Radar Tomography


The capacity of electromagnetic waves to penetrate material bodies and interact with them constitutes the physical principle underlying the electromagnetic diagnostic techniques. These imaging methodologies allow non-contact and non-invasive characterization of morphology and electromagnetic parameters of unknown objects placed in opaque media or hidden by obstacles.

To this end, the development of appropriate methodologies for the processing of radar data, gathered by means of possibly non-canonical measurement configurations, is needed. These methodologies rely on physical / mathematical models able to describe accurately the wave / target interaction in complex scenarios, and appropriate mathematical tools for the reliable solution of the non-linear and ill-posed inverse problem, which underlines the imaging. Based on these requirements, the methodologies developed at IREA aim at providing images from which it is possible to determine the characteristic parameters of the scenario under test in a not ambiguous way. 

IREA researchers have a long experience in this field, which has allowed the development of different approaches tested in different applicative contexts.

From a conceptual point of view, the developed methodologies can be classified into two groups:
1) strategies for the localization of unknown objects and their geometric (size, shape) characterization;
2) approaches able to provide an accurate (quantitative) characterization of the electromagnetic properties of the objects under test.

These data processing approaches are an useful diagnostic tool in a vast number of applications in which the radar imaging is of interest, including civil structures and critical infrastructure monitoring, diagnostics of cultural heritage, underground utilities mapping in urban environments, applications related to physical security, such as land mines and unexploded ordnance detection, through wall imaging, tunnel detection, detection of hidden objects on people, remote sensing of vital signs (such as breathing and heart rate).

A technological environment in which the use of these methodologies is extremely relevant is that of the ground penetrating radar (GPR), a radar system specifically designed for the imaging of buried or hidden structures. In this context, the methodologies developed at IREA, particularly those aimed at the localization and morphological characterization of unknown objects, have been successfully applied in many investigation campaigns through GPR. These were performed in the various national and international research projects which involved the exploration of archaeological sites (home of the Centaur in Pompeii, ancient Stabiae and Pontecagnano in Campania, Viggiano Lucania and many others), the monitoring of civil structures and infrastructure (eg Musmeci bridge in Potenza and different Swiss motorway courses), and the diagnostics of cultural heritage (GPR survey in the Hall of 500 in Florence in search of hidden states of the Vasari's painting).

Additional Info

Sub-surface diagnostics

Monitoring of large civil infrastructures

Through and Intra wall imaging

Conservation of cultural heritage

Pipeline monitoring

Detection of vital signs

A. Ibrahim, L. Crocco, F Soldovieri, “Experimental Validation of a Simple System for Through-the-Wall Inverse Scattering”, IEEE Geosc. and Remote Sen. Lett., vol. 8, pp.258-262, 2011

F. Soldovieri, R. Solimene, L. Lo Monte Lorenzo et al., “Sparse Reconstruction From GPR Data With Applications to Rebar Detection”, IEEE Trans. on Instrumentation and Measurement, vol.60, pp.1070-1079, 2011

F. Soldovieri, O. Lopera, S. Lambot, “Combination of Advanced Inversion Techniques for an Accurate Target Localization via GPR for Demining Applications”, IEEE Trans on Geosci. and Remote Sens., vol. 49, pp: 451-461, 2011

F. Soldovieri, F. Ahmad, R. Solimene, “Validation of Microwave Tomographic Inverse Scattering Approach via Through-the-Wall Experiments in Semicontrolled Conditions”, IEEE Geosc. and Remote Sen. Lett., vol. 8, pp.123-127, 2011

M. Proto,  M. Bavusi, R. Bernini et al., “Transport Infrastructure Surveillance and Monitoring by Electromagnetic Sensing: The ISTIMES Project”, Sensors , vol.10, pp.10620-10639, 2010.

S. E. Lauro, E. Mattei, E. Pettinelli, F. Soldovieri et al., “Permittivity estimation of layers beneath the northern polar layered deposits, Mars”, Geophysical Research Letters, vol.37, Article Number: L14201, 2010

L. Lo Monte, D. Erricolo, F. Soldovieri, M.C. Wicks, “ RF Tomography for below ground imaging of extended areas and close-in sensing”, IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters,  vol. 7, pp. 496-500, 2010.

R. Solimene, A. Buonanno, F. Soldovieri, R. Pierri “Shape reconstruction Physical Optics Imaging of 3D PEC Objects: Vector and Multipolarized Approaches “,IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing., vol. 48, no.4, pp. 1799-1808, 2010

L. Lo Monte, D. Erricolo, F . Soldovieri, M.C. Wicks, “Radio Frequency Tomography for Tunnel Detection”, IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, vol. 48, no.3, pp. 1128-1137, 2010.

I. Catapano and L. Crocco, “A Qualitative Inverse Scattering Method for Through-the-Wall Imaging”, IEEE Geosci. And Remote Sens. Letters, vol.7, pp.685-689, ISSN: 1545-598X, 2010.

I. Catapano and L. Crocco, “An imaging method for the characterization of concealed targets”, IEEE Trans. Geosci. and Remote Sensing, special Issue, vol.47, pp.1301-1309, 2009.

I. Catapano, L. Crocco, M. D’Urso and T. Isernia, “Support-aided 3D microwave imaging: testing on the Fresnel 2008 database”, Inverse Problem, vol. 25, 024002 (23pp), 2009.

A. Dubois, K. Belkebir, I. Catapano and M. Saillard, “Iterative solution of the electromagnetic inverse scattering problem from the transient scattered field”, Radio Science, vol. 44, RS1007, 2009.

R. Solimene, F. Soldovieri, G. Prisco, R. Pierri, “Three-dimensional Through-Wall Imaging under ambiguous wall parameters”,  IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Special Issue on Remote Sensing of the Building Interior, vol. 47, no.5, pp.1310-1317, 2009.

F. Soldovieri, R. Solimene, R. Pierri, “Reconstructing the contour of metallic planar objects from only intensity scattered field data over a single plane”, Optics Express, vol. 16, no.13, pp.9468-79,  2008.

R. Persico, F. Soldovieri, “Effects of the background removal in linear inverse scattering”, IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, vol.46, no.4, pp.1104-1114, 2008.

F. Soldovieri, R. Bernini, I. Catapano and L. Crocco, "The integration of novel diagnostics  techniques for multi-scale monitoring of large civil infrastructures", Adv Geosci., vol.19, pp.67-74, 2008.

M. D’Urso, I. Catapano, L. Crocco, T. Isernia ,“Effective solution of 3D scattering problems via series expansions: applicability and a new hybrid scheme”, IEEE Trans. Geosci. and Remote Sensing, vol.45, pp.639-648, 2007.

I. Catapano, L. Crocco, T. Isernia, “On simple methods for shape reconstruction of unknown scatterers”, IEEE Trans. On Antennas and Propagation, vol.55, pp.1431-1436, 2007.

I. Catapano, L. Crocco, M. D’Urso and T. Isernia, “On the effect of support estimation and of a new model in 2D inverse scattering problems”, IEEE Trans. On Antennas and Propagation, vol.55, pp.1895-1899, 2007.

I. Catapano, L. Crocco, M. D’Urso, T. Isernia “A novel effective model for solving 3D nonlinear inverse scattering problems in lossy scenarios”, IEEE Geosci. and Remote Sensing Letters, vol.3, pp.302-306, 2006.

    Le attività di ricerca svolte nell'ambito della tematica Tomografia ed Imaging si inquadrano nei seguenti progetti di ricerca


    2011-2014: Active and Passive Microwaves for Security and Subsurface imaging -AMISS (FP7 Marie Curie Actions People)

    2009-2012: Integrated System for Transport Infrastructures surveillance and Monitoring by Electromagnetic Sensing - ISTIMES (FP7 Collaborative Project)

    2007-2010: Inversion, Modelling and Analysis of GPR in Near-surface Environments - IMAGINE (EP/E004032/1)


    2005-2006: Strategie innovative per la stima di caratteristiche geometriche di sorgenti o diffusori da misure di campo elettromaganetico (L.R. n5./2002 – Regione Campania)



    Bauman Moscow State University

    Technical University of Istanbul

    Keele University (UK)

    Università "Federico II" di Napoli

    Seconda Università di Napoli

    Università "Mediterranea" di Reggio Calabria

    Università "La Sapienza" di Roma

    Università Roma Tre

    Institut Fresnel di Marsiglia

    Swiss Federal Laboratories for Material Testing and Research

    UTSI Electronics UK

    Us Air Force