Rapid Rotary Scanner and Portable Coherent Wideband Q-Band Transceiver for High-Resolution Millimeter-Wave Imaging Applications


Millimeter-wave imaging techniques, based on synthetic aperture focusing (SAF), have been successfully used for nondestructive testing (NDT) of various composite and aerospace structures. Most current imaging mechanisms utilize raster scanning platforms, whereby the imaging system is scanned in a rectangular grid over the structure-under-test (SUT). Most raster scanning platforms, although relatively simple in design and construction, are inherently slow. Furthermore, SAF techniques necessitates the use of vector-measuring instruments such as a vector network analyzer (VNA), which are typically: 1) bulky; 2) cannot be mounted on scanning platforms; 3) are not suitable for in-field use; and 4) expensive. These factors limit the effectiveness of these millimeter-wave imaging techniques in applications where frequent and rapid inspection of large structures is required. Hence, there is a great demand for rapid mechanical scanning systems combined with portable wideband transceivers in order to increase the utility of these imaging techniques, and provide a real solution to many practical NDT applications. To this end, a unique rotary scanner system, capable of scanning a relatively large area in a relatively short span of time, was designed and constructed. In addition, a custom-designed portable transceiver system operating in the frequency range of 35-45 GHz (Q-band) was developed and incorporated into the rotary scanner system for producing coherent (amplitude and phase) and accurate data suitable for synthetic aperture imaging and the 10-GHz bandwidth allows the generation of relatively high-resolution millimeter-wave holographical images. This paper presents the design of the rotary scanning system, the associated Q-band transceiver and the integration of the two systems via a custom-designed software. To illustrate the efficacy of the complete imaging system, SAF of several complex structures produced using the proposed system, are presented and discussed.


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

IQ Receiver; Millimeter Wave; Nondestructive Testing (NDT); Rotary Scanner; Spray-On Foam Insulation (SOFI); Transceiver; Elastic Constants; Electric Network Analysis; Imaging Systems; Synthetic Apertures; Virtual Reality

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Article - Journal

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© 2011 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2011