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Terahertz Detectors Could See Through Your Clothes From a Mile Away
Someone may soon be able to tell what types material are in your pockets from tens, and possibly thousands, of feet away.
Using terahertz remote sensing, detectors could see through walls, clothing and packaging materials and immediately identify the unique terahertz waves of the materials contained inside, such as explosives or drugs.
“Homeland security and military agencies have been struggling for years to get technology like this,” said terahertz expert Abul Azad at Los Alamos National Laboratory. “I think the approach they have revealed is really, really unique.”
Terahertz detectors could also be used for airport security to detect illegal substances hidden in people’s clothes. The approach would be less invasive than x-rays, Liu said, because terahertz waves are much lower in energy. It would not reveal anything concealed inside the body, because the terahertz signals cannot go through water, or metal.
Theoretically, Liu said, terahertz remote sensing could also be used identify the composition of an unknown toxic spill in the environment, or the composition of objects in space.
Originally posted by Oozii
I understand the use of it to see thru walls, packaging materials, and whatnot, but for clothes?.
I understand all that part because they can aim the lasers directly at the materials, and the plasma can interact directly with the materials. So this part of the technology I understand completely.
The researchers demonstrated that they could detect the signal from 67 feet away, the length of their laboratory space, but theoretically they could identify materials hundreds of feet or even miles away, Liu said. “Homeland security and military agencies have been struggling for years to get technology like this,” said terahertz expert Abul Azad at Los Alamos National Laboratory. “I think the approach they have revealed is really, really unique.” The first application of this technology will likely be for the remote detection of roadside bombs, also known as improvised explosive devices (IEDs) by the military. Homeland Security and the Defense Department were the primary funders of the research.