Landmine detection is an important and yet challenging problem remains to be solved. Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is a powerful and rapidly maturing technology for subsurface threat identification. The detection methodology of GPR depends mainly on the contrast of the dielectric properties of the searched target and its surrounding soil. This contrast produces a partial reflection of the electromagnetic pulses that are being transmitted into the soil and then being collected by the GPR. One of the most critical hardware components for the performance of GPR is the antenna system. The current paper explores the design and simulation of a pyramidal horn antenna operating at L-band frequencies (1- 2 GHz) to detect a landmine. A prototype model of the GPR system setup is developed to simulate full wave analysis of the electromagnetic fields in different soil types. The contrast in the dielectric permittivity of the landmine and the sandy soil is the most important parameter to be considered for detecting the presence of landmine. L-band horn antenna is proved to be well-versed in the investigation of landmine detection.
Reinforced concrete bridge deck condition assessments primarily use visual inspection methods, where an inspector looks for and records locations of cracks, potholes, efflorescence and other signs of probable deterioration. Sounding is another technique used to diagnose the condition of a bridge deck, however this method listens for damage within the subsurface as the surface is struck with a hammer or chain. Even though extensive procedures are in place for using these inspection techniques, neither one provides the inspector with a comprehensive understanding of the internal condition of a bridge deck – the location where damage originates from. In order to make accurate estimates of repair locations and quantities, in addition to allocating the necessary funding, a total understanding of the deck’s deteriorated state is key. The research presented in this paper collected infrared thermography and ground penetrating radar data from reinforced concrete bridge decks without an asphalt overlay. These decks were of various ages and their condition varied from brand new, to in need of replacement. The goals of this work were to first verify that these nondestructive evaluation methods could identify similar areas of healthy and damaged concrete, and then to see if combining the results of both methods would provide a higher confidence than if the condition assessment was completed using only one method. The results from each method were presented as plan view color contour plots. The results from one of the decks assessed as a part of this research, including these plan view plots, are presented in this paper. Furthermore, in order to answer the interest of transportation agencies throughout the United States, this research developed a step-by-step guide which demonstrates how to collect and assess a bridge deck using these nondestructive evaluation methods. This guide addresses setup procedures on the deck during the day of data collection, system setups and settings for different bridge decks, data post-processing for each method, and data visualization and quantification.
Collapsible soils are weak soils that appear to be stable in their natural state, normally dry condition, but rapidly deform under saturation (wetting), thus generating large and unexpected settlements which often yield disastrous consequences for structures unwittingly built on such deposits. In this study, a prediction model for the relative subsidence of stressed collapsible soils based on dielectric permittivity measurement is presented. Unlike most existing methods for soil subsidence prediction, this model does not require moisture content as an input parameter, thus providing the opportunity to obtain accurate estimation of the relative subsidence of collapsible soils using dielectric measurement only. The prediction model is developed based on an existing relative subsidence prediction model (which is dependent on soil moisture condition) and an advanced theoretical frequency and temperature-dependent electromagnetic mixing equation (which effectively removes the moisture content dependence of the original relative subsidence prediction model). For large scale sub-surface soil exploration purposes, the spatial sub-surface soil dielectric data over wide areas and high depths of weak (collapsible) soil deposits can be obtained using non-destructive high frequency electromagnetic (HF-EM) measurement techniques such as ground penetrating radar (GPR). For laboratory or small scale in-situ measurements, techniques such as an open-ended coaxial line with widely applicable time domain reflectometry (TDR) or vector network analysers (VNAs) are usually employed to obtain the soil dielectric data. By using soil dielectric data obtained from small or large scale non-destructive HF-EM investigations, the new model can effectively predict the relative subsidence of weak soils without the need to extract samples for moisture content measurement. Some of the resulting benefits are the preservation of the undisturbed nature of the soil as well as a reduction in the investigation costs and analysis time in the identification of weak (problematic) soils. The accuracy of prediction of the presented model is assessed by conducting relative subsidence tests on a collapsible soil at various initial soil conditions and a good match between the model prediction and experimental results is obtained.
An image texture analysis and target recognition approach of using an improved image texture feature coding method (TFCM) and Support Vector Machine (SVM) for target detection is presented. With our proposed target detection framework, targets of interest can be detected accurately. Cascade-Sliding-Window technique was also developed for automated target localization. Application to mammogram showed that over 88% of normal mammograms and 80% of abnormal mammograms can be correctly identified. The approach was also successfully applied to Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) images for target detection.