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Wide Angle Reflection and Refraction Methods for Ground Penetrating Radar (RDF18/MCE/WARREN)

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  • Full or part time
    Dr C Warren
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Electromagnetic sensing technologies, such as Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR), are critical tools to allow us to evaluate the condition of surface and sub-surface infrastructure. The cost to the UK of inadequate infrastructure is estimated to be £2M per day, with 50% of our annual construction budget spent on maintenance and repair. GPR is used for a wide variety of infrastructure and geophysical investigation, including: assessment of bridges, roads, and railways; location of buried utilities; ice profiling and glaciology; and groundwater and soil condition monitoring.

This project will develop the concept of wide angle reflection and refraction (WARR) data acquisition for GPR. WARR surveying methods have existed since the inception of GPR but have had little adoption. This is because, unlike seismic systems, commercial GPR with multiple concurrent data acquisition receivers have not existed. Multiple offset GPR data had to be acquired using a single transmitting and receiving antenna pair moved to the desired offset sequentially. However with recent advances in GPR timing and control technology, modern instrumentation with multiple concurrent sampling receivers now provides the possibility of continuous, rapid acquisition of WARR data. Two-dimensional reflection surveys can now rapidly yield a multi-offset sounding at each recording station, providing WARR profiling at the same speed as a standard, single fold GPR sounding.

The project will combine numerical modelling, using open source electromagnetic modelling software gprMax (http://www.gprmax.com), development of data and image processing algorithms, as well as experimental work with an industrial partner. It is a highly multi-disciplinary area of research. Applicants with skills in geophysics or civil engineering are encouraged to apply, and experience of computing/programming is also desirable.

The project has industrial support from Sensors and Software Inc. (Canada) (http://www.sensoft.ca), who are a leading worldwide provider of sub-surface imaging solutions. There will be an opportunity for the student to spend a period of time working at Sensors and
Software’s base in Canada. The work also forms collaborations with the University of Edinburgh
(UK), and Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece).

Eligibility and How to Apply:

Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
• Applicants cannot apply for this funding if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see:
https://www.northumbria.ac.uk/research/postgraduate-research-degrees/how-to-apply/

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. RDF18/…) will not be considered.

Deadline for applications: 28 January 2018

Start Date: 1 October 2018

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality and is a member of the Euraxess network, which delivers information and support to professional researchers.

Funding Notes

The studentship includes a full stipend, paid for three years at RCUK rates (for 2017/18, this is £14,553 pa) and fees.

References

Annan, Peter and Jackson, Steven (2017) The WARR machine. In: IWAGPR 2017 - 9th International
Workshop on Advanced Ground Penetrating Radar, 28th–30th June 2017, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

Warren, Craig, Giannopoulos, Antonios and Giannakis, Iraklis (2016) gprMax: Open source software to
simulate electromagnetic wave propagation for ground penetrating radar. Computer Physics
Communications, 209. pp. 163-170. ISSN 0010-4655

Giannakis, Iraklis, Giannopoulos, Antonios and Warren, Craig (2015) A realistic FDTD numerical
modeling framework of ground penetrating radar for landmine detection. IEEE Journal of Selected
Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, 9 (1). pp. 37-51. ISSN 1939-1404

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