Fast and Enhanced MMW Imaging System Using a Simple Row Detector Circuit with GDDs as Sensor Elements and an FFT-Based Signal Acquisition System

Arun Ramachandra Kurup, Daniel Rozban, Amir Abramovich, Yitzhak Yitzhaky, Natan Kopeika

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The relatively high atmospheric propagation of millimeter-waves (MMW) was found to be one of the most critical reasons for the development of reliable sensors for MMW detection. According to previous research works, it has been already shown that incident MMW radiation on a glow discharge detector (GDD) can increase the discharge current. Hence, the electrical mode of detection can be employed to detect the presence of MMW radiation. In this article, a new design of a row detector using GDDs as pixel elements, and the influence of MMW incidence on GDD’s discharge current, were acquired using an elementary data acquisition (DAQ) platform. The DAQ system computes the averaged Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) spectrum of the time signal and returns the FFT results as magnitude based on the level of detection. An FFT-based signal acquisition proved to be a better alternative to the lock-in detection that was commonly used in MMW detection systems. This improved detection circuit provides enhanced noise filtering, thereby resulting in better MMW images within a short time. The overhead expense of the entire system is very low, as it can avoid lock-in amplifier stages that were previously used for signal enhancement. A scanning mechanism using a motorized translation stage (step motor) is involved to place and align the row detector in the image plane. The scanning can be carried out vertically to perform the imaging, by configuring the step motor after selecting the desired step size and position. A simplified version of the MMW detection circuit with a dedicated over-voltage protection facility is presented here. This made the detection system more stable and reliable during its operation. The MMW detection circuit demonstrated in this work was found to be a milestone to develop larger focal plane arrays (FPA) with very inexpensive sensor elements.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1578
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2023


  • MMW imaging
  • THz sensors
  • focal plane array
  • glow discharge detectors
  • quasi-optical design

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Information Systems
  • Instrumentation
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Biochemistry


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