Experimental studies and verification of the vertical array-differential target antenna coupling (DTAC) method for rapid sensing and imaging of subsurface targets

Ben K. Sternberg, Wanjie Feng, Steven L. Dvorak, Richard D. Reavis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We have developed a new electromagnetic geophysical system that has significantly improved target sensing and imaging capabilities compared to conventional measurements. In a previous series of papers, we described a new measurement technology called the Differential Target Antenna Coupling (DTAC) method, which used a magnetic-field transmitter (TX) and a magnetic field receiver (RX), oriented in a horizontal array, with separation distances of the order of tens of meters, and up to tens of kilometers. In the present paper, we use the DTAC method in a vertical array configuration, with the TX coil directly above two null-coupled RX coils. This vertical array provides a number of important advantages over the large-offset horizontal array for some applications. For example, the vertical array-DTAC method can be adapted to rapidly moving measurements, such as from a helicopter. In addition, the vertical array-DTAC method also suppresses surface clutter, such as fences, steel buildings, and parked vehicles. The DTAC method uses at least two frequencies. One frequency is used as a reference signal to establish the null direction at that frequency, and then a different frequency is used to measure the change in the null at the new frequency. We can also use an arbitrary number of frequencies with just one reference frequency for wide-bandwidth spectral measurements. We first describe the vertical array-DTAC measurement system and discuss the calibration procedure for the instrumentation. Next, we discuss the methods employed for scale-model testing of the system. We validate the vertical array-DTAC method using small-scale controlled tests and demonstrate the enhanced resolution and sensitivity of the vertical array-DTAC method. Suitable TX moments and frequency ranges can be selected for effective study of near surface targets (civil engineering, water resource, and environmental characterization) as well as deep targets (mining and other natural-resource exploration).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-136
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Environmental and Engineering Geophysics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 20 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geophysics


Dive into the research topics of 'Experimental studies and verification of the vertical array-differential target antenna coupling (DTAC) method for rapid sensing and imaging of subsurface targets'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this