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Borehole radar system analysis in stratified geological systems applied to imaging of platiniferous reefs in the bushveld igneous

Herselman, Paul Le Roux (2003-12)

Thesis (PhD (Electrical and Electronic Engineering))--University of Stellenbosch, 2003.


The imaging of platiniferous reefs in the Bushveld Igneous Complex (BIC) is of great economical and sociological importance. Borehole radar technology has been identified as a viable mapping tool to be used in day-to-day mining operations, but a critical assessment has to be made on the feasibility of this postulation. The system analysis made of the borehole radar deployed in the BIC is presented in this dissertation. The analysis is done using a specific example - the GeoMole borehole radar system. A novel procedure, based on the basic theory of electromagnetic radiation and propagation, is proposed by which the entire physical radar system can be characterized. The power transmitted by an unconventional borehole-deployed transmitter is estimated by a sequence of free space measurements, numerical simulations and theoretic derivations and approximations. Antenna transfer functions (magnitude and phase) are numerically simulated for a variety of deployment configurations. The total system transfer function of the receiver analogue and digital chain is determined. This enables the calculation of the radar's performance figures necessary to determine the applicability of the radar in a specific geological setting. A radar system is only complete when considered in its environment. The BIC is a stratified system of numerous rock layers. An in-depth study is done on the propagation of radiowaves in stratified lossy media. Only the case for non-magnetic media is discussed in this dissertation. The developed theory is used to predict the system response to a typical transmitted radar pulse in the UG1 - UG2 stratigraphy of the BIC, determine the maximum detection range of reef horizons and estimate the reflectivity of the reefs. Resolution is one of the key parameters that determine the performance and accuracy of imaging. An algorithm is proposed, developed and tested by which the resolution of the system is increased and overlapping echoes become resolvable. Even though some of the techniques are developed with a specific system in mind, the applicability of the concepts and algorithms is universal.

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