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Investigation of radio astronomy image processing techniques for use in the passive millimetre-wave security screening environment

Taylor, CT and Hutchinson, S and Salmon, NA and Wilkinson, PN and Cameron, CD (2014) Investigation of radio astronomy image processing techniques for use in the passive millimetre-wave security screening environment. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract

Image processing techniques can be used to improve the cost-effectiveness of future interferometric Passive MilliMetre Wave (PMMW) imagers. The implementation of such techniques will allow for a reduction in the number of collecting elements whilst ensuring adequate image fidelity is maintained. Various techniques have been developed by the radio astronomy community to enhance the imaging capability of sparse interferometric arrays. The most prominent are Multi- Frequency Synthesis (MFS) and non-linear deconvolution algorithms, such as the Maximum Entropy Method (MEM) and variations of the CLEAN algorithm. This investigation focuses on the implementation of these methods in the defacto standard for radio astronomy image processing, the Common Astronomy Software Applications (CASA) package, building upon the discussion presented in Taylor et al., SPIE 8362-0F. We describe the image conversion process into a CASA suitable format, followed by a series of simulations that exploit the highlighted deconvolution and MFS algorithms assuming far-field imagery. The primary target application used for this investigation is an outdoor security scanner for soft-sided Heavy Goods Vehicles. A quantitative analysis of the effectiveness of the aforementioned image processing techniques is presented, with thoughts on the potential cost-savings such an approach could yield. Consideration is also given to how the implementation of these techniques in CASA might be adapted to operate in a near-field target environment. This may enable a much wider usability by the imaging community outside of radio astronomy and thus would be directly relevant to portal screening security systems in the microwave and millimetre wave bands. © 2014 SPIE.

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