THz modelling

Passive terahertz imaging simulation


Using a computer-generated scene with millimetre wave/terahertz properties the scene can be viewed through a simulated passive terahertz camera as shown below. The simulations include accurate rendering, taking account of realistic signal-to-noise ratios, reflections from adjacent walls and movement of the subject.

This capability is useful in simulating new camera designs and in visualising camera performance against unknown threats.

Passive teraherts scene simulation 250GHz man in light clothing (movie)

Our client

This capability was funded from 2014 to then end of 2017 under the CONSORTIS EU Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) to simulate the performance of the passive imager, before the real imager was constructed.

The problem

There are three main problems:

  1. Design teams need to be able to project from specifications to imaging performance at an early stage.
  2. Project sponsors need a model of imaging performance to track system development.
  3. Trials design can be improved by analysing the performance of a system against an unknown threat or in a different environment.

How we helped

Working with partners at Queen’s University in Belfast and FOI in Sweden we have developed a scene simulation tool based on OpenFx ( capable of producing real time imagery. InnovaSec has in depth knowledge of:

  1. Materials including roughness and electrooptic properties in the millimetre wave and terahertz regions of the spectrum of clothing, explosives and materials comprising the scene.
  2. Imager designs including staring, mechanically scanned and electronically scanned millimetre wave and terahertz systems.

Further details of this modelling capability are available in the references below [1-3].

Next steps

InnovaSec can:

  1. Provide consultancy to model systems for customers.
  2. Transfer the modelling capability to customers for them to operate.


  1. R. Appleby and S. Ferguson, "Phenomenology and system engineering of micro- and nano-antenna FPA sensors for detection of concealed weapons and improvised explosive devices", Proc. SPIE 8373, pp. 837329-12,2012
  2. R. Appleby and S. Ferguson, "Simulating the operation of millimeter-wave imaging systems", Proc. SPIE 8544, pp. 85440H-854411, 2012
  3. R. Appleby and S. Ferguson, "Submillimetre wave imaging and security: imaging performance and prediction" in Millimetre Wave and Terahertz Sensors and Technology IX, Proc. SPIE 9993, 2016.