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Title: Optical scattering for security applications
Author: Seem, Peter R.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2681 9612
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2010
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Laser Surface Authentication (LSA) has emerged in recent years as a potentially disruptive tracking and authentication technology. A strong need for such a solution in a variety of industries drove the implementation of the technology faster than the scientific understanding could keep up. The drive to miniaturise and simplify, the need to be robust against real-world problems like damage and misuse, and not least, intellectual curiosity, make it clear that a firmer scientific footing is important as the technology matures. Existing scattering and biometric work are reviewed, and LSA is introduced as a technology. The results of field-work highlight the restrictions which are encountered when the technology is applied. Analysis of the datasets collected in the trial provide, first, an indication of the performance of LSA under real-world conditions and, second, insight into the potential shortcomings of the technique. Using the particulars of the current sensor’s geometry, the LSA signal is characterised. Measurements are made of the decorrelation of the signature with linear and rotational offsets, and it is concluded that while surface microstructure has a strong impact on the rate of decorrelation, this dependency is not driven by the surface’s feature size. A new series of experiments examine that same decorrelation for interference effects with different illumination conditions, and conclude that laser speckle is not an adequate explanation for the phenomenon. The results of this experimental work inform a mathematical description of LSA based on a combination of existing bi-static scattering models used in physics and ray-tracing, which is implemented numerically. The results of the model are found to be a good fit to experimental work, and new predictions are made about LSA.
Supervisor: Cowburn, Russell Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral