ITTC Project

Near-field Subsurface Imaging and Symmetry Detection

Project Award Date: 01-20-1997


Ground-Penetrating Radar has long been considered as a possible solution for detecting the presence of buried landmines. For obvious reasons, the probability of detection for all mine detection sensors is required to be extremely high, which unfortunately can lead to high false alarm rates when subsurface clutter (e.g., rocks, shell casings) are present. Thus, subsurface target detection is insufficient for demining; target classification is also required. A GPR sensor must collect sufficient information such that subsurface objects can be both detected and classified as either a mine or a clutter object. A major problem with this task is the vast diversity of mine target responses. There are hundreds of different models of mines that have been, or currently being, produced worldwide. In addition, the scattering responses from these mines are dependent on other factors such as soil dielectric and mine depth.

A scattering feature common to most mines, but distinct from clutter objects, would thus be ideal for mine detection. There is in fact such a featuresince mines are man-made objects, they generally exhibit geometric symmetries that are not commonly found in clutter objects such as rocks. These symmetries manifest themselves in specific scattering responses as a function of spatial position and polarization.

Our research involves exploiting this feature to reduce the false alarm rate associated with GPR demining. We use group theoretic techniques to identify all bistatic scattering features that are associated with a given symmetry. We also use group theoretic techniques to construct bistatic array processing algorithms for detecting and classifying subsurface targets. We likewise have developed and implemented a 3-dimensional, bistatic, Finite Difference Time Domain (FDTD) reverse-time migration-imaging algorithm such that detection and symmetry classification can be achieved with fine resolution. The efficacy of these techniques has been demonstrated using bistatic radar measurements collected at our GPR test facility.


Project Sponsors

Primary Sponsor(s): University of Missouri-Rolla

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