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International Journal of Antennas and Propagation
Volume 2013, Article ID 231729, 12 pages
Research Article

Optical-Theorem-Based Coherent Scatterer Detection in Complex Environments

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115, USA

Received 27 April 2013; Accepted 23 July 2013

Academic Editor: Rocco Pierri

Copyright © 2013 Edwin A. Marengo and Fred K. Gruber. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A new approach is proposed to detect scatterers embedded in reciprocal media from scattering data. The new method is rooted on physical considerations, in particular, on the optical theorem applicable to wavefields (e.g., acoustic, electromagnetic, and optical). The approach exploits insight gained from the optical theorem which assigns physical energy interpretations to the wave data from time reversal mirrors and cavities from which one can deduce the presence of unknown scatterers in unknown background media. The proposed approach is ideally suited for target detection in complex, highly reverberating unknown environments such as indoor facilities, caves, tunnels, and urban canyon.