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International Journal of Antennas and Propagation
Volume 2013, Article ID 787910, 9 pages
Research Article

A Propagation Model for Subsurface and Through-Wall Imaging Applications under the Frequency Dispersion Perspective

1Department of Teoria de la Señal y Comunicaciones, University of Vigo, Vigo, 36310 Pontevedra, Spain
2Klipsch School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM 88003, USA

Received 19 July 2013; Accepted 13 September 2013

Academic Editor: Francesco Soldovieri

Copyright © 2013 Ana Vazquez Alejos and Muhammad Dawood. 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.


The frequency-dependent behavior in subsurface and through-the-wall media is analyzed in this paper as well as the formation of the Brillouin precursor waveforms inherently related to this feature. The emergence of these forerunners is presented as a plausible form to explain classical impairments observed in imaging technologies. The evolution of mono- and multicycle rectangular and first derivative Gaussian pulses through two dispersive media—concrete blocks and soil—is analyzed using a frequency-domain technique and the Debye dielectric model to characterize the media, at operating frequencies below 3 GHz. The frequency-domain approach facilitated to check the influence of some parameters considered critical for the precursor emergence—operating frequency, input pulse configuration, and internal structure of the underlying medium—results in a versatile tool suitable for any kind of modulated input signal propagated through any dispersive medium. The internal multireflection model has been considered as the most suitable model to describe the transmission process underlying both subsurface and through-wall imaging technologies. Two different moisture contents have been considered for concrete as a parameter to determine the performance of through-wall imaging radar from the precursor formation perspective. The results reveal that precursor is a phenomenon to take into account for application demanding larger signal-to-noise ratios.