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International Journal of Biomedical Imaging
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 851234, 12 pages
Research Article

A Prototype System for Measuring Microwave Frequency Reflections from the Breast

Department of Electrical Engineering, Schulich School of Engineering, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada T2N 1N4

Received 30 September 2011; Accepted 16 January 2012

Academic Editor: Ian Craddock

Copyright © 2012 J. Bourqui et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Microwave imaging of the breast is of interest for monitoring breast health, and approaches to active microwave imaging include tomography and radar-based methods. While the literature contains a growing body of work related to microwave breast imaging, there are only a few prototype systems that have been used to collect data from humans. In this paper, a prototype system for monostatic radar-based imaging that has been used in an initial study measuring reflections from volunteers is discussed. The performance of the system is explored by examining the mechanical positioning of sensor, as well as microwave measurement sensitivity. To gain insight into the measurement of reflected signals, simulations and measurements of a simple phantom are compared and discussed in relation to system sensitivity. Finally, a successful scan of a volunteer is described.