Date of Award

Summer 2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Engineering Physics

First Advisor

Neven Simicevic


To optimize the effectiveness of the rehabilitation of underground utilities, taking in consideration limitation of available resources, there is a need for a cost effective and efficient sensing systems capable of providing effective, in real time and in situ, measurement of infrastructural characteristics. To carry out accurate non-destructive condition assessment of buried and above ground infrastructure such as sewers, bridges, pavements and dams, an advanced ultra-wideband (UWB) based radar was developed at Trenchless Technology Centre (TTC) and Centre for Applied Physics Studies (CAPS) at Louisiana Tech University (LTU). One of the major issues in designing the FCC compliant UWB radar was the contribution of the pipe wall, presence of complex soil types and moderate-to-high moisture levels on penetration depth of the electromagnetic (EM) energy.

The electrical properties of the materials involved in designing the UWB radar exhibit a significant variation as a result of the moisture content, mineral content, bulk density, temperature and frequency of the electromagnetic signal propagating through it. Since no measurements of frequency dependence of the dielectric permittivity and conductivities of the pipe wall material in the FCC approved frequency range exist, in this thesis, the dielectric constant of concrete and clay pipes are measured over a microwave frequency range from 1 Ghz to 10 Ghz including the effects of moisture and chloride content.

A high performance software package called MU-EPSLN™ was used for the calculations. Data reduction routines to calculate the complex permeability and permittivity of materials as well as other parameters are also provided. The results obtained in this work will be used to improve the accuracy of the numerical simulations and the performances of the UWB radar system.