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Signal processing of GPR data for road surveys

Ciampoli Luca Bianchini, Tosti Fabio, Oikonomou Nikolaos, Benedetto Francesco

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Year 2019
Type of Item Peer-Reviewed Journal Publication
Bibliographic Citation L.B. Ciampoli, F. Tosti, N. Economou and F. Benedetto, "Signal processing of GPR data for road surveys," Geosciences, vol. 9, no. 2, Feb. 2019. doi: 10.3390/geosciences9020096
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Effective quality assurance and quality control inspections of new roads as well as assessment of remaining service-life of existing assets is taking priority nowadays. Within this context, use of ground penetrating radar (GPR) is well-established in the field, although standards for a correct management of datasets collected on roads are still missing. This paper reports a signal processing method for data acquired on flexible pavements using GPR. To demonstrate the viability of the method, a dataset collected on a real-life flexible pavement was used for processing purposes. An overview of the use of non-destructive testing (NDT) methods in the field, including GPR, is first given. A multi-stage method is then presented including: (i) raw signal correction; (ii) removal of lower frequency harmonics; (iii) removal of antenna ringing; (iv) signal gain; and (v) band-pass filtering. Use of special processing steps such as vertical resolution enhancement, migration and time-to-depth conversion are finally discussed. Key considerations about the effects of each step are given by way of comparison between processed and unprocessed radargrams. Results have proven the viability of the proposed method and provided recommendations on use of specific processing stages depending on survey requirements and quality of the raw dataset.

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