The research team, led by Dr. Reza Zoughi, the Schlumberger Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering at Missouri S&T, has developed a patented handheld camera that uses millimeter and microwave signals to non-intrusively peek inside materials and structures in real time. His contributions to this field, in part, have earned him the 2011 Joseph F. Keithley Award in Instrumentation and Measurement from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
“In the not-so-distant future, the technology may be customized to address many critical inspection needs, including detecting defects in thermal insulating materials that are found in spacecraft heat insulating foam and tiles, space habitat structures, aircraft radomes and composite-strengthened concrete bridge members,” Zoughi says.
The technology could help medical professionals detect and monitor a variety of skin conditions in humans, including cancer and burns. It also has the potential to help Homeland Security personnel detect concealed contraband (such as weapons) or reduce the number of passenger pat downs at airports. Even homeowners could see a direct benefit from the technology as it potentially could be used to detect termite damage.
“Unlike X-rays, microwaves are non-ionizing and may only cause some heating effect,” Zoughi says. “However, the high sensitivity and other characteristics of this camera enables it to operate at a low-power level.”
The idea for developing a real-time, portable camera came to Zoughi in 1998 while he was on sabbatical in France. In 2007, Zoughi's research group completed the first prototype and has spent the past three years decreasing its size, while improving its overall efficiency.
Currently the camera operates in the transmission mode, meaning objects must pass between a transmitting source and its collector to be reviewed. The team is working on designing and developing a one-sided version of it, which will make it operate in a similar fashion to a video camera.
“Further down the road, we plan to develop a wide-band camera capable of producing real-time 3-D or holographic images,” Zoughi adds.
In 2010, a U.S. patent was issued for this technology. Included on the patent along with Zoughi are Dr. Mohamed Ahmed AbouKhousa, who received a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Missouri S&T in 2009; Dr. Mohammed Tayeb Ahmad Ghasr, assistant research professor of electrical and computer engineering at Missouri S&T; Dr. Sergiy Kharkivskiy, associate research professor of electrical and computer engineering at Missouri S&T; and Dr. David Pommerenke, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Missouri S&T.
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The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
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Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
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The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
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