Research Summaries

Back MEMS Metamaterial-based Sub-terahertz focal plane array for space imaging

Fiscal Year 2019
Division Graduate School of Engineering & Applied Science
Department Physics
Investigator(s) Alves, Fabio D.
Sponsor Department of Defense Space (DoD)
Summary The detection of colder objects in space requires the use of sensors operating at longer wavelengths than infrared (IR). Long wavelength terahertz (THz) has not been utilized in reconnaissance due to the lack of sensitive sensors. Recently, sponsored by DoD-S, we have demonstrated THz imaging using metamaterials and microelectromechanical devices (MEMS). Metamaterial-based THz-to-IR converters were identified as a potential candidate to be used as an attachment to space borne infrared imagers adding an extra capability with very little hardware modifications. This opened an attractive opportunity to expand the capabilities of THz-to-IR FPAs, already demonstrated. Therefore, the objective of this project is to study and develop means to enhance band conversion efficiency and band expansion using potential space flight test in a CubeSat in 2020/2021. The technical approach to accomplish this goal is to build-on previous know-how to desired bands. The FPA will be optimized real time THz images within the 0.3 to 1 THz range. For space applications, this technology will provide low power consumption, lightweight, low cost, and extremely simple operation when contrasted with the current THz imagers. The project evaluation metrics will be based on the efficiency of the band conversion and detectability of the converted scene by an IR camera. These figures of merit will provide a good comparison with the current state-of-the-art. Successful completion of this effort will lead to highly sensitive, albeit simple imaging systems that can have a tremendous impact in the ways to detect and image THz in contemporary space applications.
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Data Publications, theses (not shown) and data repositories will be added to the portal record when information is available in FAIRS and brought back to the portal