OSA's Digital Library

Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Editor: Joseph N. Mait
  • Vol. 49, Iss. 19 — Jul. 1, 2010
  • pp: E7–E12

Passive millimeter wave imaging sensors for commercial markets

Jonathan J. Lynch, Perry A. Macdonald, Harris P. Moyer, and Robert G. Nagele  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 49, Issue 19, pp. E7-E12 (2010)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (482 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



We describe the development of passive millimeter wave imaging sensors, operating at W band, that are currently being manufactured for commercial markets using standard automated assembly processes. A description of HRL Laboratories’ millimeter wave imaging chipset is presented, focusing on parameters that limit sensor performance, such as detector 1 / f noise, low noise amplifier noise figure, and gain drift. We conclude with a discussion of ongoing research and development in passive millimeter wave imaging and performance improvements that can be expected for future imaging sensors.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(350.4010) Other areas of optics : Microwaves
(280.4991) Remote sensing and sensors : Passive remote sensing

Original Manuscript: November 20, 2009
Manuscript Accepted: March 10, 2010
Published: April 7, 2010

Jonathan J. Lynch, Perry A. Macdonald, Harris P. Moyer, and Robert G. Nagele, "Passive millimeter wave imaging sensors for commercial markets," Appl. Opt. 49, E7-E12 (2010)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. G. V. Tryon, “Millimeter wave case study of operational deployments: retail, airport, military, courthouse, and customs,” Proc. SPIE 6948, 694802 (2008). [CrossRef]
  2. T. D. Williams and N. M. Vaidya, “A compact, low cost, passive mmW security scanner,” Proc. SPIE 5789, 109-116 (2005). [CrossRef]
  3. C. A. Martin, “Rapid passive mmW security screening portal,” Proc. SPIE 6948, 6948J1 (2008).
  4. A. H. Lettington, D. Dunn, N. E. Alexander, A. Wabby, B. N. Lyons, R. Doyle, J. Walshe, M. Attia, and I. M. Blankson, “Design and development of a high performance passive millimeter wave imager for aeronautical applications,” Proc. SPIE 5410, 210-218 (2004). [CrossRef]
  5. R. Appleby, P. Coward, and J. N. Sanders-Reed, “Evaluation of a passive millimeter wave (PMMW) imager for wire detection in degraded visual conditions,” Proc. SPIE 7309, 7309A1(2009).
  6. C. A. Martin and V. G. Kolinko, “Improved passive millimeter wave imaging from a helicopter platform,” Proc. SPIE 5409, 8-14 (2004). [CrossRef]
  7. A. H. Lettington, Q. H. Hong, and D. G. Gleed, “Removing line patterns from infrared and passive millimeter wave images,” Proc. SPIE 2298, 24-29 (1994).
  8. C. Mann, “First demonstration of a vehicle mounted 250 GHz real time passive imager,” Proc. SPIE 7311, 7311Q1 (2009).
  9. D. L. McMakin, D. M. Sheen, H. D. Collins, T. E. Hall, and R. H. Severtsen, “Wideband millimeter wave holographic surveillance systems,” Proc. SPIE 2511, 131-142 (1995), [CrossRef]
  10. J. J. Lynch, H. P. Moyer, J. H. Schaffner, Y. Royter, M. Sokolich, B. Hughes, Y. J. Yoon, and J. N. Schulman, “Passive millimeter-wave imaging module with preamplified zero-bias detection,” IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory Tech. 56, 1592-1600 (2008). [CrossRef]
  11. J. H. Schaffner, J. J. Lynch, K. V. Guinn, J. N. Schulman, H. P. Moyer, R. Bowen, and M. Musni, “A wideband radiometer module for an unamplified direct detection scalable W-band imaging arrays,” Proc. SPIE 6948, 694807 (2008). [CrossRef]
  12. H. Kazemi, C. Nguyen, B. Brar, G. Rebeiz, G. Nagy, L. Tran, A. Young, and E. R. Brown, “Low cost modular integrated horn antenna array using heterojunction barrier diode detectors,” paper presented the International Microwave Symposium of the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, 10-15 June 2008.
  13. M. Tiuri, “Radio astronomy receivers,” IEEE Trans. Antennas Propag. 12, 930-938 (1964). [CrossRef]
  14. R. Appleby, R. N. Anderton, S. Price, N. A. Salmon, G. N. Sinclair, J. R. Borrill, P. R. Coward, P. Papakosta, A. H. Lettington, and D. A. Robertson, “Compact real time (video rate) passive millimeter wave imager,” Proc. SPIE 3703, 13-20 (1999). [CrossRef]
  15. J. L. Hesler and T. W. Crowe, “Responsivity and noise measurements of zero-bias Schottky detectors,” paper presented at the 18th International Symposium on Space Terahertz Technology, Pasadena, California, USA, March 2007.
  16. J. N. Schulman and D. H. Chow, “Sb-heterostructure interband backward diodes,” IEEE Electron. Device Lett. 21, 353-355 (2000). [CrossRef]
  17. N. Su, Z. Zhang, J. N. Schulman, and P. Fay, “Temperature dependence of high frequency and noise performance of Sb-heterostructure millimeter wave detectors,” IEEE Electron. Device Lett. 28, 336-339 (2007). [CrossRef]
  18. M. G. Case, C. Pobanz, S. Weinreb, M. Matloubian, M. Hu, M. Wetzel, P. Janke, and C. Ngo, “Low cost, high performance W band LNA MMICs for millimeter wave imaging,” Proc. SPIE 4032, 89-96 (2000). [CrossRef]
  19. X. B. Mei, C. H. Lin, L. J. Lee, Y. M. Kim, P. H. Liu, M. Lange, A. Cavus, R. To, M. Nishimoto, and R. Lai, “A W band InGaAs/InAlAs/InP HEMT low noise amplifier MMIC with 2.5 dB noise figure and 9.4 dB gain at 94 GHz,” paper presented at the 2008 IEEE 20th Conference on Indium Phosphide and Related Materials (IPRM'08), Versailles, France, 25-29 May 2008.

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited