We present a statistical study of the electric field scattered from a three-dimensional penetrable object buried under a two-dimensional random rough surface. Monte Carlo simulations using the steepest-descent fast multipole method (SDFMM) are conducted to calculate the average and the standard deviation of the near-zone scattered fields. The SDFMM, originally developed at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, has been modified to calculate the unknown surface currents both on the rough ground and on the buried object that are due to excitation by a tapered Gaussian beam. The rough ground medium used is an experimentally measured typical dry Bosnian soil with 3.8% moisture, while the buried object represents a plastic land mine modeled as an oblate spheroid with dimensions and burial depth smaller than the free-space wavelength. Both vertical and horizontal polarizations for the incident waves are studied. The numerical results show that the TNT mine signature is almost 5% of the total field scattered from the ground. Moreover, relatively recognizable object signatures are observed even when the object is buried under the tail of the incident beam. Interestingly, even for the small surface roughness parameters considered, the standard deviation of the object signature is almost 30% of the signal itself, indicating significant clutter distortion that is due to the roughness of the ground.
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