Terahertz Imaging System Based on Superconducting Heterodyne Integrated Receiver.
The development of terahertz imaging instruments for security systems is on the cutting edge of terahertz technology. We are developing a THz imaging system based on a superconducting integrated receiver (SIR). An SIR is a new type of heterodyne receiver based on an SIS mixer integrated with a flux-flow oscillator (FFO) and a harmonic mixer which is used for phase-locking the FFO. Employing an SIR in an imaging system means building an entirely new instrument with many advantages compared to traditional systems. In this project we propose a prototype THz imaging system using an 1 pixel SIR and 2D scanner. At a local oscillator frequency of 500 GHz the best noise equivalent temperature difference (NETD) of the SIR is 10 mK at an integration time of 1 s and a detection bandwidth of 4 GHz. The scanner consists of two rotating flat mirrors placed in front of the antenna consisting of a spherical primary reflector and an aspherical secondary reflector. The diameter of the primary reflector is 0.3 m. The operating frequency of the imaging system is 600 GHz, the frame rate is 0.1 FPS, the scanning area is 0.5 × 0.5 m2, the image resolution is 50 × 50 pixels, the distance from an object to the scanner was 3 m. We have obtained THz images with a spatial resolution of 8 mm and a NETD of less than 2 K.