IMAGIC Seminar Days 2011
Advances in imaging at non-visible wavelengths
The IMAGIC seminar days 2011 were held on Sept 27th and 28th in the conference facilities at Electrum, Kista, hosted by Acreo. The program consisted of international and national experts who were invited to present their technologies in fields covering thermal infrared, terahertz and x-ray imaging, as well as users of these technologies from both industry and public authorities.
Leif Bergström, Acreo (chairman of the IMAGIC board), Jan Andersson, Acreo (IMAGIC center manage) and Susan Savage, Acreo (IMAGIC deputy manager) introduce the conference programme .
An exciting topic covered this year was 3-dimensional (3D) imaging and its associated technology photon counting. 3D imaging is a process where depth is added to a 2-dimensional image. One instrument that can achieve this is a so-called time-of-flight (TOF) camera, where the time taken to detect a reflected light pulse is recorded in order to measure distance to the subject. This can then be presented by, for instance, the use of different colours to represent distance. The TOF technique used with IR wavelengths is extremely useful in fields such as surveillance, since objects behind for example trees and walls can be seen.
Since so little light returns to the detector, photon counting is required to detect returning light. At present, the challenge is to develop improved detectors for photon counting at a wavelength of 1550 nm, since this wavelength is eye-safe. The status and advances in this technology was presented by Prof. Gerald Buller from Heriot Watt University in the UK, and by York Haemisch from Philips Digital Photon Counting in Germany.
Mats Wedell of Optronic AB shows to interested visitors the time-of-flight camera developed and produced at the IMAGIC-member company.
Low cost infrared (IR) imaging, which uses microbolometer technology, is currently a hot topic, with a large potential market in the automobile industry. Two major players in the field are ULIS, France and the IMAGIC-member company Sensonor Technologies AS, Norway. Representatives from each of these (Jean-Luc Tissot, ULIS, and Audun Rør, Sensonor) presented their technology and the status of their product development. ULIS has had products based on amorphous silicon technology on the market for some years. Sensonor is commercializing the SiGe quantum well technology developed within IMAGIC, and plans to launch the product in the near future.
High performance IR imaging is also still under development, with the main challenge being to raise the operating temperature of these cooled devices. Prof.Sanjay Krishna from the University of New Mexico, USA, showed how IR imaging can be used for early detection of skin cancer, and discussed the issues involved in further development of IR imaging arrays.
Naomi Alexander from Alfa Imaging (GATE group), Spain, presents applications and technology for the lower-frequency end of the THz wavelength band, millimeter-wave imaging
Imaging at terahertz (THz) wavelengths is currently a hot topic, with its applications in security and inspection. The challenges here are to improve the resolution and speed of the technology. Naomi Alexander from the company Alfa Imaging (GATE group), Spain, presented applications and technology for the lower-frequency end of the THz wavelength band, millimeter-wave (mm-wave) imaging. Acreo also presented its activity within the EU project IMAGINE, which aims to reduce the cost of the mm-wave module in order to promote its use within Europe.
X-ray and particle imaging was also included in the programme, with Prof. Stanislav Pospisil from the Czech Technical University in Prague presenting neutron imaging, and Christer Ullberg of the IMAGIC-member company XCounter AB showing how colour can be achieved in x-ray imaging.
Other presentations showed how imaging technology is used in company products, (Micronic Mydata AB, and the IMAGIC members Avium AB and OptoNova AB) and by public authorities (Swedish customs and Swedish Defence Research Agency).
The first day ended with a panel discussion on the future of imaging technology.
The panel members are from left to right:
- Jean-Luc Tissot, ULIS; France
- Prof. Sanjay Krishna, University of New Mexico, USA
- Prof. Christer Fröjdh, Mid Sweden University
- Svante Ödman, Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency
- Poul Christoffersen, Swedish customs
The discussion was moderated by the Center manager Jan Andersson of Acreo.
The conference was very well attended, with 120 people attending on the first day and 100 on the second. About half of these came from industry and about 10% from outside Sweden.
In addition to the technical presentations, an accompanying exhibition of IMAGIC companies and a poster session were greatly appreciated as an opportunity for networking with fellow attendees.
All in all, an interesting and informative two days was experienced by all.
Click here to see the detailed program.
- Jan Andersson, IMAGIC centre manager (jan.andersson(at)acreo.se)
- Susan Savage, IMAGIC deputy manager, (susan.savage(at)acreo.se)