Noise and Interference Reduction in Air-Launched Antennas Used for GPR Evaluation of Roads and Bridges

Ground penetrating radar (GPR) is an accepted nondestructive technique commonly used to evaluate roads and bridges. The most common GPR antennas used for these applications are air-launched horn antennas which are safely operated at highway speeds. Though the 2 GHz horn antenna can resolve features to 1 in. (2.5 cm) resolution, the conventional horn antenna is subject to interference that is predominantly caused by TV and FM broadcasting. A new interference cancellation technology, which incorporates both hardware and software, greatly reduces the influence of the interference sources that previously plagued horn antennas while improving the sharpness and resolution beyond that of even the conventional antenna. A measurement system was developed, which compares the conventional horn antenna to the new interference cancellation horn antenna around the harshest interference in the Boston area. It is found that while the conventional horn antenna yields acceptable or excellent results 80% of the time for this specific test route, the interference cancellation technology yields 93% high-performance data.

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