Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is a useful tool for imaging the area below the Earth's surface. GPR works on the same principle as traditional radar, evaluating the electromagnetic returns reflected from an object or scene of interest to determine characteristics of the object that reflected the signal. Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) is a technique which combines radar returns of a given scene collected at several positions. By compiling the information contained in the returns, an image of a scene can be generated. Combining these two concepts allows us to create an image of an underground scene. Air Force Research Lab, Rome, NY developed a ground penetrating, SAR system with a resolution of approximately three feet capable of penetrating to depths of 150-160 feet into the ground. In order to assess the results obtained from this system, a simulation was needed to generate expected returns from a user-defined synthetic scene. Ray-tracing is a simulation technique that is frequently used to model radar and imaging systems. In the ray-tracing model, the transmitted radar signal is simulated by a number of straight lines, or rays, which propagate through the scene according to the principles of electromagnetic theory. The data carried with each ray can be used to generate a simulated radar return at the receiver. This thesis describes a ray-tracing simulator, which was created to work in conjunction with the Rome Labs GPR system. The ray-tracing simulation models the transmissions and reflections from faceted target models using Snell's law and the Law of Reflection. The results obtained demonstrate the effects that different scene orientations have upon the images generated by the Rome Labs system.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Ground penetrating radar; Synthetic aperture radar; Imaging systems; Remote sensing
Department, Program, or Center
Electrical Engineering (KGCOE)
Jeter, James III, "A Three-dimensional ray tracing simulation of a synthetic aperture ground penetrating radar system" (2002). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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