Computational Imaging With Dynamic Metasurfaces: A Recipe for Simple and Low-Cost Microwave Imaging

Timothy Sleasman, Mohammadreza F. Imani, Aaron V. Diebold, Michael Boyarsky, Kenneth P. Trofatter, David R. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


We review the evolution of metasurface antennas for computational microwave imaging and highlight the advantages and disadvantages of various configurations. As an illustrative example, we examine a computational imaging system comprising dynamic printed metasurface cavities as modular building blocks. These metasurface cavities can generate a multitude of spatially diverse, voltage-controlled illumination patterns, and can therefore encode a scene's reflectivity distribution into a set of measurements that can be postprocessed to produce an image. These single-port devices act as transmitters (Txs) and/or receivers (Rxs) and can be combined to create an electrically large aperture with a reduced number of (expensive and cumbersome) radio-frequency (RF) components. Here, we present some of the unique possibilities made possible by a dynamic metasurface imager. Specifically, we demonstrate high quality imaging with a reduced bandwidth of operation-as narrow as a single frequency. We then provide performance predictions for the case when dynamic metasurface cavities are used to image humans, as might be relevant in many security-screening applications. We conclude by describing the outlook of metasurfaces for imaging and identifying several future directions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-134
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Antennas and Propagation Magazine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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