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Subsurface Utility Extraction and Characterization: Combining GPR Symmetry and Polarization Attributes

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2 Author(s)
Boniger, U. ; Inst. fur Erd- und Umweltwissenschaften, Univ., Potsdam, Germany ; Tronicke, J.

Polarization of the electromagnetic wavefield has significant implications for the acquisition and interpretation of ground-penetrating radar (GPR) data. Based on the geometrical and physical properties of the subsurface scatterer and the physical properties of its surrounding material, strong polarization phenomena might occur. Here, we develop an attribute-based analysis approach to extract and characterize buried utility pipes using two broadside antenna configurations. First, we enhance and extract the utilities by making use of their distinct symmetric nature through the application of a symmetry-enhancing image-processing algorithm known as phase symmetry. Second, we assess the polarization characteristics by calculating two attributes (polarization angle and linearity) using principal component analysis. Combination of attributes derived from these steps into a novel depolarization attribute allows one to efficiently detect and distinguish different utilities present within 3-D GPR data. The performance of our analysis approach is illustrated using synthetic examples and evaluated using field examples (including a dual-configuration 3-D data set) collected across a field site, where detailed ground-truth information is available. Our results demonstrate that the proposed approach allows for a more detailed extraction and combination of utility relevant information compared to approaches relying on single-component data and, thus, eases the interpretation of multicomponent GPR data sets.

Published in:

Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:50 ,  Issue: 3 )

Date of Publication:

March 2012

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