Buried object imaging using a small UAS-based GPR

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Ground-based systems for imaging objects at standoff distances usually interrogate the ground region of interest at shallow grazing angles. Thus, only a small amount of the transmitted radar energy propagates into the ground, and an even smaller portion of the target backscattered energy is returned to the sensor, thus limiting detection performance. Mounting a small size, weight and power radar on a small unmanned aerial system (sUAS) platform provides a method of interrogating the ground at more favorable angles of incidence with the radar operator being at a safe standoff distance. Reliable detection and/or imaging of a buried object from a sUAS is influenced by several issues related to sensor power, measurement of sensor position and control of the sUAS in the proximity to the ground. We performed a series of measurements of buried objects using a small radar on a tethered sUAS to explore these issues. The experiments and issues encountered will be discussed, and three-dimensional radar imagery of buried objects generated from the measurements will be presented.

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© 2019 SPIE. Publisher's version of record: https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2518997

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Proceedings of SPIE