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RF Consultancy

Scyan, our RF sensing and imaging solution

Let us help you with Scyan, our innovative radio frequency imaging technology. Compact, low power and lightweight, Scyan is a sub-nano second RF sampling system. It allows the measurement and analysis of RF frequencies, centimeter scale imaging resolution, using simple microprocessors such as Arduino.

As an emerging technology, its application is vast. Scyan can be the solution to many problems as it can be used for imaging of concealed objects, material identification or even ground scanning for load bearing capacity.

With Scyan, we offers our RF sensing expertise as a consultancy service. We can integrate Scyan in your product and customise it for your specific needs as well as designing the associated electronics, software and mechanical systems.

To do so, we’ll capture your requirements, assess feasibility, and formulate a staged development plan with you.

Let us help you with Scyan, our innovative radio frequency imaging technology. Compact, low power and lightweight, Scyan is a sub-nano second RF sampling system. It allows the measurement and analysis of RF frequencies, centimeter scale imaging resolution, using simple microprocessors such as Arduino.

As an emerging technology, its application is vast. Scyan can be the solution to many problems as it can be used for imaging of concealed objects, material identification or even ground scanning for load bearing capacity.

With Scyan, we offers our RF sensing expertise as a consultancy service. We can integrate Scyan in your product and customise it for your specific needs as well as designing the associated electronics, software and mechanical systems.

To do so, we’ll capture your requirements, assess feasibility, and formulate a staged development plan with you.

  • Near field radiofrequency imaging technology
  • Ideal for characterising RF signals in sensor system
  • Can perform time of flight measurements as in Radar or perform broad band Fourier decomposition of signals to extract the amplitude and phase components
  • IP fully owned by Scytronix, no university involvement
  • High RF imaging and measurement (100MHz – 6GHz) using simple microprocessor technology such as Arduino or Mbed
  • Unlike, competing technology, we do not require sophisticated high speed sampling electronics
  • Material identification (metals, dielectrics, liquids, etc.)
  • Measurement of physical parameters (e.g. metal type, ground load bearing capacity, water content, density, etc.)
  • Penetration of a wide range of barrier materials
  • Imaging with centimeter resolution using radio waves
  • Linear measurement of amplitude, frequency, phase and polarization
  • Avoids the generation of spurious harmonics as in convention frequency mixing techniques
  • Sub-nanosecond time resolution
  • Pristine phase measurement
  • Sophisticated numerical post processing

1 – Our in-house developed scanning technology

  • Near field radiofrequency imaging technology
  • Ideal for characterising RF signals in sensor system
  • Can perform time of flight measurements as in Radar or perform broad band Fourier decomposition of signals to extract the amplitude and phase components
  • IP fully owned by Scytronix, no university involvement

2 – Compatible with simple microprocessor technology

  • High RF imaging and measurement (100MHz – 6GHz) using simple microprocessor technology such as Arduino or Mbed
  • Unlike, competing technology, we do not require sophisticated high speed sampling electronics

3 – Material identification, objects detection, and imaging

  • Material identification (metals, dielectrics, liquids, etc.)
  • Measurement of physical parameters (e.g. metal type, ground load bearing capacity, water content, density, etc.)
  • Penetration of a wide range of barrier materials
  • Imaging with centimeter resolution using radio waves

4 – Full vector RF measurement

  • Linear measurement of amplitude, frequency, phase and polarization
  • Avoids the generation of spurious harmonics as in convention frequency mixing techniques
  • Sub-nanosecond time resolution
  • Pristine phase measurement
  • Sophisticated numerical post processing

Why Scyan?

Detects buried & concealed objects, threats, and voids

Human safe

Appropriate for underwater operation

Lightweight, portable, drone mountable

Allows radio frequency imaging

Detects buried & concealed objects, threats, and voids

Human safe

Appropriate for underwater operation

Lightweight, portable, drone mountable

Allows radio frequency imaging

With capabilities not found with alternative techniques such as ultrasonics, millimeter wave or X-ray technologies, we offer a unique measurement system that allows non-destructive through barrier imaging and detection.

For example, Scyan can detect objects hidden in parcels or under clothing such as guns or knives, the location of buried cables or pipes, locations of voids, through package sensing, or even the scanning of the human body. RF fields can readily penetrate clothing, wood, earth, brickwork, and human flesh.

Unlike X-rays, our technology is human safe.

Technology

Human safe

Cost

Water penetration*

Contactless**

Weight

Portable

Power  consumption

Scyan

Low

Light

Low

X-ray

Medium

Heavy

High

Ultrasound

Low

Light

Low

millimeter Wave

High

Medium

Medium

* Water layers < 1m.
** Stand off detection. Transmission through air before target.

Funded by the UK MoD

Supported by multiple funded projects from the Home Office, DASA and our own resources, Scytronix has managed to pioneer Scyan, a radiofrequecy near-field imaging (RFNFI) technology.

Because RF fields are highly penetrating to many barrier materials and are human safe, RFNFI is ideally suited for a range of security scanning applications.

The picture below shows images of guns acquired using the RF near field imaging through 15mm of plywood. We can achieve resolution on the centimetre scale using 20kHz fields.

Gun imaging acquisition through 15mm of plywood.

As it is lightweight and low power consumption, Scyan can easily be mounted on vehicles like autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV), rovers and drones for diverse applications such as ground scanning or landmine detection.

Drone with Scyan system configured for RF based ground load bearing capacity measurements

A timeline of projects with the MoD and the UK Home Office

Gun detection in parcels
12/2016
UK Home Office

Proof of concept of sub-wavelength radio frequency imaging.
Shoe scanner for explosives
02/2017
DSTL, UK
Project ACC101772

Detection of explosive proxy concealed in shoes.
Novel near field scanning system
12/2017
DSTL, UK
Project ACC102732

Enhanced RF imaging using unique antenna configuration.
RF thermal acoustic scanner
04/2018
DSTL, UK
Project ACC103435

Development of hybrid RF thermal acoustic imaging system.
Low frequency near field scanner
11/2018
DSTL, UK
Project ACC2001015

Demonstration of ELF (<1kHz) imaging system with centimeter resolution.
Wide band full vector
09/2019
DSTL, UK
Project ACC2006358

Demonstration of frequency-agile RF sensing system.
Drone mounted RF probe
09/2020
DSTL, UK
Project ACC6014289

Drone mounted RF probe for riverbed profiling and ground bearing capacity measurements.

Markets
& Applications

Markets &
Applications

Security

High value targets such as airports have increasing numbers of body scanners to counter the terrorist threat. However, these large, expensive, and sophisticated system can only be deployed at pinch points in the flow of people through the airport. Furthermore, the prohibitive cost is only justified at the highest value targets. Whereas the airports in a major city such as London can be protected, passengers arriving from smaller destinations may not have been screened and is an obvious loophole to be exploited terrorists. Furthermore, many of these smaller points of origin are in conflict zones right on the terrorist’s doorstep.

Even if high value targets could be hermitically sealed from terrorist activity, a determined adversary would simply switch to a softer target that has little or no effective security. The London tube bombings, Manchester Arena attack or the Bataclan Theatre massacre are case in points. Our adversaries have shown no restraint in attacking public target. Unfortunately, it is a matter of time before supermarkets or, God forbid, a school is chosen for a target. Multimillion pound body scanners are simply not an option to cover these broad range of soft targets.

Pop-up security systems that can be deployed broadly in an ad-hoc manner would be a useful asset in the security arsenal. These requirements demand low cost, portability and human safe operation at a price point that would allow their wide dissemination. Our proprietary technology satisfies these requirements.

Military

In a conflict zone, such as we have experienced in Afghanistan or Iraq, our forces operate in proximity to insurgence forces. The insurgence blend into the local allies. Our forces require operational bases that have an interface to the conflict environment. The use of local personal on such bases is part of the winning hearts and minds strategy. This is an obvious loophole for insurgents to exploit. Security scanning on a military base is therefore essential to mitigate the threat of hostile forces entering a base in the guise of a civilian operative. Furthermore, such bases may need to be constructed or moved in an ad-hoc manner in response to an evolving battlefield scenario. Our RFNFI technology is highly portable and offers enhanced detection capabilities to metal detectors but at a significantly lower cost than a millimeter wave scanner. The RFNFI system may be developed into a portable handheld scanning device. The light weight, small footprint, and low power consumption are idea for this application.

Meanwhile, military engineers need to be able to install assets such as roads and bridges in hostile surveyed territory. Heavy vehicles and tanks need to use these assets. It is therefore vital to know the ground bearing capacity (GBC) to prevent these structures sinking. Few if any non-contact, non-mechanical GBC measurement systems exist. Most GBC measurement systems involve pushing a sharpened steel rod into the ground and measuring the resistive forces. This requires engineers to operate in hazardous environments, perhaps behind enemy lines. Remote surveying would be an important capability increasing survey speed, allowing multiple sites to be surveyed, remove danger from human operators, and allow for covert surveying.

Scytronix have pioneered and tested our sampling system as a protype RF ground bearing capacity (GBC) measurement system in project ACC6014289. The research in this proposal would make significant improvements in the RF GBC sensor performance and subsequent impact for these military engineering applications. We have also, in this proposal, chosen to explore how this GBC system could have duel use as a mine detector.

Customs & Border control

Our technology may assist in border control, the stopping of illegal drugs and contraband, and countering the scourge of people trafficking. It has been estimated that £18billion of illegal drugs were smuggled into the UK in one year alone. Our technology is human safe, and we have already begun to investigate its use in identifying drugs mules. We could seamlessly integrate our system at the passport check scanning people non-provocative manner. This is a natural point in the pause in the flow of people through an airport and they stand in a regular and convenient position whilst having their passport checked. Body and shoes could be scanned at the same time.

Our technology may be employed to scan through the sides of soft bodied lorries to identify clandestine. The technology is fast and human safe. Our system would not be affected by rain or wet sidings. A scanning gate where the lorries would drive through would minimise the interruption to legitimate vehicle flow. Furthermore, our system could monitor the interior of tyres for hidden contraband. A handheld scanner may see through the seat and interior panelling of cars for the same purpose.

Medical

The RF field that we employ are intrinsically human safe. Furthermore, the low frequencies that we use readily penetrate the human body. Therefore, a medial body scanner concept can readily be imagined.

MRI, CAT, and PET scanners produce images of astounding detail and have revolutionized diagnostic medicine. However, these machines are costly, bulky and require specialist operators and so are limited to hospital facilities. Demand for access of these facilities is high. This naturally creates a pinch point in the flow of patients through a hospital. Hospital resources are already stretched and waiting times have become a political issue.

Our technology doesn’t aim to reproduce the image quality of these high-end scanners. However, we believe that many applications for diagnostic scanning exist that do not require the full performance of the MRI or other scanners.

The price point of our system is low enough that a scanner could be placed in every doctor’s surgery. The goal would be to provide and important first layer of triage in patient care allowing the more critical patients to be prioritized for scanning at the hospital whereas less critical patient could be managed locally. This capability would change the dynamics of hospital access in a positive and more efficient way, reducing costs and waiting times but also providing early diagnosis of critical illnesses such as cancer.

In an alternative scenario first responders may be equipped with a portable scanner to rapidly diagnose a patient such as a car crash victim. Such as scanner could identify major traumas such as a broken back, neck, or internal bleeding in the head or pelvic cavity. The earlier these life-threatening conditions are identified, the better the patient outcome. Such a capability would also have an important military application for the wounded solider on the battlefield. A portable scanner could identify the major traumas as well as embed shrapnel and broken bones.

The cost of the scanner may also be so low that scanners could be integrated into public spaces such as schools and supermarkets.

Civil Engineering

There are applications for our technology in civil engineering. We have the ability to penetrate soil, earth, concreate and water. For example, we can penetrate concreate structures to monitor the structural integrity of buildings and bridges. European post-war infrastructure such as bridges we constructed at a similar period of time and is now coming to the end of its life.

The collapse of the Ponte Morandi, in Genoa in 2018 is a case in point. The task of monitoring and maintaining such infrastructure is complicated by the heavy demand for it use. Shutting down roads leads to major disruption; Civil engineering companies have penalty clauses if their maintenance schedule overruns. The cost of maintaining this critical infrastructure is continuous and increasing. Potholes, a minor inconvenience locally, becomes a burden on public funds nationally. The ability to identify problems in advance, such as potholes, crash barriers, bridges etc, would allow stretched resources to be allocated in an efficient, timely, and optimal manner.

Finally, we foresee an unmet need for the surveying of underwater and marine structures. There is little existing technology for this task. Yet marine and underwater infrastructure is exposed to the harshest environments for protracted periods of time. Human intervention is required using divers which is costly and has an associated risk of its own. We have demonstrated the ability for our RF signals to propagate in water over about 1m. An imaging sensor attached to an underwater drone could provide regular surveying capabilities that allow problems to be identified in advance and intervention made, mitigating costs upstream before they become critical or dangerous.

Scyan is an emerging technology.

We could be the solution
to your problem.