As a promising radar imaging technique, terahertz coded-aperture imaging (TCAI) can achieve high-resolution, forward-looking, and staring imaging by producing spatiotemporal independent signals with coded apertures. However, there are still two problems in three-dimensional (3D) TCAI. Firstly, the large-scale reference-signal matrix based on meshing the 3D imaging area creates a heavy computational burden, thus leading to unsatisfactory efficiency. Secondly, it is difficult to resolve the target under low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). In this paper, we propose a 3D imaging method based on matched filtering (MF) and convolutional neural network (CNN), which can reduce the computational burden and achieve high-resolution imaging for low SNR targets. In terms of the frequency-hopping (FH) signal, the original echo is processed with MF. By extracting the processed echo in different spike pulses separately, targets in different imaging planes are reconstructed simultaneously to decompose the global computational complexity, and then are synthesized together to reconstruct the 3D target. Based on the conventional TCAI model, we deduce and build a new TCAI model based on MF. Furthermore, the convolutional neural network (CNN) is designed to teach the MF-TCAI how to reconstruct the low SNR target better. The experimental results demonstrate that the MF-TCAI achieves impressive performance on imaging ability and efficiency under low SNR. Moreover, the MF-TCAI has learned to better resolve the low-SNR 3D target with the help of CNN. In summary, the proposed 3D TCAI can achieve: (1) low-SNR high-resolution imaging by using MF; (2) efficient 3D imaging by downsizing the large-scale reference-signal matrix; and (3) intelligent imaging with CNN. Therefore, the TCAI based on MF and CNN has great potential in applications such as security screening, nondestructive detection, medical diagnosis, etc.
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