Health monitoring of tree-trunks using ground penetrating radar

Giannakis, Iraklis, Tosti, Fabio, Lantini, Livia and Alani, Amir M. (2019) Health monitoring of tree-trunks using ground penetrating radar. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 57(10), pp. 8317-8326. ISSN (print) 0196-2892


Ground penetrating radar (GPR) is traditionally applied to smooth surfaces in which the assumption of halfspace is an adequate approximation that does not deviate much from reality. Nonetheless, using GPR for internal structure characterization of tree trunks requires measurements on an irregularly shaped closed curve. Typical hyperbola-fitting has no physical meaning in this new context since the reflection patterns are strongly associated to the shape of the tree trunk. Instead of a clinical hyperbola, the reflections give rise to complex-shaped patterns that are difficult to be analyzed even in the absence of clutter. In the current paper, a novel processing scheme is described that can interpret complex reflection patterns assuming a circular target subject to any arbitrary shaped surface. The proposed methodology can be applied using commercial handheld antennas in real-time avoiding computationally costly tomographic approaches that require the usage of custom-made bespoke antenna arrays. The validity of the current approach is illustrated both with numerical and real experiments.

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