Thursday, June 11, 2009

Cheaper Circuits for Weapon Detection in EETimes

EETimes journalist covered the Toward Cheaper Imaging Systems for Identifying Concealed Weapons on the Human Body research presented this week at RFIC2009.

"Terahertz SiGe imager sees through clothes"

Chip in low-cost silicon germanium process enables 'X-ray vision' using harmless millimeter waves

PORTLAND, Ore. — Silicon-germanium (SiGe) RF chips now in lab prototype form could one day be used in millimeter-wavelength W-band imaging devices sensitive enough to "see" through clothing to reveal concealed weapons.

EEs from the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) presented their design at the IEEE RFIC Symposium in Boston on June 9. The chip operates in the terahertz range (1 THz = 1,000 GHz) to provide X-ray-like vision, but using safe, naturally occurring millimeter wavelengths. The designers said the chip could be produced using inexpensive silicon processing techniques. Read the full story here.

Honorary Ph.D. for the 'Da Vinci Detective'

On Monday, June 8, our own Maurizio Seracini, director of Calit2's Center of Interdisciplinary Science for Art, Architecture and Archaeology (CISA3), was in Canada to be honored at commencement ceremonies of McMaster University.

(Thanks to Calit2 Life for the content of this post).

They gave him an honorary Doctor of Letters degree, to add to his previous degrees in bioengineering (from UC San Diego, Class of '73) and electrical engineering (University of Padua). According to the Hamilton Spectator newspaper reporter covering the Calit2 scientist's address to the McMaster Convocation, Seracini "is a modern-day Renaissance man approaching problems in the same way Leonardo did five centuries ago."

Reporter Mark McNeil added that Seracini "urged an interdisciplinary approach to university education. He encouraged students studying sciences to also explore the arts to become more rounded." The newspaper also picked up on Seracini's call in his speech for great works of art to be treated like patients. "You need to define when, how and if to restore it," the adjunct professor in UC San Diego's Jacobs School of Engineering structural engineering department is quoted as saying. "Just like you would do in the medical field. You would not accept the idea of surgery without going through a full range of diagnostics." Officials from McMaster also indicated that they hope to bring Seracini back to the campus on the western end of Lake Ontario to give guest lectures.