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Company Claims World’s 2nd See-thru Camera

Posted October. 20, 2009 09:16,   


Samsung Thales, a Korean defense supplier, claimed yesterday that it is the second in the world to develop a millimeter wave camera that can see through clothing.

Dubbed “Mirae,” the camera allows a user to detect guns or explosives hidden inside clothes. The user can also uncover people stranded in a foggy area and fire or objects hidden in obstacles such as a tent.

The first such camera was developed in the U.S.

The fluoroscopic device, however, cannot see through thick obstacles such as walls.

The millimeter wave refers to an electromagnetic frequency of one to 10 millimeters in wavelength and 30 to 300 gigahertz in frequency. Its wavelength is longer than that of visible light or infrared rays, but shorter than the microwaves used in microwave ovens.

The camera creates visual images by receiving millimeter waves emitted from an object and amplifying them. Mirae is designed to only receive millimeter waves at a frequency band of 94 gigahertz.

The device is not harmful to the human body since it acquires images by receiving millimeter waves naturally emitted from an object. Since it lacks a level of resolution high enough to show a naked body, there is no risk of violating privacy rights.

The U.S. and the U.K. are implementing millimeter cameras for security clearance at certain airports.

Mirae will be deployed at airport security checkpoints or entrance to major facilities, including military bases, after undergoing testing over the next two years.

Kim Yong-hwan, managing director at Samsung Thales, said, “The millimeter wave camera market is projected to hit 236 billion won (200 million U.S. dollars) in value over the next five years.”

Samsung Thales plans to reduce the size of Mirae and install it in unmanned robots for use in warfare in bad weather.