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CALIBRATION AND DATA PROCESSING TECHNIQUES FOR GROUND PENETRATING RADAR SYSTEMS WITH APPLICATIONS IN DISPERSIVE GROUND

CALIBRATION AND DATA PROCESSING TECHNIQUES FOR GROUND PENETRATING RADAR SYSTEMS WITH APPLICATIONS IN DISPERSIVE GROUND

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Published by Chuck Oden
PhD dissertation
PhD dissertation

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Published by: Chuck Oden on Jun 19, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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06/02/2015

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It is common practice to make measurements of antenna response in an antenna
range. The measurements are often performed in the frequency-domain (Kerns, 1981;
Hansen, 1999). The fields generated by the antenna under test (AUT) can be measured
using B dot or D dot antennas (de Jongh, 2000). These antennas usually have a linear
response over a wide range of frequencies with little distortion, and their response is easy
to calculate. To conduct the measurements, an antenna range is required where no
unwanted reflections (i.e. from the ground, walls, etc.) can influence the measurement.
Therefore antenna ranges are usually quite large so that reflectors are far from the AUT,
or reflectors are covered with an absorbing material to minimize reflections. The
RTDGPR antennas are relatively large (60 cm high and 108 cm in diameter), and operate
at a center frequency of about 50 MHz. At these frequencies, absorbing material is very
bulky and expensive. If absorbing materials are not used, then the antenna range must be
large enough so that signals generated by the antenna can be measured before any
unwanted reflections arrive, which requires a very large range (~20 m) at these
frequencies.

Another problem with antenna ranges is that they generally measure the response
of antennas in air. Since the response of ground-coupled GPR antennas changes as a
function of the material properties of the ground under the antennas, it is difficult to build
an antenna range that adequately simulates changing ground conditions. Commonly, air,
sand boxes, or water bodies are used to represent different ground conditions. These
proxies are a very poor sampling of the range of material properties that can be
encountered in GPR surveys. It is possible to simulate widely varying ground properties
using various mixtures of water, salt, and acetic acid in a large tank. Acetic acid has a
RDP of about six at 100 MHz and is miscible. Kaatze et al. (1991) describe the
frequency dependent dielectric properties of mixtures of acetic acid and water.
Unfortunately, very large tanks would be required for experiments with the RTDGPR

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making this method impractical. This method is a viable option for higher frequency
GPR systems and should be considered for these systems because physical measurements
are usually more accurate then computer simulations.
Another method that has promise is based on the plane wave scattering matrix of
an antenna (Kerns, 1981). Kerns discusses the interaction of two antennas and a scatterer
with known properties. The response of this system can be completely determined if the
response of each antenna has been completely determined in air. Determining antenna
response in air is routine in the communications industry and is commonly referred to as
near-field scanning. According to Hansen and Yaghjian, (1999), Kern’s theory accounts
for but does not provide quantitative information about the multiple interactions.
Meincke and Hansen (2004) present a method to determine the system response of two
GPR antennas over a half space based on this method. Although there may be difficulties
with this approach due to the limited spectral response of the antenna in air (similar to the
problem in determining the pulse generator response from the antenna response on page
42), it warrants further investigation.
It may be efficient to model the response of GPR antennas with rectangular or
cylindrical shaped back shields using an iterative mode matching method. With this
method, the natural modes in each region of the antenna are matched at the boundaries
between each region. One region would contain the radiator, another the back shield, and
another the space between the antenna and the ground. The biggest drawback to this
approach is that there are few degrees of freedom to account for subtleties or non-ideal
aspects of the physical antenna. The calculations could be made quickly, but they may
not accurately represent the antenna response unless the antenna was very carefully
constructed to conform to modeled geometry.

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