Monday, November 2, 2015
Abstract-THz polarization difference imaging of aqueous targets
Shijun Sung; Neha Bajwa; Lucia Ramirez; Warren Grundfest; Zachary Taylor
This paper describes the basic design, implementation, and testing of a polarization difference imaging system for use on aqueous targets. The ultimate performance limitation of THz imaging in many active areas of research is clutter from surface geometry. While the signal to nose ratio (SNR) of standard THz imaging systems is quite large, the signal to clutter ratio (SCR) often faced in an imaging application is orders of magnitude lower and, in many cases, lower than the contrast to noise (CNR) resulting in imagery where the contrast mechanism of interest does not significantly contribute to the overall observed contrast. To overcome these limitations we develop a system that uses a circularly polarized source and linearly polarized detectors to acquire images of transverse electric (TE) and transverse magnetic (TM) reflectivities of the target over the same field of view. Geletin based tissue mimicking phantoms are fabricated with spatially varying water content and modified with a range of surface topologies and surface roughness. TE and TM images are combined to yield self-calibrated clutter-suppressed images. The resulting image indicates that the imaging field clutter affected both polarization channels nearly equally allowing the system to resolve differences in phantom water content. This design is a step toward windowless THz imaging capability critical for clinical translation where patient imaging is dominated by clutter.