Experimental and modeled performance of a ground penetrating radar antenna in lossy dielectrics

Craig Warren, Antonios Giannopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)
20 Downloads (Pure)


The way in which electromagnetic fields are transmitted and received by ground penetrating radar (GPR) antennas is crucial to the performance of GPR systems. Simple antennas have been characterized by analyzing their radiation patterns and directivity. However, there have been limited studies that combine real GPR antennas with realistic environments, which is essential to capture the complex interactions between the antenna and surroundings. We have investigated the radiation characteristics and sensitivity of a GPR antenna in a range of lossy dielectric environments using both physical measurements and a three-dimensional (3-D) finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) model. Experimental data were from measured responses of a target positioned at intervals on the circumference of a circle surrounding the H-plane of the antenna. A series of oil-in-water emulsions as well as tap water were used to simulate homogeneous materials with different permittivities and with complex conductivities. Numerical radiation patterns were created utilizing a detailed 3-D FDTD model of the antenna. Good correlation was shown between the experimental results and modeled data with respect to the strength of the main lobe within the critical angle window. However, there are discrepancies in the strength of main lobe at shallow angles. In all the dielectrics, the main lobes are generally broad due to the near-field observation distance but, as expected, become narrower with increasing permittivity. These results provide confidence for further use of the FDTD antenna model to investigate scenarios such as larger observation distances and heterogeneous environments that are difficult to study experimentally.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-36
JournalIEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing
Issue number1
Early online date3 Jun 2015
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2016


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