Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Fred Garber (Committee Member), William Pierson (Committee Member), Brian Rigling (Advisor)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering (MSEgr)


This paper presents an algorithm for detecting handguns in terahertz images. Terahertz radiation is capable of penetrating certain materials which are opaque atoptical wavelengths, such as clothing, without the harmful effects of ionizing radiation. The approach taken is to segment objects of interest and classify them based on shape. We use a modified version of an active contour algorithm found in the open literature. Modifications include: a pre-processing step that includes clutter filtering and seeding of an initial contour; and a post-processing step that removes clutter pixels from the segmentation. The features used for classification are moment-based and Fourier shape descriptors. Classification as handgun or non-handgun from these features is done via Fisher's linear discriminant.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Electrical Engineering

Year Degree Awarded