Nowadays, the millimetre, 30 to 300 GHz, and sub-millimetre frequency ranges, 0.3 to 10 THz, have become of great interest for a wide range of applications such as materials research (spectroscopy, surface analysis, solid state reactions...), non-destructive testing (imaging/inspection of foams, ceramics, plastics, paper, textile…), bio-medicine (pharmaceuticals, biopsies, imaging…), security (counterfeit, antiterrorism…) and astrophysics (radiometers, atmosphere sensing…). The main reason is the advantages that this frequency region offers compare to the infrared and the visible range. The THz region (which includes the millimetre and sub-millimetre wave range) is situated between the microwave and the infrared frequencies and offers the possibility of obtaining images under extreme situations, such as low visibility scenarios provoked by clouds, fog, rain or even dust storms, as well as during the day or at night; which are not possible to obtained at other frequency ranges. This capability of “seeing” under such difficult scenarios has become of great importance for a revolutionary range of applications and has set an inflexion point in the design of imaging cameras.
Nowadays there is an increasing demand of safety and quality controls from both consumers and industries. In particular, in both the food and the pharmaceutical industries the field of safety and quality is one of the most important ones because of the need to comply with very strict regulations. These regulations are becoming more demanding, and ensuring that products meet with the requirements is crucial.
The objective of Anteral is to offer solutions based on THz technologies for real time quality and safety systems in mainly the food and pharmaceutical industries but also for the medical and security & defence sectors.
Development of Terahertz (THz) imaging cameras which can detect undesired objects in food products such as metals, wood, paper, plastics or glass.
Development of systems for rapid and accurate bacterial count based on measurements in the THz range.
Development of THz systems for bacteria detection in meat products.
THz and visible image of a leaf (left) and Spanish "chorizo" (right) with undesired objects (metal, glass, wood)
THz detection of pharmaceutical polymorphisms undetectable by other techniques.
THz quality control of drug tablet coatings.
Drug sample preparation for THz characterization
Anteral also provides solutions for medical diagnosis using Terahertz frequencies. The specific areas that are under development are:
Characterization of the spectral emission properties of different tissues/organs/ substances/materials.
Development of all necessary THz technology for design, fabrication and characterization at THz imaging cameras adapted to the needs and peculiarities of medical applications.
Development of image processing techniques adapted to the peculiarities of the images taken
Terahertz Imaging of infarcted vs. not infarcted mouse heart tissue
Security & Defence:
Anteral is also part of the consortium formed to carry on with Terascreen project in charge of developing a multi-frequency multi-mode screening system to be employed as hazardous detection system at border checks.
THz images of a gun and a ceramic knife
The THz imaging is also of great interests in the art and cultural sector since offers the possibility of studying the authenticity of artwork pieces, seeing undercover paintings or even detecting damaged parts.
THz image of one of Einsten´s quote inside an envelop