Separating the Hype from Reality (originally posted 4/19/12)
I'm no engineer or scientist so please take my comments with a huge grain of salt.This blog is getting increasing numbers of visitors almost 500 today alone, and I suspect that the recent story from the University of Texas, Dallas, and the story from JPL, both of which were about CMOS detectors replacing photonic driven THz devices, and being much cheaper and smaller, have fueled much of this influx of new readers.( I saw the Superboy cover pictured above with one of the stories suggesting to some, by this cover that x-ray type vision is here with us now). http://thescoopblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2012/04/ut-dallass-dr-o-and-his-x-ray.html
I thought today's post helps bring some balance to those stories.. Dr. M. Hassan Arbad's comments that many of the advances in laboratories remains 10 to 20 years down the road, is perhaps a bit pessimistic, but I think at least his comments bring some needed balance to the hype, I am finding on the web.
As always I would appreciate some intelligent commentary from those in the field, to help those of us in the lay community better understand these stories, and keep matters in perspective.
In the real world today, some companies are selling THz products, and a very few are on the floors of factories.
That market will explode over the next few years is my opinion, so please keep the stories you read on the web in perspective.
Here are Dr. Arbad's comments in case you missed them:
Our goal is to develop highly sensitive terahertz focal plane arrays for real-time terahertz imaging,” he said.
“Everything is 10 to 20 years down the road,” Arbab said. But one day, robots will roll down the road, emitting laser beams toward suspected targets and identifying dangerous contents within innocuous-looking packages, he suggests. Currently, terahertz technology can be used to look for the spectral signatures of C-4, TNT, RDX and more. A spectral database of most/all of the known explosives is “practically there,” he said.
It’s now a matter of making the technology catch up.