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International Journal of Antennas and Propagation
Volume 2013, Article ID 610389, 10 pages
Research Article

3D Imaging of Buried Dielectric Targets with a Tomographic Microwave Approach Applied to GPR Synthetic Data

1Department of Information Engineering, Electronics & Telecommunications (DIET), “Sapienza” University, Rome, Italy
2Institute Electromagnetic Sensing of the Environment (IREA), “National Research Council” (CNR), Naples, Italy
3Department of Mathematics & Physics, “Roma Tre” University, Rome, Italy

Received 15 May 2013; Accepted 3 July 2013

Academic Editor: Rocco Pierri

Copyright © 2013 Alessandro Galli et al. 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.


Effective diagnostics with ground penetrating radar (GPR) is strongly dependent on the amount and quality of available data as well as on the efficiency of the adopted imaging procedure. In this frame, the aim of the present work is to investigate the capability of a typical GPR system placed at a ground interface to derive three-dimensional (3D) information on the features of buried dielectric targets (location, dimension, and shape). The scatterers can have size comparable to the resolution limits and can be placed in the shallow subsurface in the antenna near field. Referring to canonical multimonostatic configurations, the forward scattering problem is analyzed first, obtaining a variety of synthetic GPR traces and radargrams by means of a customized implementation of an electromagnetic CAD tool. By employing these numerical data, a full 3D frequency-domain microwave tomographic approach, specifically designed for the inversion problem at hand, is applied to tackle the imaging process. The method is tested here by considering various scatterers, with different shapes and dielectric contrasts. The selected tomographic results illustrate the aptitude of the proposed approach to recover the fundamental features of the targets even with critical GPR settings.