Ground-penetrating and Space-born Radar

Susan Sakimoto
The University of Notre Dame
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This is a introductory lecture on ground-penetrating radar and space-born radar, a classroom data classifying activity, and descriptions of field and extended activities.

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This is used in a semester-long geophysics course for juniors, seniors, and beginning graduate students who have had no prior geophysics. Most are majors. Designed for a geophysics course

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

have fulfilled the requirement of a year each of college physics and chemistry by the time they take this course. However, the material can be presented with just calculus (and the higher math deleted) fairly easily. They should be familiar with tectonics, surface processes, and some mineralogy/petrology.

How the activity is situated in the course

This is one week out of 3-4 devoted to Radar, usually early in a 15 week course.


Content/concepts goals for this activity

Understand and describe radar dependence on wavelength, roughness, and dielectric constant.

Plan and execute a ground penetrating radar field survey.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Students will be able to Interpret basic ground-penetrating and space-born radar images and compare them to visible/near-IR images.

Other skills goals for this activity

Description of the activity/assignment

Students are asked to do background reading before class. The lecture introduction included is presented, and then students do an group exercise sorting GPR and space radar images into image types and bands. They then plan and carry out a ground penetrating radar field survey, and download and interpret the results. They are asked to do several quantitative homework problems, and to retrieve and present (powerpoint) additional types of radar data. An extension exercise for higher level students is suggested using large data sets.

Determining whether students have met the goals

Evaluations of class group exercise, homework calculations, powerpoint presentation, and field project.

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