Terahertz imaging sensors are being considered for providing a concealed weapon identification capability for military and security applications. In this paper the difficulty of this task is assessed in a systematic way. Using imaging systems operating at 640 GHz, high resolution imagery of possible concealed weapons has been collected. Information in this imagery is removed in a controlled and systematic way and then used in a human observer perception experiment. From the perception data, a calibration factor describing the overall difficulty of this task was derived. This calibration factor is used with a general model of human observer performance developed at the US Army Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate to predict the task performance of observers using terahertz imaging sensors. Example performance calculations for a representative imaging sensor are shown.© (2006) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.