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Surface-penetrating radar

Surface-penetrating radar

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Surface-penetrating radar is a nondestructive testing technique which uses electromagnetic waves to investigate the composition of nonconducting materials either when searching for buried objects or when measuring their internal structure. A typical surface-penetrating radar transmits a short pulse of electromagnetic energy of 1 ns (10-9 s) time duration from a transmit antenna into the material. Energy reflected from discontinuities in impedance is received by means of a receive antenna and is then suitably processed and displayed by a radar receiver and display unit. If the transmit and receive antennas are moved at a constant velocity along a linear path, a cross-sectional image of the material can be generated. Alternatively, if the antennas are scanned in a regular grid pattern, a three-dimensional image of the target can be derived. This paper provides a review of the principles of the technique, discusses the technical requirements for the individual subsystems comprising a surface-penetrating radar and provides examples of typical applications for the method. Continued technical improvements in system performance enable clearer radar images of the internal structure of materials to be obtained, thus advancing the application of the technique.

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