product platform that can potentially be expanded to include other parts of the body reducing the need for privacy invading imaging or pat-downs.

The Saf-T-Chek ADS® performs detection not tied to producing an image or image interpretation. The unit emits a low power beam of thermal energy making it completely safe. The temperature of the person or their surroundings has no effect on the detection. Audible, visible and vibration signals indicate alarms. A measurement quality indicator exists to assist in making a good examination of a location and to help with targeting anomalies.

The handheld sensor provides all of the feedback required to easily locate hidden items. The Saf-T-Chek ADS® is designed and manufactured in the USA to Luna’s quality management system standards.

Saf-T-Chek ADS® operational modes:

  1. Detect anomalies by having trained operators examine the raw signal return.
  2. Detect anomalies by letting the embedded computer assist the operator by freezing the signal return when it detects an anomaly.
  3. Detect anomalies by allowing the computer to decide when an anomaly is present.
Saf-T-Chek Anomaly Detection System (ADS)
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