Park, Joongsuk (2003-12). Development of microwave and millimeter-wave integrated-circuit stepped-frequency radar sensors for surface and subsurface profiling. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon


  • Two new stepped-frequency continuous wave (SFCW) radar sensor prototypes, based on a coherent super-heterodyne scheme, have been developed using Microwave Integrated Circuits (MICs) and Monolithic Millimeter-Wave Integrated Circuits (MMICs) for various surface and subsurface applications, such as profiling the surface and subsurface of pavements, detecting and localizing small buried Anti-Personnel (AP) mines and measuring the liquid level in a tank. These sensors meet the critical requirements for subsurface and surface measurements including small size, light weight, good accuracy, fine resolution and deep penetration. In addition, two novel wideband microstrip quasi-TEM horn antennae that are capable of integration with a seamless connection have also been designed. Finally, a simple signal processing algorithm, aimed to acquire the in-phase (I) and quadrature (Q) components and to compensate for the I/Q errors, was developed using LabView. The first of the two prototype sensors, named as the microwave SFCW radar sensor operating from 0.6-5.6-GHz, is primarily utilized for assessing the subsurface of pavements. The measured thicknesses of the asphalt and base layers of a pavement sample were very much in agreement with the actual data with less than 0.1-inch error. The measured results on the actual roads showed that the sensor accurately detects the 5-inch asphalt layer of the pavement with a minimal error of 0.25 inches. This sensor represents the first SFCW radar sensor operating from 0.6-5.6-GHz. The other sensor, named as the millimeter-wave SFCW radar sensor, operates in the 29.72-35.7-GHz range. Measurements were performed to verify its feasibility as a surface and sub-surface sensor. The measurement results showed that the sensor has a lateral resolution of 1 inch and a good accuracy in the vertical direction with less than  0.04-inch error. The sensor successfully detected and located AP mines of small sizes buried under the surface of sand with less than 0.75 and 0.08 inches of error in the lateral and vertical directions, respectively. In addition, it also verified that the vertical resolution is not greater than 0.75 inches. This sensor is claimed as the first Ka-band millimeter-wave SFCW radar sensor ever developed for surface and subsurface sensing applications.

publication date

  • December 2003