Terahertz photonics for broadband, spatially and depth resolved sensing and imaging
In this development path, terahertz photonic systems with a bandwidth of 300 GHz - 2.5 THz are being developed for non-destructive, high-resolution industrial imaging. The basis is a photonic FMCW spectrometer. Within the framework of T-KOS, this will be further developed into a synthetic FMCW radar with eight distributed transmitter and receiver units each. At the end of the project, a depth-resolved, 3D terahertz imaging system in the frequency range of 300 GHz - 2.5 GHz with a lateral and a depth resolution of 0.3 mm will be demonstrated. The competences of the HHI in the field of terahertz sensor systems, the competences of the ITWM in the field of terahertz signal processing and conditioning, and the competences of the FHR in the field of high frequency radar will be combined. At the same time, concepts of hybrid photonic integration in the material platforms indium phosphide (InP) and polymer and silicon nitride (SiNx) are being developed in order to integrate the discrete components of the FMCW radar (lasers, phase modulators, optical amplifiers, and terahertz transmit and receive antennas) at chip level. Thus, by the end of the project, photonically integrated terahertz transmit and receive arrays with up to 4 individual elements will be demonstrated as phased array antennas. This highly scalable technology enables both dynamic beam steering, which can replace static sensor systems in the future, and the provision of cost-effective and compact terahertz sensor systems for measurement technology manufacturers.