Weighted near-field focusing in an array-based GPR

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Abstract

[1] This paper presents a 3-D imaging technique for an ultra-wideband (UWB) ground penetrating radar (GPR) with a single transmit antenna and a linear receive array. The video impulse GPR working in the frequency band of 0.3–3 GHz has been designed in IRCTR for landmine detection, i.e., for a near-field application. Installed on a vehicle it can image in one mechanical scan a strip of 84 cm width due to the length of array aperture. The imaging is done by software means only. The developed imaging technique combines a real aperture focusing in the array plane with a synthetic aperture focusing in the mechanical scan direction. To compensate for parasitic time delays in the array channels, a calibration procedure is also described. Owing to directional properties of transmit antenna, the distribution of signal strength over the array is nonuniform that requires an amplitude correction when focusing the real aperture. The authors analyzed how this affects the footprint of the focused array, its cross-range resolution capability and the image quality of antipersonnel plastic landmines which were buried under different array channels. The analysis bases on experimental data sets acquired in the facilities of IRCTR and TNO-DSS. As a result, the authors propose a weighted array focusing that improves the cross-range resolution and provides proper imaging of typical buried landmines.

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