Metamaterials can be used to form a unique imaging device, capable of forming images without moving parts or arrays of detectors. The metamaterial imager consists of one or a few receivers that connects to a metamaterial surface antenna. One potential application of the metamaterial imager is security screening applications, in which microwaves or millimeter waves are used to detect potential threats. The metamaterial imager can form an image using just a frequency sweep across the measurement bandwidth. As frequency is swept, the metamaterial aperture produces complex radiation patterns that illuminate the target and provide information that can be used to reconstruct the scene. The metamaterial imager is an example of a computational imaging system, in that information processing approaches are used for scene reconstruction.
Details about the metamaterial imager can be found in the article by J. Hunt et al., “Compressive metamaterial imager,” published in Science, 339 100 (2013)