Detection of buried pipes using polarimetric stepped-frequency GPR images

Ram M. Narayanan, Randall T. Becker, Michael B. Bashforth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Stepped-frequency ground-penetrating radar (GPR) systems are gaining popularity in recent years, since they can be designed to be phase-coherent and take advantage of coherent-processing techniques for target detection and clutter rejection. The magnitudes of the in-phase (I) and the quadrature (Q) channels of the received radar return signal are vectorially combined to yield the amplitude, which is then fast-Fourier transformed and displayed as the depth profile. In order to enhance the performance of a commercially-available stepped-frequency GPR system, a fully-polarimetric processing technique was implemented. A set of two wideband orthogonally-polarized antenna pairs was used, one for transmit and one for receive. The modified system sequentially transmits orthogonal polarizations, while the receiver simultaneously measures both reflected polarizations. Reflected data from all four linear combinations of transmit and receive polarizations are then coherently processed to yield polarimetric colour images of the target. Sandbox test results confirm the advantage of polarimetric-image processing to detect and identify buried long and slender targets, such as pipes and cables. Multiple-scan averaging helps in reducing clutter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-31
Number of pages17
JournalPipes and Pipelines International
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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