2017 Volume E100.C Issue 1 Pages 60-67
This paper presents a prototype of a 3D imaging step-frequency radar system at 10-20GHz suitable for the nondestructive inspection of the walls of wooden houses. Using this prototype, it is possible to obtain data for 3D imaging with a single simple scan and make 3D volume images of braces — broken or not — in the walls of wooden houses using synthetic aperture radar processing. The system is a multistatic radar composed of a one-dimensional array antenna (32 transmitting and 32 receiving antennas, which are resistively loaded printed bowtie antennas) and is able to acquire frequency domain data for all the transmitting and receiving antenna pairs, i.e., 32×32=1024 pairs, in 33ms per position. On the basis of comparisons between two array antenna prototype designs, we investigated the optimal distance between a transmitting array and a receiving array to reduce the direct coupling effect. We produced a prototype multistatic radar system and used it to measure different types of wooden targets in two experiments. In the first experiment, we measured plywood bars behind a decorated gypsum board, simulating a broken wooden brace inside a house wall. In the second experiment, we measured a wooden brace made of Japanese cypress as a target inside a model of a typical (wooden) Japanese house wall. The results of both experiments demonstrate the imaging capability of the radar prototype for nondestructive inspection of the insides of wooden house walls.