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Multistatic 3D Whole Body Millimeter-Wave Imaging for Explosive Detection

on December 6, 2019 from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM

Speaker Professor Carey M. Rappaport, Northeastern University, Boston MA
Topic Info

Most of the airport passenger security systems use millimeter-wave radar portals to detect threats concealed under clothing. These sophisticated sensors employ advanced RF radar modules and GPU-based accelerated processing. While they are very sensitive, alerting on even small anomalies, they are prone to false alarms, which lead to invasive pat-downs.

New research in multistatic focusing radar systems has the potential to improve detection and lower false alarms. Improvements in the antenna system and in the inversion algorithms help rule out innocent objects while making the detection of non-shape-specific anomalies more likely, without increasing the processing time.

A proposed toroidal reflector antenna, consisting of a tilted ellipse rotated about the vertical axis, provides for multiple, overlapping high-resolution nearfield beams that form multi-view, true multistatic mm-wave imaging for security applications. Modeled results indicate the point spread function (PSF) on a torso target is wide and short, allowing for quickly computed 2D images which can be stacked to reconstruct detailed 3D surfaces. The elliptical curvature in the vertical plane focuses beams to narrow horizontal slices on the object to be imaged. With only this slice illuminated, the scattered field will be due to just this narrow portion of the subject, allowing for computationally simple inversion of a one-dimensional contour rather than an entire two-dimensional surface. Stacking the reconstructed contours for various horizontal positions provides the full object image.

Assuming typical smooth variations of the human body surfaces, the object detection is performed by comparing the retrieved surface with a smoothed one. In addition, weak dielectric explosive threats can be detected as foreign objects, and distinguished from innocuous concealed items. The improved advanced imaging technology system has the promise of reducing false alarms and minimizing pat-downs at airport security lines.

Speaker Bio

Carey M. Rappaport received five degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology:  the SB in Mathematics, the SB, SM, and EE in Electrical Engineering in June 1982, and the PhD in Electrical Engineering in June 1987.  He is married to Ann W. Morgenthaler, and has two children, Sarah and Brian.


Prof. Rappaport joined the faculty at Northeastern University in Boston, MA in 1987.  He has been Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering since July 2000. In 2011, he was appointed College of Engineering Distinguished Professor.  He was Principal Investigator of an ARO-sponsored Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative on Humanitarian Demining, Co-Principal Investigator and Associate Director of the NSF-sponsored Engineering Research Center for Subsurface Sensing and Imaging Systems (CenSSIS), and Co-Principal Investigator and Deputy Director of the DHS-sponsored Awareness and Localization of Explosive Related Threats (ALERT) Center of Excellence.


Prof. Rappaport has authored over 425 technical journal and conference papers in the areas of microwave antenna design, electromagnetic wave propagation and scattering computation, and bioelectromagnetics, and has received two reflector antenna patents, two biomedical device patents and three subsurface sensing device patents.  He was awarded the IEEE Antenna and Propagation Society's H.A. Wheeler Award for best applications paper, as a student in 1986.  He is a member of Sigma Xi and Eta Kappa Nu professional honorary societies.

Location Qualcomm AZ-Auditorium (10155 Pacific Heights Blvd, San Diego, CA 92121) Non-Qualcomm attendees: Please arrive 10-15 minutes early to find street parking or in nearby Qualcomm parking structures.
Agenda 10:00am - 10:10am  Sign-in and networking
10:10am - 11:30am  Seminar and Q&A

Cost free

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