THz Imaging for Biomedical Applications (Caltech): This research was funded under several prior NIH and internal grants and involves the application of terahertz imaging and spectroscopy techniques to problems in the biomedical sciences. Specifically Dr. Siegel has been developing and utilizing the RF instrumentation that was pioneered under his former NASA programs for disease diagnosis, measurements of tissue properties, enhancing contrast through common biomedical staining techniques, and most recently to the impact of THz radiation on cellular processes.
THz Effects on Cellular Systems (Caltech/HMRI): This new program attempts to quantitatively examine THz (and millimeter wave) radiation impact on cells and cellular processes. It blends biological, optical and RF instrumentation in a novel way to examine RF dosimetry effects while directly monitoring cell lines and will establish one of the first IR Raman/optical/RF test instruments for microscopic evaluation of thermal and chemical processes at the cellular level. A proposal to continue the work is currently awaiting review at the NIH with collaborator Dr. Victor Pikov, a neurophysiologist at the Huntington Medical Research Institutes.
THz Detection of BC & SC Carcinoma (Caltech/Stanford/RPI): THz imaging has already been proven to be effective in delineating tumor margins on areas of the body that are near the surface, i.e. skin or surgically exposed regions. Our efforts involve establishing real time video imaging instruments in the THz bands (using pulsed time domain techniques developed at ZOmega – Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute) and then applying these in an actual clinical environment – Stanford University Medical Center – to establish efficacy for diagnosing, and perhaps someday thermally treating, skin lesions, specifically basal and squamous cell carcinoma. This work has been proposed through NIH but has not yet received funding. The work has been ongoing at a low level in the hopes of acquiring sufficient data to bolster future proposal efforts. Collaborators include Professor Scott Fraser at Caltech and Dr. David Peng, a clinical dermatologist at Stanford Medical Center and Tom Tongue, CEO of ZOmega Inc.
THz Radar Imaging (Caltech/JPL): Using our NASA developed source and sensor technologies we have started the first work on THz FMCW radar. In this very exciting program we have designed, fabricating and begun testing a 670 GHz FMCW radar imager that can mechanically scan and 3D reconstruct (using radar ranging) objects between 1 and 25 meters distance with cm resolution in all three dimensions. Since THz waves can pass through many dielectrics, the system is being applied to undergarment threat detection. However significant phenomenologic breakthroughs have already been established through the use of this established technique in this new frequency range. The ultimate goal of the program is to demonstrate near video rate imaging over a modest angular scene scale. The work is being supported by the DoD and most of the instrumentation resides at JPL. Program participants include a number of JPL SWAT team members, particularly Dr. Ken Cooper, Dr. Goutam Chattopadhyay and Mr. Robert Dengler. Other contributors are Dr. Nuria Llombart and Dr. Tomas Bryllert, as well as JPL’s Dr. Imran Mehdi, Dr. Choonsup Lee, Dr. Anders Skalare and Dr. Erich Schlecht.
THz Radar Imaging using Integrated Planar Arrays (Caltech/JPL): Although not yet funded, this program is intended as a follow-on to the radar imaging program already described. In this approach, novel planar array architectures combined with GaAs MMIC transceiver circuitry are envisioned for the realization of phased array transceivers at 300 GHz. Applications go well beyond the security screening field and spill over into multipixel spectrometers for both the space science and biomedical areas. A low level design effort is ongoing as a precursor to future proposal opportunities that may materialize in the coming year. Primary collaborators include the JPL SWAT group, Teledyne - Thousand Oaks and former Caltech postdoctoral Dr. Nuria Llombart (currently at Complutense University of Madrid )
Source and Sensor Development: This ongoing set of tasks has been the core of the JPL SWAT team work for more than 15 years and represents the major thrust of the Earth, planetary and space science applications. A continually evolving set of technical goals and spectroscopic techniques and applications derive from the devices and components that are being developed. These span the frequency range from 100 GHz to 5 THz and include two and three terminal semiconductor devices, passive waveguide and quasi optical components, novel planar and planar array antennas, superconducting detectors, carbon nanotube based sensors and sources, many varieties of upconverter and downconverter circuits and any components that might be critical for achieving a particular instrument goal. The work spans both development and actual delivered flight components, subsystems and instruments. The team works with scientists, engineers and flight systems people to propose, plan, and implement NASA missions and collaborates with space agencies and institutions world wide. The team has so far delivered flight hardware for four major programs including two Earth science, one planetary and one space science mission. Major participants include JPL’s Dr. Imran Mehdi, Dr. Lorene Samoska, Dr. Jonathon Kawamura, Dr. Erich Schlecht, Dr. Goutam Chattopadhyay, Dr. Anders Skalare, Dr. Ken Cooper, Dr. Boris Karasik, Dr. Hamid Javadi, Dr. Andy Fung, Dr. Harish Manohara, Dr. Frank Maiwald, Dr. John Gill, Dr. Choonsup Lee, Dr. Faouzi Boussaha, Dr. Cecile Jung, Dr. Bertrand Thomas, Mr. Robert Dengler, Mr. Robert Lin, Mr. Alex Peralta, Mr. David Pukala, and Mr. Seth Sin.