ARGON is a passive submillimetre-wave camera, which detects concealed contraband on moving subjects.

As people walk into ARGON’s field of view, they are screened in real time and without the need to stop, enabling a security check point where people can walk by ARGON at a normal pace. The device can screen for metals, plastics, liquids, drugs and currency. ARGON is intended to detect large items, but it can detect objects as small as 2.5 x 2.5 cm in favourable conditions. As ARGON can be fitted into the interior of the facility to be screened, it is barely noticeable and doesn’t draw unnecessary attention or clash with the design. It can also be hidden from sight as a completely covert operation. ARGON reveals no anatomical details and emits no radiation – allowing discreet screening without creating displeased customers or visitors.

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Terahertz region

The submillimetre-wave, or terahertz, region of the electromagnetic spectrum is still largely unexplored territory. ARGON is one of the few devices on the market that detects terahertz radiation from the human body, through most clothing items. ARGON also operates on multiple wavelengths, which allows for reliable detection of concealed objects in different operating conditions. Because ARGON only catches the naturally emitted terahertz waves, it sends out no radiation and is perfectly safe for all people walking by it.


The front end of ARGON contains cutting-edge nanotechnology sensors, but operates like a conventional camera: it has a lens, which captures the submillimetre-wave energy and directs it to a sensor array. An image is formed at several submillimetre-wave wavelengths simultaneously, and these images are displayed on the ARGON graphical user interface. ARGON also houses a high-definition TV camera, and displays the video stream next to the terahertz feed on the interface. ARGON can capture near real-time video at about 8 fps, enabling detection on moving subjects.


Currently, ARGON requires a trained operator to oversee the graphical user interface. The interface can be operated remotely; ARGON is equipped with Ethernet connectivity. The interface is easy to use with options for adjusting the image quality on the terahertz feed; the operator can also record and store the feed when needed.